Governors

Message From the Chair of Governors

Welcome to the governors’ section of the school website. My name is Paul Turpin and I am the current Chair of Governors at Commonswood School. I have been a governor at the school for five years in total, where I have chaired a committee or led on other pieces of work before finally taking over as Chair of Governors in 2016. I work with several colleagues on the governing body that comprise of staff, parents and other people from the community.

 

Governors enter the role through different routes. Our governing body is made up of one Local Authority governor, four parent governors, two staff governors and 7 co-opted governors. Each governor brings their own expertise and viewpoint to bear on the agenda for the school. Some of us come from an education background whilst others bring valuable skills such as finance, HR or managerial expertise from the wider community and business world.

 

I look forward to meeting with you around the school or at our regular parent forums, details of which can be found on the website or in the News of the Ninth.

 

What is the Purpose of the Governing Body?

We currently have vacancies for Governor positions, 3 Co-opted Governors and 1 LA Governor. To understand the role of a Governor download the following document for full details:

The Role of a Governor

The purpose of our governing body is to:

  • help the school to set high standards by planning for the school’s future and setting targets for school improvement
  • keep up the pressure for school improvement
  • be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
  • help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
  • make the school accountable to the public for what it does
  • work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review
  • oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent
  • exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the Headteacher and staff
  • not intervene in the day-to-day management of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when it then has a duty to take action.

 

Some of these purposes are set in law.

 

A school’s governing body is a corporate body. This means it has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members. As long as governors have acted honestly, without ulterior motive, and reasonably, within the law and regulations, the governing body cannot be held to account as individuals for any liabilities incurred by the governing body.

 

 

How do Governors fulfill these purposes?

We exercise our duties in a number of ways:

  • We usually have five full governing body meetings each year, roughly two per term, and in between these meetings we have committee and working party meetings that deal with detail that underpins the reports the full governing body receives.
  • In addition governors are encouraged to attend school activities and events when we then have an opportunity, like parents, to take encouragement from the achievements of the pupils and the staff that teach and inspire them.
  • Our function at meetings is to review, question and challenge the Head teacher and staff so that we can, as far as possible, keep up the pressure to improve, ensuring that the children are being taught in a safe as well as a stimulating environment with the best resources, both human and material, that are available and affordable. We must also review the school’s policies to ensure that they focus on delivering the highest standards.
  • Many of us take a particular interest in a specific area of the curriculum, e.g. Maths, English or the provision for children with Special Educational Needs or Disability. Others focus on wider issues such as Health and Safety or Finance. Governors also have responsibility for monitoring the school’s progress against the Single Plan and use of the Pupil Premium and Sports Premium funding.
  • We seek and welcome the help and support of the Local Authority and receive reports and advice from them often resulting from officers’ visits or through their distribution of essential information from the Department for Education or Ofsted.
  • We do not deal with individual worries about the day to day running of the school as that is the job of the school’s leadership team. If they cannot successfully resolve concerns then these may later come before the governors through the application of appropriate policies, for example the complaints procedure.

How do we communicate with Parents and Staff and each other between meetings?

We maintain email communication with each other, and the Chair and Clerk seek to keep Governors as well informed as possible in between meetings of the progress of strategies or other issues that may arise from time to time.

 

The minutes of Governing Body meetings are available for Parents to view in school, on request. Confidential matters involving, for example, named staff or pupils will not be included in these minutes.
We have a regular governor slot in the monthly newsletter, News on the Ninth, and also communicate with parents via the school website and blog. Occasionally a letter on a specific subject may be sent to parents. We are currently in the process of setting up a Parent Forum so that parents have an easy platform through which to express their suggestions and ideas for improvement at the school.

 

Contacting Governors

Contact with governors should be made via the Chair of Governors through the school office. Emails should be sent to admin@commonswood.herts.sch.uk. Alternatively, you can write and either post or hand in the letter to the school office, who will forward it to me. I will try to respond as soon as possible.

 

LA Governors
Darrell Bilverstone

 

Co-Opted Governors
Jenny Burgess Emma Day
Julie Noakes (Vice Chair) Paul Turpin (Chair)
** Vacancy ** ** Vacancy **
** Vacancy **

 

Parent Governors
Janet Divers Chris Harrington
Chris Riley Vacancy****

 

Staff
Gill Seymour (Headteacher) Maxine Fryer-Kelsey

 

Clerk
Eileen Davey

About us

Paul Turpin: Chair of Governors. Paul was appointed by the full governors as a co-opted governor and serves until September 2019. Paul was formerly a parent governor and has re-joined the governor body. Paul serves on both full governors and the operations committee. Paul is a member of the Pay Committee. He is also a member on various panels and working parties when required. Paul is married to a member of staff and has no business interests at the school.

