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Governor Profiles

Michael Nadasdy

Chair of Governors, Parent Governor

I became a governor because I wanted to get closer to my children’s experience at school; little did I realise that was not what was going to happen! Instead I have a very broad overview of the whole school and get to contribute to the success of every child that attends Purwell. Even better in my view!

I am the current Chair of Governors and I am also chairing the School Improvement Committee until our other governors gain some more experience. I have subject lead responsibility for Safeguarding, Child Protection, Children Looked After, Anti-radicalisation, English, Physical Education, and PSHE and Citizenship.

I work for Hertfordshire County Council as a programme officer for safer communities, which is essentially a strategic, project management role.

Richard Cano


I joined Purwell School in 2000 as the Deputy Head and taught year 6 for six years. In 2006, I became the Headteacher and have enjoyed the continuous challenge that the role brings.

Purwell is a wonderful school to work in and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the journey of progress that the team is all working hard to continue.

Stella Barnes

Co-opted Governor

I am the School Business Manager and I have worked at the school, in the office, since November 2000. My own three children were pupils at the school at that time. I was the School Secretary, working alone in the office. My duties included being Clerk to the Governing Body.

Over the years, as the demands on the school office increased, further members of office staff have been employed, and I became the School Business Manager in September 2012.

I became a governor in February 2014, and relinquished clerking duties. I am a member of both the Resources Committee and the School Improvement Committee. I am the link governor for Science, Art and Design and Design and Technology.

Carolyn Bechman

Co-opted Governor

I became a governor in November 2015 because I am interested in children’s education. I wanted to contribute towards the school’s success and help future generations to receive the best education.

My subject lead is History and I am responsible for Equality. I am also on the Resources Committee.

I previously worked as a sub editor for an information security magazine and am currently taking a career break to be a full-time mum.

Matthew Hillman

Parent Governor

Clare Lewis

Staff Governor

I am the Deputy Headteacher and SENCo at Purwell Primary School. I began my teaching career at a local Hitchin school, so have been in the area for many years. I have had various roles over my 16 years teaching experience, including deputy DSP for safeguarding, many different subject leader roles, various leadership roles and two terms as acting headteacher at York Road Nursery School.

I also have a son who is three, so I am now increasing my knowledge of early years provision and their curriculum and resources. I have been a governor for 7 years at Purwell and also sit on another Governing Body. I enjoy spending quality family time at weekends.

Emel Morris

Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing Body in 2014 as a co-opted governor. I wanted to get involved with the school and to contribute to its ongoing improvement. It has been truly eye opening to learn the extent of the operation and I am regularly impressed by the quality and commitment of everyone at our school.

I am the link governor for Spanish, Staff Development and the school’s website. I meet with the staff leads for these areas regularly, to learn about their progress and plans. In addition, I am a member of the School Improvement Committee.

I have spent 17 years in Local Government and currently work in IT. I have a background in Marketing and Communications and have a keen interest in business transformation.

Michelle Sprake

Co-opted governor

I joined the Governing Body in 2018 as a co-opted governor to get involved with my local community, gain a better understanding of the education system ahead of my child starting school and to support the hardworking and committed people who work at Purwell school.
Following a PhD in Physics, I am now a Systems Engineer at a major aerospace company in the area, working on cutting edge Space missions that will enable us to understand more about our Solar System. My aim is to apply my ~10 years experience in industry towards continuing to improve the school.
I am a member of the School Improvement Committee, and I am the subject link governor for History, Healthy Schools and EYFS.

Julian Walshaw

Parent Governor

I have three children at the school and was delighted to be appointed a parent governor in January 2017.  I am now a member of the Resources Committee and will be acting as the subject link governor for PE.

My professional background lies in the law.  I have been a solicitor for fifteen years, the last five years in local government.  I am currently a Senior Corporate Employment, Education and Equalities Lawyer for a London Borough.

I look forward to helping the school continue its success and supporting the excellent and committed people working for and with the school.

Emily Wilson

Parent Governor

I became a parent governor in April 2014 because I wanted to be involved with supporting and developing Purwell School to be the best that it can be.

I am the link governor for Geography and Pupil Premium Funding and I am on the School Improvement Committee.

I am a Speech and Language Therapist.