Local Advisory Board

What is a Local Advisory Board (LAB)?

The Orchard and Shepherdswell Local Advisory Board is the local tier of governance of East Midlands Academy Trust, and it acts as a sub-committee to the Trust Board. Members of the Local Advisory Board as known as Governors.

The key roles of the LAB are:

  • To offer proactive support and constructive challenge to the Headteacher
  • To advise the board of trustees about local issues they need to consider that affect the academy.
  • To ensure that EMAT vision, mission and values are evident throughout the Academy
  • Represent the local community.
  • Represent the Academy in its community.

 These roles translate specifically into the following tasks:

  • ensure that all children receive the best possible education
  • ensure safeguarding is effective
  • support the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team in the development and implementation of the School Development Plan and other relevant plans,
  • ensure the implementation of Academy policies.
  • regularly review the Academy’s performance.
  • oversee and monitor the effectiveness of local strategies
  • act as a key link between the Academy, parents, and local community.
  • support the work of the Academy in the community.

The LAB’s role is not to manage the Academy as such. This is done through the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the LAB is not required to take decisions on staff or financial matters affecting the Academy.

Governors at the LAB will gain an understanding of strategic issues that impact on the Academy and will be updated on them regularly by the Headteacher, but they are not required to have direct responsibility for them. Instead the LAB should be in a position to assess the impact of the Academy locally; how it is contributing to the local community, how it is relating to local families and how it understands local issues. This in turn, will enable the LAB to contribute effectively to decisions which may require LAB involvement.

The LAB is drawn from the staff of the school, parents and the wider community that the school serves. The usual term of office for a governor is four years but many members of the LAB stand for re-election and serve more than one term. Members of a LAB need to take a full and active role in fulfilling the role assigned to them by the Board. This will include regular visits to the Academy and attending up to six meetings per year.

To contact any of our governors, please email governance@emat.uk

Here is a list of our current governors 

Name Position
Ruth Ryan Executive Headteacher Orchard and Shepherdswell 
Chris Akpakwu Parent governor
Uday Nagaraju Co-Opted Governor
Femi Okeya Co-opted governor (CHAIR)
Emma Drinkwater Co-Opted Governor
Riyike Olateru Co-Opted Governor
Emma Mundy Staff governor Orchard
Richard Pearson  Co-Opted Governor
  • Meet our governors

    Ruth Ryan
    Executive headteacher Orchard Academy and Shepherdswell Academy

    Ruth believes all children and staff should be given the opportunity to grow and achieve their aspirations within a safe and nurturing environment, where we learn from and value one another. Ruth has been teaching for over 20 years and during her career she has taught in EYFS, KS1, KS2 and KS3.

    She has been a deputy head within two other Trust schools, Castle Academy and NIA. She has had a range of responsibilities within each school, including teaching and learning, data and assessment and inclusion, and was part of building the teaching and learning hub at Castle Academy.

    Chris Akpakwu

    Chris is an experienced business leader and human resources professional with extensive experience in banking, project management and human resources, specialising in business transformation, M&A, employee experience and leadership development. He is a Chartered member of the CIPD and an alumnus of the University of Sunderland Business School. He enjoys supporting young people with access to early careers as a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation.

    Chris is a parent governor with two children at Orchard and Shepherdswell and is looking forward to bringing insights and experience to support Orchard & Shepherdswell values and maintain high standards

    Femi Okeya

    Femi is a Principal Engineer with a broad base covering railway plant asset management, plant traction and rolling stock operations, managed services team leadership, project delivery and sponsorship of projects.

    His professional qualifications are

    • Asset Management Diploma • 2018 • Institute of Asset Management
    • Project Management Qualification (PMQ) • 2018 • Association of Project Managers
    • Managing Successful Programes Qualifications (Practitioner) • 2018 • Axelos
    • Chartered Engineer • 2015 • The Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

    Character-wise Femi is driven, quick to learn, equally comfortable taking the lead as well as being a team player, strategically minded and easy to get on with. Femi has demonstrated his leadership ability, objectivity and proven record of project delivery. Femi lives in the community the schools are based.

    Uday Nagaraju

    Uday is the founder of AI Policy labs, an international public policy think tank utilising the benefits of technology and innovation for societal development. He works at the intersection of innovation, policy, and development. Uday specialises in Artificial Intelligence for sustainable development goals and speaks and writes in the area. Uday has a Bachelors in Engineering (Computer Technology); a Masters in Science (Computer Science) from Oxford Brookes University; and a Masters in Public Administration from University College London in Development, Technology, and Innovation Policy. Uday has been the Executive President of Global Policy Insights for more than 4 years. He runs a technology consulting firm in Milton Keynes.

    Emma Mundy

    Emma is a teacher at Orchard Academy. She is part of the Year 6 team, but is also responsible for leading Maths and leading Teaching and Learning throughout the school. Emma has been a teacher for over 25 years, undertaking a variety of middle leader roles in this time. She began her career as a music / class teacher in Berkshire but made Milton Keynes her home over twenty years ago.

    Emma has a Ba (hons) in Music and Inter arts and a P.G.C.E in Primary Music. Since becoming a teacher, she has gained lots of qualifications including a Post graduate diploma in action research and she is presently working on gaining the NPQSL qualification so she can develop her skills as a senior leader. Emma has been a governor at Orchard and Shepherdswell for a year. She is developing her understanding of the role and is excited to be the SEND governor this year. Emma has been at Orchard Academy, as a teacher, for just over three years. She loves the family friendly atmosphere the school has and she enjoys going to work every day. The children are amazing!

    Richard Pearson

    Richard is a highly skilled public sector IT account executive, specializing in serving central government agencies. With more than 10 years of experience in the technology sector, he has developed extensive knowledge of various technology solutions, particularly those related to human resources.

    Richard is a proud product of Milton Keynes and attended primary, secondary, and sixth form schooling in the area before pursuing his BSc (Hons) in computing at Leeds Metropolitan University.

    In addition to his technical expertise, Richard is a personable and collaborative individual, who places a high value on building strong relationships. His time in industry has also allowed him to develop a commercial awareness that is welcomed here at the academy.

Declarations of interest

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To get in touch with Orchard Academy please click on the link below, or call us on 01908 670681

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