Here are short portraits of our Governors:
Ailsa Firth joined the Local Governing Body in March 2018. She is the parent of a student at Bradon Forest. Ailsa has a strong interest in education and how to bring out the best in young people. She is currently the Human Resources Director at a locally based employer – Arval UK, part of the BNP Paribas Group. Last year, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility focus, Ailsa led the Arval Inspires Programme aimed at partnering and supporting local schools. They have assisted in areas such as CV writing, interview skills, work experience, and volunteering on environmental projects. They have also provided coaching to members of school middle/senior leadership teams. Ailsa has been working most closely with Nova Hreod School having formed a partnership via Business In The Community (BITC). This experience has provided the stimulus for her to become a School Governor.
Luke Jowett is a Customer Services and Sales professional who has undertaken various leadership roles across a number of industry sectors including Banking, Utilities, Recruitment, Retail and Technology. He is proficient in undertaking complex business change programmes throughout the project life cycle. Luke has experience of end-to-end people management including initial recruitment into effective organisational staffing structures, target setting, performance management, and provision of appropriate training and career development. Luke is also experienced in analysing performance data and reporting against critical success factors and key performance indicators. He has designed innovative employee engagement initiatives such as 360 degree feedback, implementing staff surveys and running ‘internal voice of the people forums’.
Nick Lindley joined the Local Governing Body in July 2017. Now on his second career he currently works for Cranfield University at Shrivenham, having previously been Head of Business Planning for a national construction company. His first career was in the Royal Marines where he served for a varied and well-travelled thirty years. Nick’s background is in project and change management, leadership, team building, education and strategy development. He joined the LGB in order to give something back after a privileged military career that included substantial investment through education. He also wanted to contribute to the community where he now lives. Nick has specific responsibility on the LGB for Global Citizenship and Modern Foreign Languages. He is married to Emma, who works as a Student Support Advisor at the School. They have two grown up children.
Emma McCarthy joined the Local Governing Body in March 2016. She has been a Primary school teacher since September 1994 working across the primary age group and is currently working in part time at a North Swindon primary school. Emma’s specialism is Religious Education and she is vice chair of the Swindon SACRE and runs a hub for Swindon RE teachers. She has two children, one attending Bradon Forest School. Emma is a member of the North Swindon Baptist church and enjoys watching the Swindon Wildcats Ice Hockey team with her family.
Jim Reid is a semi-retired business professional now consulting and coaching companies and business professionals. He has worked for over 30 years directing business strategy in large corporate organisations with experience in change management, six sigma along with leading large project teams to include Purchasing, Engineering, Contract Management, Legal, Pricing, Asset management and Credit Control. Working for himself has provided him with a great deal of flexibility, allowing him to be greatly involved within the local community serving as a Parish Councillor and as a trustee of three charities in Purton.
John Scott joined the Local Governing Body in March 2016. In September 2017 he took on the role of Chair of the Local Governing Body. John is a retired professional with experience in Programme Management, Change Management, HR including recruitment, performance management and staff development, Coaching and Mentoring, Financial Planning and Management, Strategic Planning, Risk Management and Health and Safety. He is also a trained Executive Coach. Prior to moving to Purton in August 2014, John had extensive involvement as a governor at a small rural C of E Primary School. He has held the positions of Vice Chair, Chair of the Headteacher’s Performance Management Committee and was a member of the Pay Committee. He was also the Training Liaison Governor and the certified Safer Recruitment Governor.
Jackie Lister joined the Local Governing Body in March 2021. She is an experienced Modern Foreign Languages teacher of 17 years standing, having previously been Head of Key Stage 3 at Abbeyfield School in Chippenham and Second in Faculty at Hayesfield in Bath. She has worked part-time at Bradon Forest as a French and German teacher since September 2018, allowing her to spend her non-working time looking after her two boys. She is keen to develop students’ horizons beyond the classroom and enjoys participating in school trips such as Boulogne sur Mer and the Christmas markets in Aachen. She is a keen clarinettist and is an active member of the staff band at Bradon Forest. She joined the LGB team as she wanted to gain a greater insight into the workings of a school beyond a departmental level. She is very approachable and keen to be a sounding board for staff viewpoints and concerns to be discussed and brought to the LGB.
Debbie Barlow joined the local governing body in March 2021. She is a Chartered Accountant and is currently a Director at Ernst & Young. Debbie has strong leadership, coaching and team working skills and has spent many years working with large international organisations helping them on complex business issues. In this role she listens to the organisation’s challenge/opportunity and then collaborates with her colleagues and the organisation to create a valuable solution. In doing this Debbie creates trusted client relationships and delivers revenue growth for Ernst & Young. Debbie is a parent of a student at Bradon Forest and lives locally. She is excited at the development of the 6th form offering and welcomes the opportunity to become involved in the future success and growth of the school.
Dave Ambrose is a managing partner in a consulting firm and has held several senior leadership positions in large financial services organisations. Dave has a strong strategy, technology, innovation and enterprise architecture background. He has experience of managing large and distributed teams and budgets, performance management, organisational culture change, change and risk management and working in complex and regulated environments. Dave has also mentored several start-ups and small businesses. He is interested in the Governor role and keen to give back to the local community.
Ian Adam is a procurement professional with over 20 year’s experience in leadership roles in multinational organisations across different industries. He is currently leading a commercial team in the Ministry of Defence. He has designed and implemented strategic change programmes and has created successful people focussed functions in complicated policy led organisations. Ian is looking forward to bringing a different viewpoint to the board and using his experience to support the school’s continued success. He has two children currently at the school, with another to join next academic year. When not acting as chief chauffeur, he enjoys mountain biking and freefall parachuting.