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Governors

Our governors draw on years of experience and diverse skill sets to raise standards for children in our care. They share our vision of exceptional education for every under fives, and are willing to make the big changes we need to realise this vision. They spend lots of time ‘on the ground’ seeing our work in action, and they hold our team to account. Thanks to our governors’ challenge, guidance and support, we give our children the best possible education.

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Rachel Martin

Rachel worked as an Early Years Professional in a local nursery for over twenty years. When she moved into a finance role in a charity ten years ago, she became a governor so she could continue shaping children’s futures for the better. With her financial experience, she shares sound budgeting advice with the governing board.

“Roots Federation is an exciting venture. It draws on expertise from all three nurseries to create an education that opens doors for children. I look forward to playing my part in Roots’ bright future.”

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Gemma Hall

Gemma has worked in education for over twenty years. Passionate about supporting children with special educational needs, she’s worked as a SENCo, InCo, Inclusion Leader and Deputy Head. Currently a DSPL Manager and SEND Lead, Gemma supports SENCos in Watford, Three Rivers, Bushey and Radlett. She ensures that schools, settings, professionals, services and ISL collaborate and share best practice, so that children of all abilities can access an ambitious curriculum. In her role as governor, she brings unrivalled knowledge and experience of SEND provision.

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Matthew Brown

Matthew joined Oxhey Nursery in 2019 as Chair of Governors. During his tenure, he recruited the current co-headteachers of Roots, and oversaw Oxhey’s transition into the Roots Federation Matthew is our Oxhey Link Governor and the Safeguarding Governor. In his spare time, he is a scout leader for the 64th Bushey & Oxhey Beaver Scouts.

“As the single parent to a four year old who attended Oxhey Nursery, I feel deeply invested in the long term growth and sustainability of Oxhey Nursery, and Early Years provision in Hertfordshire more broadly.”

Patrick Aikman

Gemma Clooney

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Carole Connelly

Having watched each of my 3 children flourish and grow as part of the Heath Lane family, I have experienced first hand the wonderful setting and early years educational opportunities the nursery has to offer. So, when a position opened up to become a school governor I wanted to be able to offer my support and skillset to help the nursery achieve its goals. I work for EE as a brand performance and strategy manager, focusing on understanding marketing communications effectiveness to ensure we are optimising our budget to deliver against both short and long term business objectives. I first joined the Heath Lane governing board in October 2021 and have since become a member of the Roots Federation Governing Board as of September 2022. The Roots Federation offers a great opportunity for the nurseries to benefit from synergistic efficiencies, bringing together experiences and expertise from each setting. I very much look forward to supporting the delivery of the Federations goals and ambitions.

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Zara Khokhar

Mark Knowlson

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Elica O'Shea

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James Roach

James has worked in schools throughout Hertfordshire since 2001. He’s been a primary school headteacher twice, and both times rapidly improved the school. A passionate advocate for disadvantaged children, James has vast experience of MAT and school governance. He is Vice Chair of the Roots governing body, and oversees the strategic development of our curriculum.

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