 

Julie Noakes: Vice-Chair of Governors. Julie was appointed by the full governing body as a co-opted governor and serves until May 2018. Julie serves on both full governor and the operations committee. She is also a member of various working parties. Julie shares the role of governor with special responsibility for Children in Public Care, she is one of the governors who oversees the staff appraisal procedure, and the lead governor on the Parent Complaints committee. Julie has no business interests with the school.

 

Jenny Burgess: Jenny was appointed by the full governors as a co-opted governor and serves until May 2018. Jenny serves on both full governors and the operations committee. Jenny is school council governor. She is also a member on various panels and working parties when required. Jenny is a member of staff but has no business interests at the school.

 

Chris Harrington: Chris was elected by parents as parent governor until October 2019. Chris serves on both full governors and is chair of the operations committee. He is a member of the pay committee, head teachers appraisal panel, and lead governor in overseeing financial related matters. Chris is also a member on various panels and working parties when required. Chris has no business interests at the school.

 

Janet Divers: Janet was elected by parents as parent governor until October 2018. Janet serves on both full governors and operations committee. She is one of the governors who oversees the staff appraisal procedure. Janet is our inclusion governor and is child protection governor with Maxine. Janet has recently joined the Pay Committee. She is also a member on various panels and working parties when required. Janet has no business interests at the school.

 

Maxine Fryer-Kelsey: Maxine was elected by staff as staff governor until April 2020. Maxine serves on both full governors and operations committee. She is the development governor and works with Janet as child protection governor. Maxine works alongside Jenny Burgess as health & safety govenor. Maxine is also a member on various working parties and panels when required. Maxine has no business interests at the school.

 

Emma Day: Emma was elected by the full governors as a co-opted governor until November 2019. Emma works with Maxine as Anti-bullying governors. Emma will join working parties as required. Emma has no family connections with the school. Emma is an owner TinyTykes/TetraBrazil Mid-Herts and has been working within primary schools including Commonswood.

 

Gill Seymour: Gill is the head teacher and serves on the full governing body. She attends the operation committee as a member. Gill meets regularly with members of the governing body in school outside set governor meetings. Gill has no business interests at the school. Gill is currently a interim governor at another local school.

 

Darrell Bilverstone: Darrell was appointed by the governing body as LA governor until November 2020. Darrell is keen to undertake his role and has undertaken his governor induction training and recently undertook safeguarding training. Darrell has no pecuniary or business interests with the school.

 

Chris Riley: Chris was appointed by the governing body as parent governor until February 2021. Chris looks forward to working with the governing body. Chris has no pecuniary or business interests with the school.

 

Attendance at both Full Governor & Special meetings during academic year 2015/16
Julia Williamson  10/11 Julie Noakes  9/11
Paul Turpin 6/7 Chris Harrington 8/11
Carole Dixon 9/10 Maxine Fryer-Kelsey 10/11
Jenny Burgess 10/11 Janet Divers 7/11
Lindsey Wilson 7/7 Louise Schuba 6/7
Emma Day 5/6 Tejas Parika 2/3
Gill Seymour 10/11
Attendance at Operations Committee meetings during academic year 2015/16
Chris Harrington 5/5 Julie Noakes 5/5
Paul Turpin 3/4 Maxine Fryer-Kelsey 4/5
Jenny Burgess 5/5 Janet Diver 3/5
Louise Schuba 3/3 Lindsey Wilson 3/3
Gill Seymour 5/5

 

Governors leaving the board since academic year 2014 / 2017
Liz McAlleese (Parent Governor): term ended Oct 2014
Heather Kenny (LA Governor) resigned Aug 2015.
Karen Cox (Co-opted Governor) resigned March 2015.
Paul Turpin (Parent Governor) resigned July 2015.
Karen Macer (Parent Governor) resigned July 2015.
Tejas Parikh (co-opted). Resigned April 2016.
Carole Dixon (Co-opted). Resigned June 2016.
Julia Williamson (Co-opted). Resigned July 2016.
Louise Schuba (Parent Governor). Resigned November 2016. Lindsey Wilson (Parent Governor). Resigned June 2017. Jason Haines (Co-opted Governor). Resigned June 2017.

 

Contact with Governors can be made through the school office.