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Bernards Heath Junior School

'Knowing Every Child'

Governors

Welcome to our Governors' section. 


Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


We have also provided a Register of Governor Interests and an Annual Statement of Issues for your information.

The Governing Body - Updated April 2021

 

Overview

BHJS has a committed team of 14 governors who play an important role in the leadership, performance, development and everyday life of the school. As governors, we are unpaid volunteers and are either elected or appointed to serve a four-year term of office. To comply with new DfE regulations, our governing body was re-constituted during 2014/15. Our membership consists of:

  1. 5 parent governors (elected by the parent body)
  2. 1 Local Authority (LA) governor (appointed by the LA, but candidates can be suggested by the governing body)
  3. 1 staff governor (elected by the school staff)
  4. 1 Headteacher
  5. 6 co-opted governors (appointed by agreement of the whole governing body)

 

All of our governors have equal rights to participate in the work of the governing body and to state individual views and are very much encouraged to do so, but we work as a team and are bound by the collective decisions of the team. Governors may serve for more than one term of office if they wish to nominate themselves again (for parents or members of staff), or are invited to do so by the full governing body (for the co-opted and LA roles).

Governors are required to comply with statutory safeguarding regulations and are only eligible to serve on our governing body with clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service*.

(* The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.)

 

More information on the role of school governor can be found on the Herts Direct website: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/getinvolved/governors/

 

What is required to become a school governor at Bernards Heath Junior School?

As individuals we each have different reasons for becoming a governor, we come from a variety of backgrounds, and between us bring a wide range of useful skills, experience and expertise to the governing body. It is not necessary to be an expert on educational matters to become a school governor, although it is vital to seek to understand fully the role and responsibilities involved to be able to support the school effectively and enable it to continue to develop and flourish. Enthusiasm, commitment and being a good team player are the key underlying personal qualities needed. It is expected that both new and experienced governors take full advantage of the wide range of training opportunities and information available. A record is kept of all training undertaken.

 

Underpinning all of this, governors at Bernards Heath Junior School fully respect the requirement to act in the best interests of the school at all times, being open and transparent, operating with integrity and honesty. At the start of each academic year, all governors sign the Code of Conduct*, and complete the Register of Interests* in which any business or pecuniary interests are declared, details of any other educational establishments they govern, together with any close links or relationships between governors and members of the school staff including spouses, partners and relatives. In addition, it is routine practice for any conflicts of interests to be declared if and when they arise during any governor discussions or meetings. Governors are also very aware of all e-safety issues; in addition to ensuring that all appropriate guidelines, policies and procedures are in place, each governor also signs the school’s ICT Acceptable Use Agreement*.

(* The signed BHJS Governors’ Code of Conduct, Register of Interests and ICT acceptable use Agreement are available to view upon request to the school office)

 

What is our role?

We work in partnership with the Headteacher, who is our principal professional advisor, to ensure that the best possible all-round education is being provided for all the children in a high quality learning environment, making the most effective use of the resources available to the school and in compliance with all statutory regulations and procedures. Whereas the day-to-day management and teaching and learning are the responsibility of the Headteacher supported by her senior leadership team, the governors have a strategic role holding the school to account for overall standards and acting as “critical friends” by offering encouragement and support, but also by providing honest and candid feedback - in short, by challenging constructively.

 

How do we work?

The role of school governor does involve a significant commitment, but our work is planned in a structured way to recognise and accommodate other work and personal commitments. The full governing body has five formal evening meetings during the school year, and an additional planning meeting at the start of September. All governors also work on one of the following two committees, which meet at least once a term:

  • Resources, with responsibility for all finance, premises and staffing aspects
  • Standards and Curriculum Development (S&CD), with responsibility for monitoring school performance and the provision and delivery of a broad, balanced and effective curriculum.

 

Governors participate in termly meetings with the teaching staff through the Curriculum Leadership Teams, and take part in structured and focused visits during the school day to see how the theory translates into activities in the classroom and around the school and hear from the children themselves.

 

Governors communicate with parents via a termly newsletter on a variety of issues, including notification of vacancies on the governing body, and through the annual Spring Term parental questionnaire. We also meet informally with parents at a variety of school events throughout the school year.

 

There is a very high level of attendance by governors at both Full Governing Body and Committee meetings. Apologies are required when attendance at a meeting is not possible and any non-attendance is always considered by governors and recorded in the minutes. There have been no occasions where meetings have not been quorate and no unacceptably low levels of attendance or commitment by any governor.

 

All full governing body and committee meeting minutes are available to read upon request to the school office, together with full information on attendance at meetings over the past year.

 

How to contact the governing body

If you wish to contact the governors on a specific issue, or would just like to find out more about the work of the governing body, please do so via the school office by telephone, email or letter.

 

 

 

 

GOVERNING BODY PROFILE 2020/21

STUART AGNEW Parent Governor

First appointed 6.12.17; Current term of office expires 5.12.2021

Responsibilities: Designated Pupil Premium and Children Looked After Governor, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee Chair, Pay Committee

The majority of Stuart's career has been within the food industry in Marketing based roles. His expertise is predominantly focused around deriving consumer insights, translating these into campaigns and product development to ensure the household brands for which he is responsible are relevant for ever changing markets.

