Meet Our Local School Committee

Meet the members of our Local School Committee

Deborah Godbold (Chair)

I am a local person, having lived in the town for more than 50 years and in Panshanger for more than 30 years. I have worked as a teacher in London schools and as a Headteacher in Hertfordshire for 20 years. I now work as a school improvement consultant and my passion for education and improving outcomes for children is the thing that has driven me to volunteer as a school governor.

I have two children who both went to school locally.  Outside of work and volunteering, I love to travel and take photographs.


Karen Cayford (Headteacher)

I joined Springmead in September 2018 and have overseen a fundamental change in the school since then.  I was born and have lived in Hertfordshire for most of my life and still have children who go to school within the county.  I am privileged to lead such as diverse and interesting school and can see our vision and aims in action every day.

I love the variety that the children and families bring to Springmead and the importance that we place on developing the whole child whilst not taking our focus away from continually striving to raise standards. It is a happy environment to be in for everyone who learns and works here and every day presents a new and exciting challenge.  


Nichola Porter (Staff Governor)

To be published. I was born and have lived in Hertfordshire all my life. I joined the team at Springmead in 2015 as an NQT.  I have been a member of the teaching team for seven years and the leadership team for the past four years.  I have worked across EYFS and KS1 and am the EYFS and KS1 lead. I am hugely committed to the school, the children and the staff and thoroughly enjoy being part of the Springmead community.  Outside of work I enjoy playing tennis and have recently learnt surf. 


Deborah Harrison (Co-opted)

I have worked as a teacher, a Children’s Centre Teacher and a Headteacher for the past twenty years having qualified as a teacher in my forties. My passion and area of expertise is Early Years. I retired last year but quickly became unsettled with less to keep me occupied! I wanted to give something back to the community and I was lucky enough to join the school committee in December. I have two children and four grandchildren, the youngest is only 16 months old, we have her twice a week and she certainly keeps me active. I enjoy Pilates and swimming. 


Dirk Werling (Parent)

I am Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Royal Veterinary College and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  Thus, whereas I may not have a deep insight into Primary School Teaching, I have a good understanding of what contributes to a successful learning environment.  I have experience in curriculum setting and delivery, and in managing large projects in groups with a diverse background. 

I have two daughters who currently attend Springmead.  I was elected as a parent governor at Springmead in autumn 2016, taking up office in early 2017.  I am a qualified Vet, and enjoy spending my time with animals and in the outdoors with activities such as rock climbing, skiing and cycling.


Laura Downer (Co-opted)

I am married with two children and have lived in Welwyn Garden City all of my life.  My daughter currently attends Springmead and my young son will follow her into the school in a few years’ time.  My husband attended Springmead as a child so the school has been in our lives one way or another for some years!

I became a school Governor in January 2019.  I have worked within Human Resources within both the public and private sector for the past 18 years and currently for the NHS.  I am excited for having the opportunity to support the school in its continual improvement plans and to maintain its high standard of teaching and learning.  In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, walking and spending time with my young family.


Our Clerk is Ruth Bright who works for Spiral Partnership Trust.

Dates of meetings for 2022-23 are:


5 October 2022

23 November 2022

25 January 2023

15 March 2023

10 May 2023

28 June 2023


All meetings begin at 6:00pm and are attended by governors and invited guests only.