What is a School Governor?
School governors are volunteers who work with school leaders to ensure high standards of education. Some are elected (staff and parent governors) and others are appointed from the local community.
From December 2020 when we became part of The University of Winchester Academy Trust (UWinAT), our governing body became a Local Academy Committee, working alongside our Trustees who have overall responsibility for our five schools. This means that our governors focus solely on Awbridge, but the school benefits from excellent support and advice of trustees.
Wellow and Awbridge Primary Schools share a joint Local Academy Committee 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 leaders 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 Local Academy Committee about six times a year.
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 Governor Services and the National Governors Association provide 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 Academy Committee. 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..
Designated Safeguarding Governor - Ruth Easton
Although Ruth was only appointed to the Academy Committee 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, Vice Chair
Ben has been a governor since September 2017 and has pecific 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.
Tracey Parrott, Staff Governor
Tracey is employed across both schools as the Federation Admin Manager and has been a member of the governing body for the past 4 years. She is the elected staff governor. Her governor responsibilities include Health and Safety and Governor Training.
Ricardo Meakin - Parent Governor
Ric has two children in Wellow school and became a governor at the end of 2018. His main reason for becoming a governor was to contribute in supporting the school leaders and staff to continue to provide excellent education and social development for children at such formative times in their lives. Ric has worked in the NHS since 2008 and is used to working in teams that consistently look to improve, achieving better outcomes for patients, Applying this kind of working to trying to get the best not only for the children and staff in our schools now, but also beyond, is key.