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

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Orchard Primary Academy

Local Academy Board Members

Membership Information

Local Academy Board Membership 2023/24

South Pennine Academies Scheme of Delegation.

South Pennine Academies website

Local Academy Board Register of Business Interests 2023/24

Local Academy Board Register of Business Interests 2022/23

Local Academy Board Sub-Committee Terms of Reference 2023/24

Governors Allowances

Governance Handbook and Scheme of Delegation

Local Academy Board Calendar of Meetings 2023/24

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

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.

Samantha Leeming - Staff Board Member

 After beginning my journey working in education nearly twenty years ago, I have been lucky enough to work at Orchard for four years now and am passionate about the children and the local community.

 Being a Learning Mentor at Orchard has helped me forge close bonds with the children and my recent appointment as the Early Help and Attendance Officer, will help build on family relationships within the community. I see this as a new challenge and relish the opportunity to develop and grow both personally and professionally.

 I was born and bred in Mirfield and live with my three grown up children and our dog. I love walking and being outdoors, especially near the sea! I also enjoy a bit of pottery, yoga and reading and have been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing places in the world, something I hope to continue in the future.

Danielle Fisher - Staff Board Member

I started volunteering at Orchard when I was just 18 years old.

I have been with the school for the last 10 years, starting as a volunteer, support staff, HLTA and now as Inclusion Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Being a Staff Governor is great!  I am very passionate about all of the children within Orchard Primary Academy being able to reach their full potential and parents know that we are supportive of them in any way we can be.

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

Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my little boy and having days out.

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.  I was awarded an MBE in 2015 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. 

Rebecca Mayfield - Parent Governor

I have over 12 years’ experience working as a bid professional in the construction industry. I am employed as a company director with specific expertise in asbestos, water, and fire. I am NEBOSH qualified, and I am currently studying with the Open University towards a degree in Business Management.

 I was born and educated in Dewsbury, my work has taken me further afield and I have spent time working all around the UK on different projects. In anticipation of the arrival of my first child I returned to Dewsbury, living just a few minutes’ walk from Orchard. My eldest daughter recently completed her journey at Orchard whilst my youngest daughter still attends. I fully support the visions and aims of the school and the active lifestyle it promotes.

Sarah Shepherd - Parent Governor

I have worked with children and young people for the last 20 years.  I have the most experience working in children's residential homes where I was a registered manager of a children's home for a few years.  As I wanted to develop my skills, I went to work as a pastoral manager in a SEMH primary school where I was also the DSL.  I have also worked for a Local Authority in the fostering team, where I recruited foster carers before I had 2 children of my own.  I now work part time in a children's home whilst looking after my children and I am training to become a baby massage and yoga teacher.

I hope to use my skills and knowledge to support Orchard to continue to strive for the best outcomes for the children, their families and the local community.