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College Directors & Members

DIRECTORS

Peter Lauener (Chair)

In addition to his role at Orchard Hill College, Peter is Chair of the Newcastle College Group, the largest group of colleges in the further education sector; and of the Construction Industry Training Board, which works on behalf of employers to invest a levy paid by 20,000 employers to improve training and skills in the construction sector. He is also a non-executive director of Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he takes delight in supporting an institution which is one of four standalone children’s hospitals in the UK and is greatly cherished by the people of Sheffield. He is also trustee of Educators International, a small third world development charity which specialises in linking education administrators from the UK with their counterparts in developing countries.

Peter took on these roles following a 40 year career in the public sector, with a focus for most of that time on the funding and organisation of the education system and in particular the post 16 education and skills system, including higher education.

Rama Venchard

Rama Venchard

Rama runs his own consultancy company specialising in project management with expertise in IT Service Management, Service Improvement and Business Process Change.  Since 2005, he has worked with schools and Trusts to facilitate the set-up of Academies, University Technical Colleges, Studio Schools and Free Schools.  He is a Trustee on three Academy Trust boards and assisted in the set-up of several other Multi Academy Trusts and their boards.  He currently works with multiple Trusts leading on their Academy conversions, re-brokerages, mergers and Free Schools projects.  Rama brings a wealth of knowledge from over twenty years in the retail, hospitality and banking sectors and over ten years working in the Academies sector.  He enjoys good food, good music and good company.

Dr David Watkins

David WatkinsDavid graduated with a degree in Chemistry from the University of York and was then awarded a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education before embarking on his career as a teacher and, more latterly, a manager in the Further Education College sector.  He rose through the ranks becoming Principal of Hackney College, then Vauxhall College, and then Carshalton College from where he retired in 2011.  Along the way, he achieved a PhD by part-time study from the University of London, wrote a couple of textbooks, and for many years he was the Honorary Treasurer of the Association for College Management.

Amongst other things since his retirement, David has returned to teaching chemistry, he has assisted and supported senior managers in education who are experiencing employment issues, and he has joined the Qualifications Governance Committee of the Royal Society for Public Health.

To the Orchard Hill College Board he brings expertise and experience relating to the post-16 college sector and he also makes particular contributions in the areas of finance, audit and HR.  Above all, David is passionate about directing resources to deliver high quality learning experiences which help students with additional needs to realise their potential and their ambitions.

Julie Stockdale 

Julie has worked in education for 17 years holding a range of senior positions at school and local authority level and within the Department for Education.

These roles have included the development and implementation of strategic programmes to support educational improvement; managing complex stakeholders; finance and business management and maintaining key relationships in a political environment.

Currently Julie is an interim Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary for a medium sized mainstream multi academy trust (MAT) in Surrey, with responsibility for the oversight and smooth running of the business and operational functions. Prior to this role, for six years, she was the strategic lead for SEND and School Organisation within Surrey County Council leading an unprecedented basic need expansion programme and developing an improvement strategy for SEND in the LA. Both roles had a strong focus on robust financial management.

Julie is committed to supporting the development of all students to achieve their fullest potential, facilitating positive enabling environments and seeking opportunities to effect real and lasting system improvement for this to be possible.

John Prior 

John became CEO for OHC&AT in September 2019 having previously been the Deputy CEO/Executive Principal through a period of significant organisational growth and development. Before joining OHC&AT in 2013, initially as Principal of Carew Academy, John spent many years as a teacher and senior leader in both the special and mainstream sectors, including leading two other special schools.  John has spent his career championing the abilities of, and advocating for, the best possible provision for children, young people and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.

MEMBERS

Peter Holmes, Chair

John Brown

Darren Coghlan

Roger Mills

 

 

 

This is a very exciting and pivotal moment in the lives of St Dominic’s, Brantridge and Grafham Grange schools.  Academy conversion under the sponsorship of Orchard Hill College Academy Trust will help secure their futures and, no doubt, lead to better outcomes for pupils and students, families and carers, staff and all stakeholders.

Ken Cowdery, Chair of Governors

Latest News

Guest speaker – Lisa Watkins!

We were thrilled that our Occupational Health (OH) Practitioner Lisa Watkins, was invited by the Lead Professor at the Royal Society of Medicine to present at a webinar for OH Physicians and OH Nurses on ‘The challenges presented by Covid-19 …

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OHC&AT supports World Mental Health Day

The 10th October 2020 marks World Mental Health Day, a topic that OHC&AT supports wholeheartedly as an organisation. Laurie Cornwell, Executive Principal/Deputy CEO put pen to paper to illustrate how the Trust takes care of its staff, pupils’ and students’ …

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Healing Together

COVID 19 has increased the anxieties of some students. So, we are proud that staff across the Trust have completed their ‘Healing Together’ training. Healing together is a programme designed to support young people who are vulnerable as a result the COVID-19 pandemic. The …

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OHC&AT awarded COVID-19 funding from Youth Endowment Fund  

OHC&AT in partnership with Innovating Minds has been awarded a grant from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people who are vulnerable as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.   Through ongoing monitoring and assessment of our safeguarding and wellbeing offer, it became clear that students face multiple challenges in relation to COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions. Their anxieties …

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