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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Governing Body

The local Governing Body of St Albans Girls' School complements and enhances the Leadership Team at St Albans Girls' School by providing support and challenge, ensuring that all statutory duties are met, and holding them to account to ensure improving outcomes for all students.

The Governors bring a wealth of experience from a cross section of the community. They meet throughout the term at Committee level and at Full Local Governing Body meetings. The Trust Members meet annually.

The St Albans Girls' School Governing Body is a member of ATLAS Multi Academy Trust and consists of:

  • The Head Teacher

  • Up to 8 Governors appointed by the Trust Board

  • Up to 3 elected Staff Governors (elected by staff)

  • Up to 5 elected Parent Governors (elected by parents)

  • Up to 3 Co-opted Governors

The Academy Trust Members (‘Trustees’) are the Chair of Governors, 2 Vice Chairs of Governors, Chair of Finance and Head Teacher. These appoint Member Governors who bring relevant experience to the Governing Body.


Claire Barnard 

Claire Barnard

Chair of Governors  - FinancePremises & Operations                                Appointed: 22nd May 2001                                                                                                      Term of Office:  1st July 2018 - 30th June 2022                                                           Service: Parent Governor, Community Governor, Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Governors

Appointed I graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge in 1983 and I am a qualified teacher. I taught in both the private and state sector, full and part time.  Both of my daughters went to STAGS. More recently, I have focussed on governance and school management, both as a Governor at STAGS and on appeals panels for county school admissions.  I led the governing body through an OFSTED inspection, managed the successful appointment of the current Head Teacher and I bring a wealth of relevant experience as well as a vision for excellence.  I am also involved in a local church with leading Sunday school work and group discussions, have established a local art group, am a member of a book club, enjoy playing instruments in a band, gardening and keeping fit!

Bob Foster 

Bob Foster


Appointed Governor  - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards                Appointed: 14th June 2016                                                                                          Term of Office:  1st July 2018 - 30th June 2022                                                     Service: Estates Committee. Chaired and served on the Curriculum, Assessments and Standards Committee

I have spent my entire working life as a teacher in secondary education.  I became an Assistant Headteacher in 1989 and worked in a large multi ethnic mixed comprehensive school in Ealing.  In recent years I have taken the opportunity to work more locally specialising in short term contracts and supply.

Lesley Ainsworth 

Lesley Ainsworth


Appointed Governor  - Personnel & Student Wellbeing (Chair)  , Finance, Premises & Operations                                                                 Appointed: 25th November 2014                                                                                  Term of Office:  25th November 2018 - 24th November 2022                       

After qualifying as a solicitor in 1981 I specialised in competition law working mainly in London but with spells in Brussels and New York. When I retired from private practice in 2013 I was appointed as a Panel Member of the Competition and Markets Authority.

I was brought up in Lancashire but have lived in St Albans for over 30 years. I have two children, both now at university.

I am also a Governor at St Albans School.

Sarah Murphy 

Sarah Maguire


Appointed Governor  - FinancePremises & Operations , Personnel & Student Wellbeing                                                                                                        Appointed: 26th February 2008                                                                                          Term of Office:  1st March 2016 - 29th February 2022                                      

I have been a Governor of STAGS since February 2008.  After studying  for my GCSEs and A Levels at STAGS, I went to Keele University and  completed a degree in Psychology and Business Administration gaining a 2.1 and providing me with an interest in people in business.  This led me to seek a career in the field of Human Resources.  I have now been a generalist in the HR field for 15 years and am Head of HR for a top accountancy firm, giving me a good understanding of business.  I am fully conversant in employment law and thrive on the challenges it presents in the workplace.  I very much enjoy being a Governor of STAGS as I loved being a pupil there and want to give something back and make sure that the school excels in everything it does.

Amanda Jefferies 

Amanda Jefferies


Appointed Governor  - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards                Appointed: 7th October 2013                                                                                    Term of Office:  7th October 2017 -  6th October 2021     

I graduated with a BA in Modern Languages and  trained and worked originally as a secondary teacher.  I took a career change to pursue an interest in the field of computing, and completed a Masters in Computer Science  as a mature student and later a professional doctorate in Education.  My current role is Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Hertfordshire.  My research focus is in developing digital literacy and exploring the role that technology can play to enhance the learning environment. 

To the School Governing Body I  contribute another positive example of a role model for girls’ education, with a particular interest in the STEM subjects.

Paul Snook 

Paul Snook


Appointed Governor  - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards  (Chair), Personnel & Student Wellbeing. Safeguarding Governor                                Appointed: 9th September 2008                                                                               Term of Office:  28th June 2016 - 28th June 2024

Paul is a former teacher and education consultant now retired. For the past 25 years he worked on projects in the education sector supporting a number of Department for Education initiatives ranging from developing effective use of ICT in schools, supporting initiatives to promote post 16 education and to building leadership capacity.

