What is a School Governor?
School governors are volunteers who help to run the school. Some are elected (staff and parent governors) and others are appointed either by the local authority or from the local community.
The Federation of Wellow and Awbridge Primary Schools has a joint Governing Body who work together to support and challenge each school through clear roles and responsibilities. Governors take a keen interest in the life of the school and support staff to raise standards through strong strategic leadership.
What do governors do?
School governors have a wide range of responsibilities, helping to raise standards of pupil achievement and planning the school’s future direction, always in consultation with the school leadersr and other staff. We are also accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community. We are not expected to take detailed decisions about the day-to-day management of the school: that is the job of the school leaders.
Governors’ responsibilities include:
- Helping to establish the aims and policies of the school and how standards of education can be constantly improved
- Ensuring that a broad and balanced curriculum is delivered and that it meets statutory requirements, while promoting high standards and monitoring progress during the year
- Appointing, challenging and supporting school leaders (being a ‘critical friend’)
- Acting as a link between the local community and the school
- Helping to set and manage the school budget
- Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff
At Awbridge Primary School we do this on several levels. We meet as a Full Governing Body about six times a year but also in two main committees, where certain aspects of the school are considered in more detail. At present our committees are:
- Resources– dealing with finance, our building and grounds (including Health & Safety) and all staffing matters.
- Curriculum and Standards– dealing with curriculum and assessment matters and monitoring standards, as well as communication with parents and the wider community (including the production of the school prospectus).
Individual governors are also linked with a particular area, such as Special Educational Needs, Safeguarding, or a curriculum. This ensures that Governors ‘know their School’ and are able to challenge the school to achieve the very best outcomes for children.
All governors are encouraged to visit the school during the working day if they can, but we do not interfere in the day-to-day teaching or running of the school: we leave that to the professionals!
Hampshire County Council provides training in all aspects of governors’ responsibilities and we take full advantage of that, in order to be as effective as possible.
Chair of Governors - Roger Savage
Roger Savage started as a parent governor over 20 years ago and is now a co opted governor and is the Chair of the Governing Body. Roger created and runs a business near Romsey and is able to bring some of the experiences learned to that of school governance. A believer in giving every child the best opportunities that the schools can give and in particular looking beyond academic disciplines towards life experiences and skills that are so important for our children growing up in the complex and ever demanding world today.
Vice Chair of Governors - Jane Stokes
Jane is the Local Authority-appointed governor. Her post-graduate qualifications and background are in education and she currently works as a lecturer for a further education college, teaching English and Employability Skills to vocational students.
She is an Autism Ambassador for the schools and her employer: This scheme aims to “raise awareness of autism in our communities to improve outcomes for individuals with autism” and offers opportunities for training, networking and sharing good practice.
Jane’s key areas of interest for this academic year include mental health and the “hidden disabilities” which can impact children’s wellbeing, inclusivity and achievement if they are not recognised and adequately supported.
Chair of Resources - Phil Humphreys
Phil is a parent of Tommy in Yr R and Charlotte in Yr 1 at Wellow Primary School and lives with his wife Lesley and family in West Wellow.
Phil works in the education sector for Oasis Community Learning (OCL), the second largest multi academy trust in England. His role is Deputy Regional Director for the South West of England, and he is responsible for all Oasis academies in Southampton.
Phil is a member of the OCL ‘National Education Team’ (NET) which determines and shapes national strategy for the trust across all phases of education. A key aspect of Phil’s day to day job is providing governance to his academies.
Phil has a strong background in school-to-school support, and is a systems leader who has worked in a variety of challenging education settings to bring about school led cultural change.
As a member of the governing body Phil supports the federation of schools where required.
Chair of Curriculum and Standards and Designated Safeguarding Governor - Ruth Easton
Although Ruth was only appointed to the governing body as a co-opted member this year, she has lived in West Wellow for 25 years and her daughter attended Wellow Primary School in the 1990s. She retired from full time teaching a couple of years ago after serving Hampshire County Council as a junior school teacher for 35 years. The majority of her career was spent in upper key stage 2, so she has a strong understanding of the expectations for this age group. She is keen to see all children achieve their potential by engaging in an exciting and broad curriculum. Previously, Ruth has served as a staff governor for 8 years in a junior school near Totton.
Ben Maddison, Co-opted governor
Ben has been a governor since September 2017. He sits on the Curriculum and Standards committee, with specific responsibility for Special Educational Needs. He is passionate about ensuring that all children are given the greatest opportunity to thrive at school.
Ben is a government scientist and has 20 years experience conducting research and providing advice to senior decision makers on procurement and policy decisions.
He has twin boys at Awbridge Primary School and has lived in the village for 10 years.