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 
Kirsty Weatherspoon Staff Governor Shepherdswell
Chris Akpakwu Parent governor
Riyike Olateru Co-Opted Governor (Chair)
Bekky Salako 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

    Riyike Olateru

    Riyike is a strategic and analytical professional with experience within fashion and hospitality industries. Riyike specializes in forecasting, analysing data and developing key business insights to guide decision making and strategy development. Riyike has a BSc from Northampton University and MBA from University of Sunderland.

    She is passionate about advocacy for children leading her to be a youth mentor and now a governor within EMAT. Riyike lives within Milton Keynes with her husband and daughter where Orchard and Sheperdswell Academy are located.

    Kirsty Weatherspoon

    Kirsty is an Early Years specialist teacher and has been working within the sector including KS1 for over a decade. During this time, she has been a both a team leader and manager of an Early Years setting where she enjoys teaching young children and instils valuable hands on learning experiences. This helps the children make sense of the world around them - thus building strong key foundations as they begin their educational journey.

    She has an Early Years teacher qualification (EYTS) and is very much looking forward to obtaining her Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) this year. 

    Having previously run a pre-school which was charity owned and part of the committee she ensured the smooth running of the Early Years setting. She is also a member of a local carnival committee who are dedicated all year round to organise and co-ordinate a fun packed family weekend out every summer.

    Kirsty is currently a Reception teacher at Shepherdswell Academy and joined in August 2022. She is also part of the school PTA.


Declarations of interest

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