He has been a governor at St Albans Girls' School for 12 years.

Paul Webster

Paul Webster


 Appointed Governor  - Finance, Premises and Operations  (Chair),   Personnel & Student Wellbeing                                                                 Appointed: 7th October 1996                                                                                    Term of Office:  1st March 2019 - 28th February 2023

My name is Paul Webster and I have been a Governor at STAGS since 1996.   During the whole of my term of office I have also chaired the Finance and Marketing Committee.  My experience as a School Governor started some five years prior to this date when I became a Governor of my children’s primary school, Oakwood School in St Albans, a position I still hold.   My motivation for putting myself forward for the position of Governor was to bring a more commercial view, which was required with the advent of Local Management of Schools.

By profession I am a Chartered Accountant and recently retired as a partner with Mercer & Hole a local firm based in St Albans.  My responsibilities within the practice not only includes normal professional work dealing with clients but also being the Managing Partner of the practice responsible for managing 200 members of staff over four separate locations.

My connection with STAGS goes back many years initially with my sister attending the school in the days when it was a grammar school.  Subsequent to this my three daughters have all attended STAGS and as a parent I have always valued the contribution of the school made to their development.

As an employer of graduates and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Education and Training committee I have a vested interest in ensuring that the students coming out of schools and universities are the right quality and aptitude to take their place in the business world and society generally.

In addition to the above I am also a keen golfer, ornithologist and aviculturist. I am also a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

Dominic Houlihan 

Dominic Houlihan


 Parent Governor  - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards             Appointed: 18th November 2014                                                                                        Term of Office:  30th November 2018 - 29th November 2022

I have devoted my life to excellence in education. I have 3 grown up children and my stepdaughter is in Year 12. I was a University scientist, senior manager and Professor; I started enterprises and was awarded an OBE for encouraging children in science. I am the product of a good education from a low-income family. I am  retired and do my best as a parent governor for all the children of STAGS.

Rachael Kenningham 

Rachael Kenningham


Governor  - Curriculum, Assessment & Standards, Personnel &  Student Wellbeing and STAGS LGB lead for Modern Foreign Languages, Government & Politics and Mental Health                                                   Appointed: 1st November 2016                                                                                  Term of Office:  1st November 2016 - 31st October 2020

I have 20 years’ experience giving public policy advice and support to politicians, businesses, NGOs and Governments at the UK and EU level. 

I am extremely proud to be a school governor and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside others who want to make a positive impact on the education and lives of young people. 

Back in 2017 , as a parent governor at STAGS, I served on the working group established to investigate becoming a Trust. I later became Chair of ATLAS, the Multi Academy Trust we decided to form in 2018. It embodies our collective ambition to work with others to deliver an outstanding education to more young people. Our vision is to provide ‘Education for the Global Age’ by expanding horizons, building confidence, talents and interests and gaining skills and qualifications. 

Outside my work with Atlas, I co-founded our local Fair Funding for All Schools Campaign in St Albans to encourage parents to actively support better funding for schools.

I graduated with an Honours Degree in French from the University of Birmingham in 1993.

Alan Westcott 

Alan Westcott


 Governor  - Finance, Premises & Operations, Personnel & Student   Wellbeing                                                                                                                 Appointed: 6th December 2016                                                                                         Term of Office:  6th December 2016 - 5th December 2020

I have worked in retail all my working life. I am a professional and expert in this field and I have found this to be very rewarding. 

I have worked and been involved with all levels through to Board level. I spent 25 years with M&S, mostly in Head Office in various management roles, Head of Store Presentation, Special Projects for the Board and developing a European business across 7 countries, defining new trading and presentation policies as well as challenging local markets. Redesigning new equipment and store interiors. Finally as Head of Visual Retail for the menswear business, designing and developing new trading standards, from equipment and environment design to merchandising presentation and layout for innovative new brands. 

I ran my own Mentoring Consultancy for Retail for 12 years and during this time worked with both the London College of Fashion and the Marangoni Italian School of Fashion. At the London College of Fashion I was an Industry Advisor and I was involved as an External Assessor when the college was introducing and developing 2 new courses to BA standard.  I have lectured and taught at both of these. 

I worked for 5 years with Worldskills International (UK) part of the Apprenticeship Programme for the Government. This is a worldwide skills competition targeted at young people from 16 to 22 years of age, it is a bi-annual competition and it involves over 50 countries demonstrating and competing in 48 varying skills. I wrote the competition content and the competition rules for a new skill and this has now been adopted as a World Standard. I have acted as both Chief Expert and Head Judge. 

