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.
Please find below details of how our Governing Body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor:
Roger Savage (Chair of Governors)
Ben Maddison (Vice Chair)
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 since 1993 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.
Sam Woods - Co-opted
Sam lives in West Wellow and became a co-opted governor in February 2021. His eldest son currently attends Wellow School. Sam is a Chemical Engineer working in the Oil Industry and has always had an interest in becoming a governor and supporting children’s education. He is keen to provide support to the schools of Wellow and Awbridge in their continuous development and improvement utilising his skills from his career to support this. Sam has specific responsibility for communication and marketing as well as governor training.
Helen Wheelwright - Co-opted
Helen lives in East Dean and became a governor in February 2021. She has taught French and German in a number of schools in Hampshire since 1987 and her daughter attended Awbridge Primary School. Now retired, Helen would like to support the primary schools in Awbridge and Wellow, the children who attend the schools and all who work there. Helen has specific responsibility for SEND.
Julian Langton - Parent Governor
Jools joined in November 2021 as Parent Governor. He believes the welfare and inclusion of all children within the school is at the heart of what we do. Jools is passionate about supporting the school and staff to offer pupils opportunities to learn valuable life skills to support their development and benefit the local community. A Trading Manager for a Global Retailer, he has experience of working collaboratively with different cultures and businesses across Europe and the Far East. Jools lives locally in Timsbury and has 3 young children, with the eldest currently at Awbridge Primary.
Rianna Arshad - Parent Governor
Rianna was elected as a parent governor in November 2021 and has 3 children currently attending Wellow Primary School. The family have lived in the village for nearly 4 years.
When not being a Mum, Rianna works as a Doctor in the Children’s A and E at Southampton General Hospital. This gives her a unique insight into how health and education impact each other. She has also been part of improvement projects within the NHS and hopes to use these skills as a governor.
Rianna will act as the governor link for the Creative Collaborative with the Art’s Council over the next 3 years.