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Meet the Governors

The Governing board for Maple Tree Primary is selected from different categories of people; staff, parents, the Local Authority and co-opted community members.  Currently the Governors work with a Full Governing Board and a number of smaller committees that meet less regularly and these are for Headteacher Performance Management and Pay.

Committee Membership

  Full Governing Body:

  • Andy King - Chair
  • David Walker - Vice Chair
  • Jacque Holmes
  • Joanna Hewitt
  • Laura Grace
  • Alex van der Werk
  • Vicki Green
  • Cath Bainbridge
  • Kim Varley

  Pay Committee:

  Headteacher Performance Management:

  • Andy King
  • Jacque Holmes
  • Laura Grace
  • Cath Bainbridge (Advisory)
  • Andy King
  • Joanna Hewitt


Appeal Panels: Selected as required

Links - area of responsibility

  • Safeguarding/Child Protection/Prevent: Alex van der Werk
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability: Joanna Hewitt
  • Early Years: 
  • Health and Safety: David Walker
  • Pupil Premium and Sports Premium: Laura Grace
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: Jacque Holmes

Curriculum Team Link Governors:

  • Knowledge of the World - Laura Grace, Andy King
  • STEM - Andy King, Laura Grace, David Walker
  • Creativity - Joanna Hewitt, David Walker
  • Healthy Bodies and Minds - Jacque Holmes, Alex van der Werk

Andy King - Chair of Governors

Having served as a parent governor and Chair of the Curriculum Committee for four years, I agreed to become Chair of the Governing Body in 2022. My passion is for the curriculum: making sure it meets the needs of all our children, while providing appropriate stretch and challenge. Along with other governors, we also set the vision for the school and support the implementation of the School Development Plan. Both my children attended Maple Tree, although they have now moved on to secondary school.

Outside of the school, I work as a Senior Product Manager in Tesco's Technology team, improving engineering effectiveness. In my spare time I'm a Cub Scout Leader at 1st Sandy Scouts, and I also serve as a governor at Sandy Secondary and Moggerhanger Primary Schools.

David Walker - Vice Chair

I became a governor for the school in the summer term of 2023. Having seen first hand the quality of education my children have received here, with my eldest currently in year 4 and my youngest in Reception, I was proud to become part of the already successful organisation behind the scenes and enjoy being able to bring my own expertise and experiences to the table.

My main background is in driving tuition, a career I’ve followed for over 15 years. During that time, I have also been a director of a local driving school company, as well as chairperson of a local driving instructor association.

I believe very strongly in seeing all children prosper through the education they deserve, and I hope to continue the tradition of moving Maple Tree Primary School forward along its path of success.

Cath Bainbridge -  Headteacher

I am the proud Head of Maple Tree Primary.

I have spent 20+ years teaching in primary schools in Hertfordshire, where I taught in both KS1 and KS2, before I moved to Maple Tree in September 2015 when I started as Deputy Head. I became Head in January 2018 and am passionate about the school and making a difference to the lives of all of our children. Being a Headteacher is an absolute privilege and being part of the Governing Body means I am part of a team who work hard; our values and ambitions determine the achievements of the school and our common belief that school must provide the best for your children is evident in all we do. 

Jacque Holmes - Co-opted Governor

I have worked in the Education Sector since 1988, primarily in Further Education and Higher Education, initially as a Lecturer and then in a management capacity.
I ended my paid employment as a Careers Adviser in an Alternative Academy for 11-16 year olds excluded from mainstream education.
Although now retired, I joined Maple Tree as a Governor in June 2022 and am delighted to be supporting the Head, her staff team and the pupils to be the best they can be.

Kim Varley - Co-opted Governor

As School Manager I have been fortunate enough to become a co-opted member of the Governing body.  I am looking forward to working with Governors who, like me, are enthusiastic about shaping the future of our school to ensure the best education possible for all our pupils.

Alex van der Werk - Governor

I have worked for Statutory Children’s Services within Local Government for most of my working life, with a particular focus on Safeguarding & Child Protection. My background also includes work in both Private and Voluntary Sectors, supporting children and adolescents with complex SEND needs.

I'm incredibly passionate about achieving good outcomes for children, and a strong advocate for creating diverse opportunities that encourage and stimulate children to achieve their potential.

I am fully committed to supporting the school in its performance, its role in the community, as well as the values and behaviours that are nurtured through its curriculum, teaching practises and daily interactions. 

I currently sit on the Curriculum Committee as well as being the link Governor for:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Child Looked After (CLA)/Looked After Children (LAC)
  • Anti-bullying

Laura Grace - Parent Governor

I have been a parent at Maple Tree since 2014, with one child currently in Year 6 and another who is now at secondary having spent their primary years at Maple Tree. I have always taken an interest in school life and am proud to have been involved with the PTA throughout this time, including 4 years as chair of Friends of Maple Tree. My background is in finance, with the past 6 years being in school finance. I am pleased to be a part of a dedicated governing body, and to be able to put my experience and knowledge to use as a parent governor and help develop the future of the school.

Joanna Hewitt - Co-opted Governor

I moved to Sandy in May 2016, following a career in Private Client finance and philanthropy, when I hoped to use my experience in the voluntary sector.

I was delighted to become a Co-opted Governor of Maple Tree School in the Autumn of 2023, joining a dedicated team of individuals, from diverse backgrounds, who work together with the Head and her team, to build both a challenging and happy environment,  in which children thrive. My area of responsibility lies in Special Needs and Disability.

Alongside my Governor role, I am a Sandy Town Councillor and since May 2023, Mayor.  I am also non-executive Director and Chair of Youth Inspired C.I.C., a small independent learning and social care facility based in Bedford,  enabling young people with Learning Difficulties, Disabilities, Autism or Mental Health conditions to learn, grow and achieve.

Vicki Green - Staff Governor

I have been a member of staff at Maple Tree since the school opened in September 2000.Over the last 23 years I have worked in most areas in the school as my role as Teaching Assistant and Play Assistant.I am very passionate about achieving good outcomes for the children. I was voted in as Staff Governor in November 2022 and I am honoured to be part of the dedicated Governing Body and look forward to supporting the school’s development along its path of success.