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Governors

Because we are a Church school, the majority of our governing body is appointed by a combination of the St Peter’s Church Parochial Church Committee and the Diocese of Oxford. Currently Mr. Jon Driscoll, Mrs. Fran Childs, Mrs. Anita Smith, Mrs. Sarah Green and Mr. Andrew Vivian hold these positions as ‘foundation’ governors.

There is a requirement that at least one of the foundation governors is a parent of a child at the school; Mr. Driscoll & Mrs. Smith are current parents. There is one vacancy for a foundation governor.

Ms. Becky Davies is our local authority governor and Mrs Strange is our staff appointed governor. Reverend Hannah Reynolds is an ex-officio member of the governing body as is the Headteacher, Mr. Paul Shaughnessy. There are also two parent-governor positions one of which is held by Mrs. Gemma Woods and the other by Mrs. Kate Brady.

What do governors do?

The first thing to make clear is that the Headteacher runs the school on a day to day basis. The Head and the staff are professionals; the governors are not, nor are they expected to be. Anything concerning the ordinary running of the school should be addressed to class teachers or the Headteacher.

But governors do have a lot of responsibility and the relationship with the Head can only work effectively if they are prepared to invest time in the role and attend regular training courses.

  • The governors are expected to work with the Head to promote the improvement and monitor the performance of the school.
  • Together with the Headteacher, governors set the future direction for the school and decide how the budget should be spent.
  • Governing bodies make decisions collectively on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s development plan.
  • Governors monitor the impact of policies and the use of the school budget. They hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints.
  • Governors provide the Headteacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions and respect the Headteacher’s position as the professional leader of the school.

All governing bodies operate on the basis of ‘collective responsibility’. This means that once a decision has been agreed all of the governors share responsibility for it. This applies to parent governors in exactly the same way as the others; parent governors are not ‘parent representatives’ but full, active members of the governing body.

In practice, our governors are expected to attend all, or at least most, of the 6 full governing body meetings (which are usually held at 5pm) and be a member of a sub-committee (which either meet in school hours or at 5pm).

Other roles can be taken on when a governor has more experience.

Governors are not paid although they can claim back basic travel expenses for attending training courses and the like.

Our current Governing Body

Mr. Jon Driscoll (Chair of Governors; Foundation Governor)

I am Chair of Governors and a Foundation Governor appointed by the PCC of St Peter’s Church.  I have served as a governor since 2007 and as chair since 2008.  I have special responsibility for safeguarding and whistle-blowing. I am also a parent of Eddie in Eagles.  I am a qualified football coach and have helped run school football and cross country for the last few years.

Mrs. Sara Green (Vice-Chair of Governors; Foundation Governor)

I am Vice-Chair of the governing body and one of the Foundation Governors. This year I am one of the link governors for SIAMS and I have been working closely with school leaders to embed the school’s values into school life. I am also link governor for maths, which involves working with the maths subject leader to monitor progress and attainment in maths throughout the school.

I am a full time mum with three children, two at the school, one having moved on to secondary school. When not running around after the children, I fill my time with various community activities; I am a member of Didcot Baptist Church, helping out with the toddler group that runs there during the week and I also volunteer at the Food Bank. I help with the school choir, playing the piano for them, and I also play for the school services at St Peter’s Church.

Mrs. Rebecca Davies (Chair of Resources Committee; Local Authority Governor)

I’ve been a governor of Northbourne for 6 years; 4 years as a parent governor and now in my second year as Local Authority Governor.  I chair the Resources Committee which involves close monitoring of finances as well as premises, health and safety and a range of school policies.

I’m mum to Ellie (12) and Joe (10). I am a Management Accountant (CIMA) for Oxfordshire County Council. In my 18 years with OCC I’ve undertaken many finance roles but have mainly supported the Children, Education & Families, and Adult Social Care services. My children have both thrived at Northbourne. I’m passionate about ensuring this school provides a nurturing, safe, happy and healthy environment which challenges every child to flourish and reach their full potential during their time here.

Mrs. Gemma Woods (Teaching and Learning Committee; Parent Governor)

I have been a parent governor since 2014. I am the Special Educational Needs (SEN) governor so I work closely with Rob Woods, the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo), to oversee SEN provision. This involves helping to raise awareness of SEN issues at Governing Body meetings; ensuring that the school’s SEN budget is appropriately allocated to support pupils with SEN; giving up-to-date information to the governing body on the quality and effectiveness of SEN and disability provision within the school; helping to review the school’s policy on provision for pupils with SEN and assuring the Governing Body that the school website publishes the school’s SEN offer.

I’m mum to Ben in Puffins and Ava in Hawks and work as a Marketing Manager at Oxford Brookes University, promoting Health Care, Social Work and Life Sciences subjects.

Rev. Hannah Reynolds (Teaching and Learning Committee; Ex-Officio Governor)

I have been Priest-in-Charge at St Peter’s Didcot, and ex officio Governor at Northbourne, since January 2013. Before coming to Didcot, I was Priest-in-Charge at All Saints Hanworth (near Heathrow Airport) and Curate at All Hallows, Twickenham.

Before training as priest in the Church of England, I worked for nearly 20 years as a professional engineer, starting out in Control Systems for gas turbines (used in oil rigs and distribution networks in the Middle East, Russia and the North Sea) before moving on to Avionics design and development with British Airways.  In my later career I worked for the Engineering Council as Senior Executive responsible for Codes of Professional Practice and Guidelines on Sustainability, Health, Safety and Risk Management and the Environment. My last non-Church job was for The Energy Saving Trust managing their Energy Services, Community Energy and Schools programmes.

Rev. Fran Childs (Resources Committee; Foundation Governor)

Before training for ordination I was a deputy Safety Officer at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, focusing particularly on fire safety.  Prior to that, I worked for a number of years in the Space Science Department at RAL, working on satellite missions that explored the infrared and x-ray regions of our Galaxy and also on a mission that explored the Earth’s magnetosphere (the ‘bit’ that protects us from the worst of the solar wind).  My relaxation is to look after my friend’s elderly Irish Cob, playing the oboe, and generally being out of doors.

 

An introduction to the role of Parent Governors (2015)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.northbourne-school.org.uk/governors/