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The Ongar Academy

Resilience, Respect, Integrity, Community.

Governor Pen Portrait's

Brian Payne

I am a retired senior manager with 40 years’ experience as an Executive Director and Chief Executive in the public and private health care sectors with local, national and international organisations, including 10 years as an Executive Director of the Heath Sector Skills Council. This has given me a good insight into developing and maintaining skills for employment and of the vital importance of primary, secondary and tertiary education in preparing young people for work. I have been a governor of Chipping Ongar Primary School since 2013 including a period as Chair of Governors and currently am the Vice Chair of Governors. This has given me experience of primary education and of the need to develop high level learning skills right at the beginning of a young person’s education. In 2016 I joined the Governing Board of The Ongar Academy and I became Chair of Governors in 2022. I am committed to the children of our local community getting an excellent educational experience at primary school, secondary school and beyond, to give them the best possible life and employment skills.  I am married with two children and four grandchildren, two of whom go to Chipping Ongar Primary School. My wife, who is a retired independent social worker, is also committed to supporting local education and has also been a governor of Chipping Ongar Primary School for many years.


David Sykes

I am an IT Professional, currently providing consultancy for a project at a large national charity. Previously I worked for a large International Financial Institution in the City of London. These roles have given me communication expertise, skills in collaborating within teams, governance, and data analysis, especially where performance is concerned. These skills transfer well to the role of School Governor. I have been a Governor at The Ongar Academy for just over 2 years and I am committed to pursuing the best education possible for the children at the school.  Though originally from New Zealand, I have lived in the Ongar area for the last 17 years and I have immersed myself in community activities during this time.  I have volunteered my services periodically at High Ongar Primary school and continue to do so. I was a local councillor for 2 years on the High Ongar Parish Council. I also write and run quizzes for local organisations and charities when asked, which are both a lot of fun and rewarding. I am married with two children. My wife is very much involved with education in Ongar, having worked at a local Primary school for the last 9 years.


Graeme Read

I am 56 years old and married with 2 children. My daughter is currently in her final year at university studying Biology. I have been a school governor at TOA for 5 years currently holding the position of vice chair with a link role for safeguarding.  By profession I am a degree qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor and I have been employed for the last 11 years as a Commercial Manager for a large privately owned building contractor specialising in the construction and refurbishment of social housing across all London Boroughs and the Home Counties. I manage a team of 15 quantity surveyors of various ages and levels including mentoring trainees studying through degree apprenticeships.

I am responsible for all commercial aspects on the contracts including the management of client relationships, supply chain management, management of commercial risks, contract advice and dispute resolution. In my spare time as well as spending time with my family I am a Scout leader providing a balanced and varied weekly programme of activities and events to 40 Scouts between the ages of 10 – 14. I hold national instructor qualifications for small bore rifle shooting and archery and run training sessions for the Scouts. I also enjoy camping and outdoor pursuits with my family and socialising with friends.


David Lawrie

My name is David Lawrie and I was born and raised in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. I attended Portobello High School until 1974 and then to Heriot-Watt University where I graduated in 1978 with a degree in Building Economics and Quantity Surveying. Incidentally, with over 1,500 pupils, Portobello High School was one of the largest state schools in Europe when it opened in 1963. I became an Associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1982.

I married Julie who was a nurse, also retired now, in 1979 and we have two children who each have two children: Jacob, Isabella, Isla and Jude, all aged between 7 & 3. Circumstances meant that we moved away from Edinburgh in 1982, initially to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for 2 years before moving to Chelmsford in 1985. I am now retired but worked as a construction consultant specialising in economics and legal aspects of the industry.  My main loves are sport (especially football, squash, golf and rugby), reading, music and spending time with the grandchildren. I’m a massive Newcastle United fan although for a very long time it has been “a labour of love” with so many disappointments over the years.

So why did I become a Governor at the Ongar Academy? At the 1996 Labour Party conference, Tony Blair who was then leader of the Labour Party, stated that his three top priorities on coming to office were "education, education, and education". I fully support what he meant by this, and I wholeheartedly agree with the principals he was driving at. Young people will be the future law makers, wealth creators, peace makers and environmentalists and it is so important that knowledge is accumulated in the early years to ensure that they can make the world a better place for everyone.


Caroline Jamison

I am married with two adult children and two wonderful and amusing grandchildren of primary school age who I love spending time with and watching grow and develop their own personalities and identity. I was born in Sheffield, moving to Essex in 1982.  Professionally I have worked with children and young people for 40 years in both voluntary and statutory organisations. In the early 80s and 90s I was a youth and community worker and sports centre manager delivering both fun and educational activities as part of ECC community education provision. I was also an Education Welfare Officer.  At the age of 30 I decided to train as a social worker, and I hold a diploma in social worker and a BA (Hons) degree in social work and psychosocial studies. Over the past 30 years I have worked in Local Authority social services as a social worker and in management positions. I have also been an Independent Social Worker and Children’s Court Officer representing children’s best interests in both private and public law proceedings. Currently I work in a neighbouring Local Authority in Children’s Safeguarding. My main duties are chairing child protection conferences and as an Independent Reviewing Officer reviewing care plans for children who are in care, secure units and whose plans are for adoption. I consider myself fortunate and privileged to have worked with and shared the lives of so many wonderful children, many through adversity, who have flourished with the dedicated support of teachers, social workers, professionals and families. I have transferrable skills which support me in my role as a Governor of Ongar Academy School and the Bridge Academy Trust with whom I was appointed as a Governor with responsibility for SEND in early 2023.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and walking my dog. I am interested in sport having played netball competitively both as a teenager and into my adult years. I also enjoy skiing, less so over recent years, which I do miss. I enjoy watching many competitive sporting activities particularly football and winter sports.    






Bridge Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07663795.

Registered Office: Community Building, Bridge Academy Trust, Brian Close, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9DZ.

Tel: 01245 202 937