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Our Members

Julia Hayes

Julia retired from teaching in July 2015 after 32 years as a primary school teacher in London and Kent covering all years from EYFS through to Key Stage 2. Her experience is across a range of curriculum areas including Deputy Head of a large Primary School, Key Stage 1 Leader and Inclusion Leader. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team at her last school, she was a trained DSL and had responsibility for Pupil Premium.

Michael Costello 

Michael has been involved in governance for almost 20 years since becoming a Governor at the Maths School in Rochester.   He was Chair of the Williamson Trust, which is a MAT with two secondary schools and three primary schools, which is now merged with Leigh Academies Trust.  He has experience of governance in both maintained schools and academies, and in his role as a National Leader of Governance has supported a number of schools including as a member of an Interim Executive Board (IEB). 

Rachel Gordon

Rachel has been a Mathematics teacher for over 20 years in state, international and independent settings. She currently holds the position of Assistant Head (teaching and learning) at a school in London. She has a wealth of experience supporting teachers to reflect and improve their teaching. Rachel has two children who are in Key Stage 2 at Barming Primary School. She has been a member of the Orchard Academy Trust since 2019.

Nigel Smetham

Nigel is a retired water industry professional and senior manager with skills in staff management, budget planning and monitoring, leadership and chairing.  He has specialist expertise in management of compliance, governance and assurance procedures.  Nigel is also a Trustee and has been Chair of Trustees since 2013. Previously an experienced National Leader of Governance, Nigel continues to support governing bodies at other local schools as a Local Leader of Governance.