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Bernards Heath Junior School

'Knowing Every Child'


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



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* and a Section 128 check.

(* 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:


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.








HELEN BELLWOOD Co-opted Governor, Co-Chair of Governors

First appointed 4.10.2018; Current term of office expires 3.10.2022

Responsibilities: Co-Chair of Governors, Pay Committee, Resources Committee member, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member, Designated Sports Premium Governor

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 2020-2021: FGB 4/5, S&CD 2/3, RC 2/3


PIPPA ROWSON Co-opted Governor, Co- 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: Co-Chair of Governors, Headteacher’s Performance Appraisal Committee, Designated Training & Development Governor, 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 2020-2021: FGB 5/5, S&CD 3/3, RC 2/3


VICTORIA QUINNEY Parent Governor, Vice-Chair of Governors

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

Victoria has two children at the junior school.  Following a ten 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 2020-2021: FGB 4/5, S&CD 2/3



STUART AGNEW Co-opted Governor, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee Chair

First appointed 6.12.17 as a parent governor; converted to a co-opted governor on 7.09.21.  Current term ends 6.09.25

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

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 2020-2021: FGB 5/5, S&CD 3/3



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 twenty years teaching experience; brings a vast knowledge of the school to the governors and enjoys working with others to ensure Bernards Heath provides high quality education for all of its pupils. She 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. She ensures the links between the staff and governors remains a strength of the school. 


Meeting Attendance 2020-2021: FGB 3/5, S&CD 2/3





First appointed 8.10.2020; Current term of office expires 7.10.2024

Responsibilities: Designated Wellbeing Governor, Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member

Jeremy has been a journalist for more than twenty years, writing primarily about business, and has 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 3/4, S&CD 3/3, RC 1/1



CHUAN HONG Co-opted Governor

First appointed 13.07.2021; Current term of office expires 12.07.2025

Responsibilities: Standards & Curriculum Development Committee member

Chuan currently works at PepsiCo, leading Commercial Strategy & Revenue Management for Walkers, PepsiCo's UK; a snacks division worth over £1.4bn in retail sales. Chuan feels strongly that the best institutions, whether it be educational or corporate, have a diversity of views and believes in the importance of setting people up for “success” when they are young and that being a school governor is a great opportunity to do this. 

Meeting Attendance 2020-2021: FGB 1/1



CHRISTINE HOOD Co-opted Governor, Resources Committee Chair

First appointed 1.06.2014; Current term of office expires 7.05.2022

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

Christine has been a secondary school teacher (Head of Department and Head of Year) for thirty five years and Teacher Governor for over thirty 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 2020-2021: FGB 4/5, RC 3/3



SIAN MURRAY Co-opted Governor

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

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

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 2020-2021: FGB 5/5, S&CD 3/3



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: Resources Committee member.

Liam is a Finance Director with nearly 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, having worked at Zizzi Restaurants, Soho House, Hilton Hotels, Orchid Pub Group and Shoreditch Bar Group. He is currently the Finance Director for the Big Chill bars and Camino tapas restaurants in London. Liam has lived in St Albans for many years, and has two children, one in the junior school and one who recently moved on to secondary school after four happy and successful years at Bernards Heath Junior School. 

Meeting Attendance 2020-2021: FGB 5/5, RC 2/3



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:  Resources Committee member

Charlotte has four children all of which have attended BHJS, giving her a good working knowledge of the school as well as experience as a service user. As a governor, she is 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 2020-2021: FGB 4/5, RC 2/3



LISA PITMAN Parent Governor

First appointed 10.12.2021; Current term of office expires 9.12.2025

Responsibilities: tbc

Lisa has two daughters, one at the Junior school and the other at the Infant school. Working within Further Education for the past eleven years, Lisa is currently a Client Director at Warwick Business School (WBS). This role involves consulting with global businesses across the areas of Strategy, Leadership, Change, Culture, Innovation, Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, Digital Transformation and much more, all topics that the school will also be facing day to day. Lisa is also an accredited Executive Coach.  With particular interest in the role that Compassionate Leadership has for both business and the educational system, Lisa hopes to learn as much from the school as to be able to offer valuable insights and guidance to them in her tenure as Governor.

Meeting Attendance 2021-2022: n/a




First appointed 10.12.2021; Current term of office expires 9.12.2025

Responsibilities: tbc

Paul is a father of six children, two of which are still currently pupils at BHJS. Professionally, Paul has a background in senior IT management, working in financial services and more recently in the private healthcare sector, with extensive experience of leadership roles for many years in a variety of organisations. Having interacted with the school and it’s teaching staff for over ten years, including the SEND team, Paul feels that his experiences in both his professional and personal life are well placed to add valuable contribution to the school’s governing body.


Meeting Attendance 2021-2022: n/a



JENNIE ECKETT Associate Member

Co-opted governor: First appointed 13.09.2016. Resigned as co-opted governor 07.09.2021.  Associate member: First appointed 07.09.2021; Current term of office expires 06.09.2025

Responsibilities: Resources Committee member

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 2020-2021: FGB 1/2, RC 2/2



PAUL PRITCHARD Associate Member

First appointed 01.12.2020; Current term of office expires 06.09.2022

Responsibilities: Resources Committee member

Paul has a wide and varied range of professional experience including: 7 years of Armed Forces training as part of the Royal Navy as a leader in various lines, such as firefighting and emergency scenarios; 6 years’ experience in the building trade supplying equipment to both industrial and domestic sites; and for the past 22 years has been running his own financial services company advising clients from both the personal and corporate sectors on financial planning. With such a wide-ranging background, pragmatic approach, positive work ethic and good communication skills at all levels, he is able to bring a wealth of knowledge, common sense and empathy to the governing body, as well as a drive to get things done. He has also demonstrated his strong sense of wanting to help the younger generation through personal involvement in differing charity challenges to raise both awareness and funds.

Meeting Attendance 2021-2022: FGB 4/5, RC 1/3




LUCIE DOW  Resigned 21.10.2021

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 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 3/4, RC 2/3, S&CD 1/1



JIM LAIRD Resigned 13.07.2021

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 2020-2021: FGB 4/5, S&CD 2/3



BHJS governing body also benefits from the expertise of five Associate Members: PAUL PRITCHARD, JENNIE ECKETT, 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.