Governors

Keep Hatch Primary School Governing Body

Being a school governor is both a rewarding and challenging experience. At Keep Hatch, as in any other school, Governors are volunteers who play an important role in leading our school and work in partnership with the Headteacher and senior school leaders to ensure that every child gets the best possible education.

We have written this guidance to help aspiring governors learn more about what being a governor entails and the demands of the role. If after reading this you would like to find out more information, please email governors@keephatch.wokingham.sch.uk

Our Structure

Our meetings take place on a half-termly basis and we meet as a whole Governing Body at every meeting. We also have two sub-committees: Finance and School Improvement, which also meet half-termly.

The Role of the Governing Body

The governing body is responsible for the conduct of the school and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school, with a strong focus on three core functions:

Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

In order to do this, governors need to gain knowledge of how their school operates through attending meetings, reading documentation, reviewing school data and engaging in regular visits to the school.

The governing body is not responsible for the day to day management of the school, this lies with the Headteacher, Mrs Appleby, who is accountable for educational performance and operational responsibility

Who can become a school governor?

Anyone who is over 18 and living in the UK can become a school governor.

You don’t need to be a parent / carer to a child at Keep Hatch, we also welcome volunteers from the local community and local businesses who can bring enthusiasm, experience and expertise to be able to effectively support the Head Teacher and staff to drive the school forward.

What do school governors do?

The governing body do not manage the school on a day-to-day basis, but are required to oversee the development of the school. Together with the Headteacher, governors set the future direction for the school and decide how the school’s budget should be spent.

Decisions are made collectively on matters such as performance targets, school policies, the school’s improvement / development plan, and the school’s staffing structure. Governors report to parents on the school’s achievements and respond to inspection recommendations. They hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints. Governors provide the Headteacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience.

Governors are known as ‘critical friends’ to their schools because they are expected to question, challenge and support the reports and information they receive from the Headteacher and senior leaders, whilst respecting the Headteacher’s position as professional leader of the school.

The governing body operates a code of conduct which sets an ethos of professionalism and high expectations of governors. You will be provided with this as part of your induction into the school and will be expected to work within it, since a governing body operates as a corporate entity with corporate responsibility.

How much time is involved with being a school governor?

Generally Governors need 6-8 hours each month to fulfil their duties – some months it will be less, other months it will be more.

At Keep Hatch, the Full Governing Body meets every month and our meetings are normally held in the evenings (7pm-9pm) and are 2 hours long. We agree our meeting dates for the year early in the Autumn Term and occasionally, extra meetings will be required.

Outside of meetings, Governors do need to be able to dedicate some time to their role as certain functions are delegated to specific areas of the school (e.g. subject links) and business management (e.g. Finance sub-committee). Also governors need to spend time for background reading, school visits, producing reports for their governor colleagues, attending events and representing the Governing Body. Governors will also need to undertake training relevant to their governor role, which may be in the evenings, or ½ day or a day.

What if I don’t have the right experience?

Everyone has something to offer the Keep Hatch governing body because you don’t need specific experience or qualifications to become a school governor. We are looking for people who can bring energy, ideas and experience of life to support school staff in the organisation and management of schools. Whether you are a parent / carer, or have strong links to the local community or local businesses, we would be pleased to discuss the possibility of becoming a governor at Keep Hatch with you.

Our school governors come from different walks of life and use their skills to support our children’s education. Governors are required to commit to the role, be inquisitive to question, and have a willingness to learn, especially if training or a development activity is needed to fill any gaps in the skills you have to contribute to effective governance. Good inter-personal skills, a basic level of literacy in English, and sufficient numeracy skills to be able to understand basic data are essential.

Why should you become a school governor?

Governors have the opportunity to make a positive impact on young people’s lives and contribute to the issues that you feel passionately about. It is also a great opportunity to not only use your skills and expertise to contribute to making our schools more effective, but to develop new ones such as board-level leadership, strategic planning, chairing, financial planning, and team working. These skills are valued by employers and can help your own career development.

What are the next steps?

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Governor, please email governors@keephatch.wokingham.sch.uk

The current governors

Name Governor Type Start Date End Date
Claire Appleby Headteacher
(on maternity leave from January 20)
05 June 2017 04 June 2021
Shabnam Azar Parent
Co-opted
08 September 2016
23 May 2019
22 May 2019
27 November 2019
Kath Beldom Parent 23 May 2019 22 May 2023
Sarah Cartwright Co-opted
(Acting Headteacher from January 2020)
21 May 2015 20 May 2023
Chris Cole Executive Headteacher 24 July 2018 N/A
Justin Dobson Co-opted 18 March 2020 17 March 2024
Nicola Jervis Staff 20 November 2018 19 November 2022
Steve Johnston Co-opted 05 February 2018 04 February 2022
Ted McFadyen LA 15 December 2015 28 January 2020
Alex McGuinness Co-opted 08 September 2016 07 September 2020
Charles McIntosh Co-opted 05 June 2017 04 June 2021
Lali Smith Parent Co-opted 02 November 2016
27 November 2019
27 November 2019
26 November 2023
Sarah Stephenson Co-opted 09 January 2018 08 January 2022
Collette Taylor Co-opted 23 May 2019 22 May 2023
Lisa Vickers Parent 27 November 2019 26 November 2023

 

Attendance

Name
10 September 2019
24 September 2019
27 November 2019
15 January 2020
28 January 2020
18 March 2020
12 May 2020
01 July 2020
Claire Appleby Y Y Y Y N N/A N/A N/A
Shabnam Azar N N N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Kath Beldom Y Y Y Y Y Y
Sarah Cartwright Y Y Y Y Y Y
Chris Cole N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Justin Dobson N/A N/A N/A N/A Y Observer Y
Nicola Jervis Y Y Y Y Y Y
Steve Johnston Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ted McFadyen Y N Y N Y N/A N/A N/A
Alex McGuinness Y Y Y Y Y Y
Charles McIntosh Y N Y N N Y
Lali Smith Y Y Y Y Y Y
Sarah Stephenson Y Y Y Y Y Y
Collette Taylor Y Y Y Y Y Y
Lisa Vickers N/A N/A Y Y Y Y

Register of financial interests

Name Name of Business or Financial Interest Nature of Business or Financial Interest Governance roles in other educational institutions Any relationships between either Governors or staff?
Claire Appleby Nil Nil Nil Nil
Shabnam Azar Nil Nil Nil Nil
Kath Beldom Reddam House Berkshire Member of staff Nil Nil
Sarah Cartwright Husband’s business Music Lessons Nil Nil
Chris Cole Frays Academy Trust Executive Headteacher & Chief Executive Yes Nil
Justin Donbson Nil Nil Nil Nil
Nicola Jervis Nil Nil Nil Nil
Steve Johnston Nil Nil Nil Nil
Ted McFadyen Nil Nil Nil Nil
Alex McGuinness Nil Nil Nil Nil
Charles McIntosh Nil Nil Nil Nil
Lali Smith Westbury Street Holdings Ltd. (WSH) [parent company of Caterlink] Purchasing Manager (not involved in Caterlink contracts) Nil Nil
Sarah Stephenson Charters School Teacher Nil Nil
Collette Taylor Nil Nil Nil Nil
Lisa Vickers Dedworth Green First School Teacher Committee Member Ashridge Nursery Nil

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