Rachel is the Executive Headteacher of Orchard, Southwold and Hoxton Garden Schools. She has worked as a senior leader in the Federation for 12 years. She has successfully led the development of curriculum and assessment across the schools as well as the development of action research. Rachel is also a Schools Improvement Adviser for Hackney Education.
James Gowland (Chair Of Governors)
James the Chair of Governors and a qualified accountant and finance director for a firm based in Canary Wharf. He previously has two children at Orchard Primary School and has several years of experience as a school governor.
Alberta has worked with Viridis Schools for over 14 years in an administrative function at both Orchard and Southwold schools, and has a strong knowledge of both schools’ communities. She has been part of the Governing body for several years. Currently, she is developing her academic and professional knowledge of business functions by completing a degree in Business Management.
Aya is our elected parent governor. She is a full-time artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, including the Tate and Victoria and Albert Museum. With a post-graduate degree in social policy, this combination enables her to bring creative solutions to complex problems. She was previously a charity director working on education projects with disadvantaged and refugee communities throughout the Middle East. She speaks five languages and two of her four children are currently at Southwold Primary School.
Chisara has joined us as a co-opted governor. She is a service and product specialist experienced in helping enterprises across diverse industries improve their operational performance through the application of evidence-based programme management. She has worked across various product teams to make feedback loops and communication more effective through the use of experimentation, process engineering and service design. Chisara is deeply invested in organisational culture and helping companies to be more psychologically safe and equally opportunistic.
Claudia is a staff governor with a strong interest in the education system. She has a good knowledge of strategic planning, financial and administrative systems and the roles and responsibilities of the Governing body. She speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently in addition to English.
Hannah is a consultant working on campaigns in the UK and internationally. Recently, she has worked on international trade with SumOfUs.org, helped to train campaigners with ActionAid International, and authored a report on the future of campaigns with Save the Children International. She was previously a member of the founding team of 38 Degrees, and before that was an education researcher with the thinktank Demos. She is on the board of a youth organisation called Envision, and lives in Hackney.
Cllr Ian Rathbone
Ian Rathbone has been a councillor for Lea Bridge ward since 2002 and has worked hard to build up the community and improve the environment in the ward, from Millfields Park and the River Lea to Clapton Pond and Pond House. He has been a school governor in Hackney for more than 30 years, and been Chair of Governors of several primary schools, with children who came through Hackney Schools. He has been a lecturer and Trainer in Journalism with the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ). He is also chair of Hackney Community Law Centre and campaigning to improve legal aid services and general advice in the borough.
Kay has a background in media and has worked for national newspapers. She has a good knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the governing body and strong communication skills. Kay works in a number of local community organisations. She liaises with Hackney Council, the Mayor of London and local businesses, helping reinvigorate the local economy by creating an innovative community market which celebrates diversity and encourages youth engagement. She is passionate about art and culture, and runs children’s art workshops.
Laura was a Teach First secondary school English teacher before taking up a position as a management consultant in the financial services people and change sector. Laura currently works in a large UK retail bank, where she has gained extensive experience of curriculum planning and training design in a regulated environment.
Lenna is a member of the teaching team at Orchard Primary School, having qualified in 2019. She has good communication skills and a strong interest in both community matters and in the education of children. She has extensive experience working with children in schools.
Samson was born in Clapton and has been a resident of Hackney for 26 years. He is currently studying a master’s degree in Data Science at Queen Mary University of London and works part-time as a sound engineer for a local audiobook production company. Samson joined us initially as part of the Hackney’s Young Governors initiative before joining the Full Governing Body.
Victoria has a background in government and was a Special Adviser to Justine Greening, the former Secretary of State for Education. She currently works as a consultant advising clients on government policy. She lives in Hackney and in her spare time she volunteers at Mossbourne Community Academy teaching coding and Python.