Working with young people has been an enriching experience over the years, stimulating and watching them develop to their full potential has been hugely rewarding. Trading off your own experiences and knowledge and seeing them capitalise on this by watching them develop has to be one of the best things you can experience. 

My work has always been about looking at the future and the future brings with it change!

Being an energetic motivator has always allowed me to be a confident networker and communicator, this has helped me to bring about change. 

I believe having enthusiastic leadership qualities has enabled me to deliver change and challenge in everything I do and I would like to use all these skills to support STAGS and the governors. Young people reaching their full potential is important to me and leadership, direction and accountability is the support that they deserve.

Other factors should also be about integrity and common sense as well as intellectual support. 

I am passionate about what I do and will always try to make a difference in everything I take on board. 

I now work with a select group of clients that interest me, I am Chair of my local residents association and I am a volunteer with Hertfordshire Police with their Drive Safe programme.  I am a keen golfer and traveller. 

Fiona Harper

 Staff Governor  - Finance, Premises & Operations                                                 Appointed: 28th June 2018                                                                                         Term of Office:  28th June 2018 - 27th June 2022 

I have worked at Stags since 2012 and have been Senior Science Technician since 2016.

After studying Microbiology at Leeds University I worked for many years as a research Microbiologist in various settings.

I have 3 children, 2 boys who attended Verulam school and a daughter who attended Stags.

I am not new to governance having served as a governor at a local primary school, during which time I also held the role of Chair. Being a staff governor is a new role for me and I am looking forward to representing our hard working support staff on the governing body.


Chris Curtis 

Chris Curtis

Parent Governor  - Finance, Premises & Operations, Curriculum, Assessment & Standards                                                                                                 Appointed: 25th September 2018                                                                            Term of Office:  25th September 2018 to 24th September 2022

I am a Parent Governor, with a daughter in Year 10.

I graduated from Aston University in 1994, and have spent the subsequent 25 years working for Network Rail, holding a variety of posts in projects and operations, located across the country. In my current role I chair a board responsible for the implementation of new timetables across the rail industry.

I have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and have a passion for developing and mentoring young people who are pursuing careers in construction and engineering. I will bring my experience in this area to help encourage the students at STAGS to consider further studies and careers in these areas, where there are a wide range of exciting opportunities.

I also have an autistic daughter, and consequently an interest in education provision for those with Special Educational Needs (SEN).



Emma Geurts

Emma Geurts

Parent Governor  - Finance, Premises & Operations, Personnel & Student Wellbeing                                                                                                                     Appointed: 7th October 2019                                                                                        Term of Office:  7th October 2019 - 6th October 2023

I became a parent governor in October 2019.  With 2 daughters who thrive at STAGS, I am now delighted to have the opportunity to give something back to the school. 

I graduated with an Honours Degree in Managerial & Administrative                                                                   Studies from Aston University in 1995 and since then have over 20 years combined experience of  working in industry (financial services in strategic, change, operations and service roles), as a school business manager and as a small business owner.  I hope that my business and financial experience will help our school to maintain its outstanding status and ambition to provide the best possible learning environment for the students.

Alun Davies 

Alun Davies

Co-opted Governor  - Finance, Premises & Operations                                        Appointed: 25th September 2019                                                                                    Term of Office:  25th September 2019 to 24th September 2023

I was born in Brazil and attended private school there until the age of ten before returning to the UK where I went through the state school and university system in the UK.  I studied sports science and maths at Loughborough University graduating in 1995. I then passed professional accounting qualifications and worked for large financial services firms in London, Zurich and New York.

I have previously been a governor in Islington and have an interest in supporting children from challenged backgrounds. I moved to St Albans with my wife in 2011 and we now have four young children.

I currently work for a management consultancy where we specialise in data analytics projects in both the public and private sectors.

Keelin Keogh

 Staff Governor  - Personnel &  Student Wellbeing                                                     Appointed: 23rd September 2019                                                                                         Term of Office:  23rd September 2019 to 22nd September 2023

I am an experienced teacher with a passion for improvement. I see creating opportunities for cross curricular as a lens through which to reinforce and embolden our world class teaching and learning at STAGS.  My English, Film and Media subject area allows me to monitor and focus on social and emotional skills in learning.  As a link governor for Primary I would like                                                              to track Literacy and achievement for an eleven year learning journey whilst continuing to promote work / life balance.

Amy Fotheringham

Staff Governor  - Curriculum, Assessments & Standards                                  Appointed: 23rd September 2019                                                                                          Term of Office:  23rd September 2019 to 22nd September 2023

Over the last five years at STAGS, I have been able to implement and instil my love of learning and learning styles through my overseeing of Science and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as well as enrichment opportunities like the expeditions to Norway and South America. Through Staff Governance, I will now also be able to review and promote practice                                                          and procedures across the school - keeping wellbeing at the centre of all that we do at STAGS. 

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134