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Our Governors

Welcome to our Local Academy Committee


From left to right: Chris Balderstone (Chair), Andy Limbert (Vice Chair ), Emma Satchwell-Graham, Rachel Rice, Kim Ritchie, Laura Partridge and Roger Owen, Ann-Marie Smith.

Deanshanger Primary School is part of the Grand Union Partnership Multi Academy Trust. Each school within the Trust has its own Local Academy Committee with a constitution of 10 Governors which includes two parent governors, one staff governor and the Headteacher.

Effective Governance at any level in a Multi Academy Trust should have a focus on:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The Local Academy Committee has a strategic role to provide support and challenge to the operational management of the school by the Headteacher and represents the interests of the local community.  

Governors at Deanshanger Primary School meet twice a term and use these meetings to oversee and monitor school improvement and financial health and providing constructive challenge to school leaders. Governors visit the school regularly to monitor school improvement and the progress that the school is making and to gain assurance that the school is fulfilling its key statutory duties.

Since the school is part of the Grand Union Partnership Multi Academy Trust, governor responsibilities are delegated to them by the Trust Board. Please use the link below to see the Scheme of Delegation the trust adopts:

Grand Union Partnership Multi Academy Trust Governance

All Trustee and Governor roles are voluntary, and we are very grateful for the significant commitment that all of the people involved make at every level of governance across the trust.

If you would like to find out more about any of these roles, we would be delighted to talk with you, please contact Rachel Rice in the first instance.

Statutory information

Deanshanger governors, their roles and terms of office are shown below:

Chris Balderstone - Chair of Governors                                                               Term of Office: 25/03/2024 - 24/03/2028

Former governor of a local primary and several multi-academy trust primary and secondary schools. Solicitor since 1988, with experience in leisure retail, house building and education sectors. Chris hopes to bring commercial and technical support to the governors and the school.

Andy Limbert - Vice Chair                                                                                          Term of Office: 19/07/2019 - 13/09/2026

Andy has lived in Deanshanger for more than 30 years and his now grown-up children attended both the primary and secondary schools. He is active within the village community serving as Parish Councillor and, together with his wife, starting and running the Deanshanger Feast for over 16 years.  

Andy has worked within education as a careers advisor, mentor and other supporting roles and believes in the importance of sound education. He hopes to bring his knowledge and experience gained in those roles to support the teachers and governors.

Emma Satchwell-Graham – Parent Governor                                                    Term of Office: 27/09/2022 – 27/09/2026

Emma joined the governing body in July 2022. She is a Celebrant and spent her career working in the catering and hospitality industry, with the last 20 years working within the education sector as both Operations Director and Sales Director. Emma has a vast experience of working with education clients from large universities and colleges to prestigious independent schools and from large secondary schools and MATS to small primary schools, working with all stakeholders including parents, governors, students, staff and management. Emma is a people person with excellent communication skills and understands the importance of policies and procedures and is willing to speak up and challenge the status quo if she believes it needs to be challenged.

Kimberley Ritchie – Staff Governor                                                                         Term of Office: 07/11/2022 – 06/11/2026

Kimberley qualified as a teacher in 2000 and has taught in schools in Milton Keynes and Northants. She has taught Reception and all the way up to Year 5, and particularly enjoys teaching in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Kimberley believes a strong partnership between staff, parents and governors is important in giving the children at Deanshanger Primary School the best opportunities in their learning and school life generally. 

Roger Owen – Trust Governor                                                                                 Term of Office: 12/10/2022 – 11/10/2026

Roger has lived in Milton Keynes for nearly forty years. His three children all attended local schools and two of his grandchildren live in Wolverton and also go to local schools.

Roger is now retired, but for the majority of his working life he had a career in secondary education teaching mostly Chemistry and Physics. Since retiring, he has also served on the Governing Body of a Federation of two Milton Keynes primary schools.

Roger is familiar with the duties and responsibilities associated with school governorship and is aware of the numerous expectations placed on teachers and support staff. However, despite the many and various challenges involved in delivering a curriculum that is subject to frequent, and at times speculative, changes, Roger is aware that it is the welfare, wellbeing and development of the children that must be the prime consideration in all aspects of each pupil’s experience of school – including those affected directly or indirectly by actions or decisions taken by the Governing Body.

Laura Partridge – Trust Governor                                                                           Term of Office: 12/10/2022 – 11/10/2026

 I am a primary school teacher employed at New Bradwell School, part of the Grand Union Partnership. I have 19 years’ experience in primary education, and as well as teaching Year 6 full time, I am part of the Senior Management Team of New Bradwell School as team leader for Year 5 and 6, a role I have undertaken for thirteen years.

Subjects of particular interest to me include history and art, and I believe very passionately in a broad and balanced curriculum that seeks to develop the ‘whole child’. I also believe strongly in education that makes links to the local area and community, developing reciprocal relationships with local organisations and providing a sense of cohesion and belonging for all children.

I am a parent myself to two boys, aged 9 and 13. My weekends are often spent cheering enthusiastically from the side of a muddy football pitch, or in the kitchen cooking and baking with my family; homemade pizza is a favourite!

As SEND governor of Deanshanger Primary School, I hope to offer support to the headteacher and existing governing body through my experience working in primary education and more specifically within the Grand Union Partnership, and help to ensure successful outcomes for all pupils.

Ann-Marie Smith – Trust Governor                                                                           Term of Office: 05/03/2024 – 04/03/2028

I have 17 years’ experience teaching in secondary schools in Luton and Milton Keynes and am currently an Assistant Headteacher at The Radcliffe School in Wolverton, having been there for the past 10  years. I am passionate about developing equity and community relationships within education and firmly believe in schools working with their community to provide all children with the opportunities for success. 

I am a mother of two boys, with one of them still attending New Bradwell school. We are an active family who enjoy athletics and hiking and often spend time conquering the peaks in North Wales, Scotland, or The Lake District.