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Our Governors

The Governors provide a strategic role in moving the school forward. They are involved in the life of the school and act as a ‘critical friend’ in all aspects of the school’s performance. Their vision is to ‘Champion Remarkable Children’ by providing excellence in all that we do and ensuring this leads to achieving the best outcomes for children.

We are always interested to hear from perspective new Governors, and governors can receive free training as part of their induction and, subsequently, on a range of topics through the school’s contract with Trust Governors Services and Bright Futures Educational Trust.

Ben Spivey

Chair of Governors

I am a solicitor who lives locally in Sale with my husband and very spoiled Labrador – we can all usually be found outside walking or in the pub enjoying lunch after that walk! I strongly believe that we must ‘Champion Remarkable Children’, whatever that looks like for each child. It is an honour and pleasure to be able to contribute my professional skills towards my role as Chair of Governors. 3 words people would use to describe me are reliable, personable and proactive.

Barbara Jarkowski

Vice Chair of Governors

I have recently retired from my role as Trafford’s SEN Advisory Service Manager and SEN Early Years Consultant. I wanted to be a governor at the Orchards as I still feel I have a lot to offer children and families in the Trafford Area. Three words people would use to describe me are: fun, supportive and friendly.

Helen O’Brien

Head of School

.I have been head at The Orchard’s for 6 years and have loved every minute! It has been a great privilege to watch as the school has gone from strength to strength both in terms of Governance and its offer for disabled children across Trafford. I really enjoy working alongside the governing body to ensure that we are providing the very best for our children, their families and our staff team. It is a joy to work alongside a group of individuals who share the school’s aspirational visions and values and provide such a lot of support as well as challenge. 

Kate Milburn

Co-opted Governor

I have joined The Orchards School as a Co-opted Governor this year. My position as Assistant Principal at Melland High School provides me with the knowledge and experience to play a supportive and dedicated role within the governing body.  I am passionate about working with children with additional needs and ensuring high quality teaching and learning for all, as well as ensuring the best possible outcomes for pupils and their families through enriched provision and specialist pedagogy. I am thrilled to be working with all at the Orchards and look forward to being part of the school community.

Sophie Fox


I am a claimant clinical negligence solicitor who had a previous life as an ice-skater. I want to be a governor to get involved in something different and to help and support the school where I can. I am finding it really interesting and look forward to getting to know the school, pupils, parents and teachers as we go forward. People would describe me as friendly, thoughtful, and I hope funny (but that might just be me!)

James Hourihan


I am a father of two children who are both at university living with my partner in Sale where I run a training company. Being a school governor is as much about supporting schools as it is learning from the experience. I am confident, knowledgeable and caring.

Lynda Cawley

Staff Governor


Parent Governor


Parent Governors

We are not currently accepting nominations for Parent Governor.

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
The Orchards School
Audley Avenue
Stretford M32 9TG