With two children, one in the Junior school and one a few years off starting the infant school, he also understands the school from a parent's point of view and the strong qualities and virtues of the school that aid the children to achieve their full potential at an important time of their lives.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

2019-2020

S&CD 1/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 2/2

 

SHELLEY DENCH Staff Governor (Class Teacher)

First appointed 6.10.2010; Current term of office expires 6.10.2022

Responsibilities: Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member

Shelley has over 20 years teaching experience; brings a vast knowledge of the school to the governors and enjoys working with others to keep the school Outstanding; is able to justify decisions the school makes and respond to questions that are raised during meetings; is also able to explain and interpret the school's data.

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 1/3

 

 

2019-2020

S&CD 0/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 1/2

 

 

JENNIE ECKETT Co-opted Governor

First appointed 13.09.2016; Current term of office expires 12.09.2024

Responsibilities: Resources Committee member (clerk)

Jennie is retired, having previously juggled a conveyancing-based career at a local Solicitors with caring responsibilities for her relatives. Jennie volunteers for Carers in Herts in a mentoring capacity and has previously been a Governor at her own children’s respective Junior and Senior schools in St Albans.

Meeting

Attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 3/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 1/3

 

2019-2020

RC 3/3

 

2020-2021

RC 2/2

 

 

CHRISTINE HOOD Co-opted Governor

First appointed 1.06.2014; Current term of office expires 7.05.2022

Responsibilities: Resources Committee Chair, Headteacher’s Performance Appraisal Committee, Pay Committee

Christine has been a secondary school teacher (Head of Department and Head of Year) for 35 years and Teacher Governor for over 30 of those years; has experience through her Trade Union roles of dealing with personnel issues, policy drafting and negotiations with Headteachers and Local Authority Officers at the highest levels.

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

 

2019-2020

RC 3/3

 

2020-2021

RC 2/2

 

 

JIM LAIRD Co-opted Governor

First appointed 16.10.2012 as a parent governor; converted to co-opted governor. Current term of office expires 4.10.2024

Responsibilities: Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member, Headteacher’s Performance Appraisal Committee

Having originally trained as an engineer, Jim has primarily worked in the food and drink industry in roles including factory management, sales, strategy and general management. With experience in some of the UK’s largest food companies he has a range of corporate experience in budgeting, leadership and strategy and combines this with the experience of starting his own business and working alongside entrepreneurs and starts ups, which brings wider experience of aspects such as grant funding, corporate financing and ‘the challenges of institutional decision making’. Jim thrives in identifying growth and value creation opportunities and seeks to bring a supportive, hands-on and collaborative approach to the GB. With three children who are currently at or have attended the Bernards Heath schools, he also brings personal experience of the rigorous processes, strengths and virtues of the school.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 3/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

2019-2020

S&CD 1/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 1/2

 

SIAN MURRAY Co-opted Governor

First appointed in 20.09.04 as a parent governor; concerted to co-opted governor. Current term of office expires 7.05.2023

Responsibilities: Designated SEND Governor, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member, Headteacher’s Performance Appraisal Committee, formerly member of HR Committee

As the parent of two daughters who attended BHJS, and having been a governor here since 2004, Sian has seen the school go through many changes, including those in leadership, teaching staff, support staff and governors, as well as watching its expansion regarding pupil numbers. She has been a primary school teacher in Herts since 1988 and brings to the governing body a wide-ranging knowledge and experience of changes in national and local education from several perspectives. 

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

2019-2020

S&CD 0/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 2/2

 

CHARLOTTE PARKINSON  Local Authority Governor

First appointed 5.10.2016 as a parent governor; converted to local authority governor.  Current term of office expires 4.10.2024

Responsibilities:  Designated Safeguarding Governor, Resources Committee member.

Charlotte has four children all of which have attended BHJS, with the youngest two now in year 6, giving her a good working knowledge of the school as well as experience as a service user. As a governor, she would be a link between home and school, ensuring that parent/carer perspectives are always considered. She has many years’ experience working for a leading children’s charity and volunteering with a local youth group, with specific knowledge around safeguarding.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 3/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

 

2019-2020

RC 3/3

 

2020-2021

RC 1/2

 

 

PIPPA ROWSON Co-opted Governor, Chair of Governors

First appointed 5.10.2016 as a parent governor, converted to co-opted governor. Current term of office expires 4.10.2024

Responsibilities: Chair of Governors, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member

Pippa aims to support the school in helping every child to achieve their full potential. She has three children who have attended Bernards Heath and is familiar with the strengths of the school and invested in its future success. Before children, she worked as a consultant advising companies on best practice corporate strategy. With a growing interest in primary education, she currently works part-time at another local school in a teaching assistant role.

 

Meeting attendance

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

 

2019-2020

S&CD 1/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 2/2

RC 2/2

 

VICTORIA QUINNEY Parent Governor, Vice-Chair of Governors (shared with Helen Bellwood)

First appointed 22.11.2018; Current term of office expires 21.11.2022

Responsibilities: Vice-Chair of Governors, Designated Safeguarding Governor, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member (clerk)

Victoria has two children at the junior school in years 3 and 5.

