Meet the Governors
Orchard Hill College Committee is the governing body for Orchard Hill College.
Current Committee members:
Dave Hobday (Chair)
David has spent most of his career in the local voluntary and community sector, and is the Director of Sutton Mencap. David is passionate about supporting people with a learning disability to be fully involved in the life of the local community, and the vital role education can play in this. David also has a particular interest in supporting organisations to work together for the benefit of the people they support. Having been a governor for Orchard Hill College for a number of years, David is delighted to Chair the College Committee.
Michele has over 40 years' experience of teaching, managing and developing provision for adults with learning difficulties in Adult and Community Education. She has worked in a variety of environments including schools, colleges, hospitals, youth centres, day centres and residential care homes in various London boroughs. For several years she also worked as a regional advisor and external moderator for ASDAN providing training and support to schools and colleges to implement specialist LD programmes throughout the south east of England. Michele has been a Governor at Orchard Hill College since 2003 and has also been a Trustee at Sutton Mencap since 2008.
Ric is a parent governor whose daughter, Abigail, attends Orchard Hill College. Three of Ric's five children have additional needs. Ric works as a Ministry Assistant at Sutton Christian Centre and before joining the OHC Committee was Chair of Governors at Bandon Hill Primary School. Among other things, Ric enjoys running, photography and getting involved in community events in Wallington.
Dr Caroline Allen
Dr Caroline Allen OBE has been Principal of Orchard Hill College for over 20 years. She is also CEO of Orchard Hill College Academy Trust which is a Multi-Academy Trust with a remit to support and sponsor Academies for children with SEN. Caroline graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama, with a B.Ed (Hons) degree and worked in Hong Kong. She completed an MBA in 1985 and a PhD relating to organisation culture and management in 2009. Having previously been a Governor of Croydon College and St Dominic's School, as well as a member of the LSC London Regional Council, Chair of London South LSC and a member of the EFA Advisory Board, Caroline currently sits on the London Young People Education and Skills Board.
Karen Cunningham (staff governor)
Karen has worked mainly within the education sector for the past 20 years and has been with Orchard Hill College since 2008. She holds a Prince2 practitioner level qualification in project management and is active in supporting the growth of both the College and the Trust.
Akansha advises businesses on strategy and operations so they can achieve their objectives. As well as this she also assists in managing budgets of up to $100 million. A Cambridge graduate with an MBA from both The London Business School and Columbia Business School, she was previously a practicing veterinary surgeon. This personal understanding of numerous career paths as well as experience as an A Level Biology Tutor on an Access Project for the past year, and a Student Mentor advising at STEM careers fairs means she is passionate about education and supporting young people to make the best possible career choices.
Neil has been an SEN teacher for 25 years and has worked across a range of settings, including SLD, PMLD and mainstream (BRIT School, Croydon). He has been teaching in his current post at St Philip's School for just under 14 years where he is the PE co-ordinator. He has a passion for sports and recognises the many benefits that a healthy lifestyle can give to young people with learning difficulties. Additionally he has a particular interest in Social Enterprises and would one day love the opportunity to set one up. He is currently studying an MRes (Ed) at Kingston University and has developed an interest in our young people's aspirations. As a first time governor Neil is really looking forward to becoming involved in the College's development.