Quick Links

Useful Links

At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

Enter Site

Orchard Primary Academy

Local Academy Board Members

Membership Information

South Pennine Academies Scheme of Delegation.

South Pennine Academies website

LAB Business Interests Information 

Governance Membership

Terms of Reference

Governors Allowances

If you are interested in applying to be a governor please contact our Principal -Mr Matthew Carbutt for more information.

Thank you.

Barbara Cunningham - Chair of Board

I was Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead at Moor End Academy before retiring in 2016.   I previously worked for a number of years in the Civil Service before taking a career break to take care of my children.

Prior to becoming chair of the Local Academy Board at Orchard Primary Academy I gained experience of being a governor at both Moor End Academy and at my own children’s primary school.

I left school at 16 but have continued to engage in education and learning throughout my life, taking a number of day-time and night-time courses, leading to being awarded a degree in Politics with History in 2003. 

I am married with 3 grown-up sons and 4 granddaughters, I enjoy playing badminton, reading, playing and listening to music and supporting Newcastle United.

I believe that education is key to giving children a good start in life and I am proud to be working with the Principal and all the staff at Orchard to help the children to become ‘respectful, resilient and aspirational learners’ and to Dream Big and Dare to Fail.


Contact details:

Mrs B Cunningham,

Orchard Primary Academy, Princess Road, Chickenley, Dewsbury, WF12 8QT

Jonny Mitchell - Vice Chair of Board

I have worked in education for over 20 years, having started my career teaching modern foreign languages following a 4-year stint in Paris working as a translator for a multi-national accountancy company.

I have significant experience of school leadership as an Assistant Head and Deputy Head, as well as in the role of Headteacher at Thornhill Community Academy and in my current role as Principal of Co-op Academy Leeds. In these roles, I work closely with Governors and Trust Boards to ensure high standards of education.

I previously had 5 years' experience as a Parent and Local Authority Governor for a primary school in Pontefract which my children all attended.

I was born and bred in Dewsbury, a mere stone's throw from the Academy, and still live in the town. I am keen to ensure Orchard has all the support and challenge required of Governors to raise standards for your children and prepare them for secondary school with the best education possible.

Matthew Carbutt - Principal

I have worked in education for 7 years, working in a variety of schools as class teacher and then as Deputy Head Teacher at Batley Parish CE Primary School.

I am from Leeds and attended Leeds Metropolitan University for 5 years. I gained a 2:1 BA Sports Development and Education degree and then went on to achieved a Masters degree in Childhood Studies before completing my PGCE in Primary Education. Following my NQT year, I moved to Australia to teach and play Rugby League.

I was a semi-professional Rugby League player for 13 years, playing for Hunslet RLFC and Doncaster in that time. I have also represented The England and Great Britain Student Rugby League team on a number of occasions: travelling to Australia, France and Serbia in the process.

Carole Stephenson - Governor

I am born and bred in the local area - where I still reside - and attended the local schools. On leaving school, I joined West Yorkshire Police and served in Dewsbury Division for 27.5 years before moving to Wakefield Division for the remaining 2.5 years.

 After retiring from the police, I then worked as an educational teaching assistant in another local junior school for the following 9 years, working in both Years 5 and 6.

 I have previous experience of being a school governor, serving on the board of governors of a junior school as a community governor for 18 years.

 I now spend my time walking my own dog and friends' dogs, and involving myself in my creative hobbies, of which up-cycling is one of my favourites.

Martin Wakefield - Staff Board Member

I have been a teacher for 10 years working in a variety of schools in and around Yorkshire. I chose to gain my teaching degree from the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus, as I am a huge fan of having the sand between my toes.

I decided on a teaching career during my early teens when I voluntarily taught young children to swim at a local pool. After gaining my swimming instructor’s qualification, I worked several swimming teaching jobs during my college years. I continued to teaching swimming whilst studying at University and (during the holidays) I even had a job working at the Haribo factory making sweets.  

I have travelled all over the world to countries such as: China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. I yearn to travel the rest of the world to see and experience as much as I can.

I enjoy outdoor and adventurous activities in my spare time and have hobbies such as: mountain biking, kayaking, mountaineering and swimming.

Danielle Fisher - Staff Board Member

I started volunteering at Chickenley Community School when I was just 18 years old.

I have been with the school for the last 6 years, starting as a casual staff member, then becoming a support staff member, and then as a cover supervisor for 2 years. I completed HLTA training during this period and was successful in gaining my current position of Inclusion Manager in November 2014.

Being a Staff Governor is the next step in my career.  I am very passionate about all of the children within Orchard Primary Academy being able to reach their full potential.

Before coming to the school, I completed a childcare course and A Levels in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy.

Outside of school, I enjoy watching rugby, swimming and visiting friends and family.

Malcolm Ellis - Governor

I am a retired chartered surveyor and I was until 2014 a partner in a practice of an architects and surveyors . Throughout my career I worked closely with schools and colleges seeking to improve the teaching environment for the benefit of pupils and staff.

I am involved with local community and sports groups. I have also done a good deal of fundraising for cancer related charities. These events usually involve long distance bike rides, but I also support and encourage others in their own fund raising events. Four years ago I was awarded a MBE for services to the building industry , community and charity groups .

I am married with two sons and two granddaughters . My eldest granddaughter has just started school in London . I hope the governors of her school are as keen as I am to ensure that Orchard Primary Academy has all possible support in raising standards for all children

VACANCY - Parent Board Member

A current vacancy exists for a parent governor in our school.  If you are interested in applying please contact our Principal -Mr Matthew Carbutt for more information.

Thank you.