Following a 10 year career in the HR department of a large publishing company, Victoria took a career break following the birth of her children and has subsequently played an active role within the two Bernard’s Heath schools as a parent volunteer and a member of the junior school PTA. 

 

Victoria is keen to extend her support of the junior school through her role as parent governor and will provide time, energy, enthusiasm and parental insight to the role.

 

Meeting attendance

 

2019-2020

FGB 3/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

 

2019-2020

S&CD 1/1

 

2020-2021

S&CD 1/2

 

HELEN BELLWOOD Co-opted Governor, Vice-Chair of Governors (shared with Victoria Quinney).

First appointed 4.10.2018; Current term of office expires 3.10.2022

Responsibilities: Vice-Chair of Governors, Designated Sports Premium Governor, Resources Committee member

Helen is a chartered accountant, having trained with KPMG and subsequently worked in senior finance roles at various FMCG and retail organisations. She brings considerable financial expertise to the Board and is passionate about supporting the school.

 

She has two children, one in the Junior school and one in the Infant School, and so also brings personal experience of the school from a parent perspective.

Meeting attendance

 

2019-2020

FGB 3/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 2/3

 

2019-2020

RC 3/3

S&CD 0/1

 

2020-2021

RC 1/2

S&CD 2/2

 

 

LIAM O’CONNOR Parent Governor

First appointed as an Associate Governor on 22.11.2018. Converted to parent governor on 19.3.2019; Current term of office expires 18.3.2023

Responsibilities: Designated Sports Premium Governor, Resources Committee member.

After qualifying as an accountant, Liam has over 16 years’ experience within the hospitality industry, including restaurants, hotels, pub groups, private members clubs, and is currently the Finance Director for a group of bars in Shoreditch. In his career he has had extensive experience of budgeting, leading and working within diverse teams, delivering finance as well as non-finance related projects, and writing reports for various stakeholders. Liam has lived in St Albans for 12 years, and has two children, one in the junior school and one in the final year at the infant school. 

 

Meeting attendance

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

 

2020-2021

FGB 3/3

 

 

2019-2020

RC 3/3

 

2020-2021

RC 1/2

 

LUCIE DOW Parent Governor

First appointed 8.10.2020; Current term of office expires 7.10.2024

Responsibilities: Resources Committee member

Lucie has two children, one at the junior school and one in Year 2 at the infant school.  Lucie’s background is in the technology sector where she is currently involved in setting up an apprenticeship through her work to train graduates. Lucie also volunteers as a STEM ambassador within Hertfordshire and is keen to help schools utilise access to relevant technologies to support their teaching for children especially in these uncertain times.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2020-2021 FGB 2/2

 

 

 

2020-2021

RC 2/2

S&CD 1/1

 

 

 

 

JEREMY HAZLEHURST Parent Governor

First appointed 8.10.2020; Current term of office expires 7.10.2024

Responsibilities: Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member

Jeremy has been a journalist for more than 20 years, writing primarily about business, and previously worked in several countries teaching English as a foreign language. He has two children at the school and has run a table tennis club, as well as coaching a local children’s football team.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2020-2021 FGB 2/2

 

 

2020-2021

S&CD 2/2

RC 1/1

 

 

KATHERINE REEVE  Resigned July 2020

First appointed 5.02.2014 as a parent governor, converted to local authority governor. Formerly Chair of Governors, Resources Committee member, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member.

Katherine has implemented web and systems solutions in both small business and a multinational media company. She has been Chair of the Board of Trustees of a local pre-school and is actively involved in the running of the local branch of a youth organisation. With two children at the school, she also brings personal experience of the strengths of the school and its staff.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 4/4

S&CD 1/1

RC 3/3

 

 

 

 

 

 

JONATHAN PEARCE Resigned May 2020

First appointed 05.09.2017 as co-opted governor.  Formerly Standards & Curriculum Development Committee Chair and designated Sports Premium Governor.

Has recently moved to St Albans with his wife and young daughter and feels that becoming a school governor is an ideal opportunity to get involved in the local community. Having qualified as a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales back in 2010, he currently works as a senior associate in the employment team of a leading London-based firm with the largest dedicated charity and social enterprise team in the UK, and advises on all aspects of employment law. His skills, knowledge and experience, particularly his attention to detail and legal knowhow, bring a new perspective and consequent strength to the BHJ governing body.

 

Meeting attendance:

 

2019-2020

FGB 2/2

 

2019-2020

S&CD 1/1

 

 

 

BHJS governing body also benefits from the expertise of four additional Associate Members: PAUL PRITCHARD, JOHN REYNOLDS (Deputy Headteacher) JANE CLAXTON (School Business Manager) and LAURA ASTLEY (Assistant Headteacher), who attend Governing Body meetings as and when appropriate. Both as a governing body and school as a whole, we work in close liaison with our linked school, Bernards Heath Infant & Nursery School.


How to contact the governing body

If you wish to contact the governors on a specific issue or would just like to find out more about the work of the governing body, please do so via the school office by telephone, email, or letter.

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