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Governors

Providing strategic leadership and accountability

What is the role of the Governors?

The governing board has a range of duties and powers and a general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. The three key areas of responsibility are:

  • Setting the school vision and strategy
  • Supporting and challenging the Headteacher – including setting their objectives and ensuring they are met
  • Overseeing the school finance

More specifically governors support the process of setting an improvement plan and then conduct visits and check data to ensure the school is delivering planned improvements. Schools are expected to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and governors also ensure that the school maintains an accurate self-evaluation. This will include challenge based on pupil performance data (both attainment and progress) as well as other educational  evidence the governors obtain. Governors also monitor pupil wellbeing through attendance data, pupil surveys and visits. In a Church of England school such as Brabourne, governors are responsible for ensuring the Christian Distinctiveness of the school is promoted and the ethos and values of the school are maintained.

Governors are responsible for the recruitment and performance management of the Headteacher. They are also involved in the recruitment of other teachers and approve performance related pay decisions based on target setting and appraisals conducted by the Headteacher.

Governors also make sure the budget projections are realistic and that the financial systems are robust. School spending is reviewed in detail and challenged based on bench-marking against other similar schools and against the forecast.

We operate a committee structure with three main sub-committees – teaching & learning, ethics & culture and finance – feeding into the full governing board. Some governors also have individual responsibilities which are listed below.

 

Who are the Governors?

Hester Fenwick – Parent Governor (Chair)

I have been a governor since September 2013 and have three children in the school – Magnus (year 6), Bruno (year 5) and Heidi (year 3). I have a first class Chemistry degree from Cambridge and, on graduating, joined Unilever through their management development scheme. I worked in various roles in supply chain including factory management, forecasting and supply management and new systems design and implementation. My biggest role was as the supply manager for fabrics washing powder and tablets (Persil and Surf in England) across Europe – co-ordinating factories in seven countries and about fifteen different sales countries and involving project management roll-outs for new product launches. After working for their ice-cream business in the Nordic region for a year, I left to do an MBA at Stockholm School of Economics with the intention of moving into the non-profit sector.

However, I then got diverted into childcare for a few years, as well as moving from Sweden to Switzerland with my husband. We moved back to the UK in 2012 and I’m now self-employed running a holiday cottage, vineyard and smallholding.
I became a governor to support the school. I love the broad, Christian ethos that has stood it well through generations but appreciate the need for it to also meet the challenging standards of modern education and I believe it delivers both. I bring financial and project management skills and am proud to co-ordinate a board of governors who offer such a wide range of skills, experience and enthusiasm for the benefit of the school.

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 01/09/2013
Term of office: 31/08/2017
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance, Headteacher performance panel, Marketing, Governor Training and Development
Business Interests: Spouse is Finance Vice President for Unilever UK
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 7/7 (inc 1 EGM)
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 7/7
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 6/6

 

Mick Taylor – (Vice-Chair) LEA Governor

I retired three years ago after 40 years of teaching in Surrey, Kent and East London. I taught PE and Maths to secondary aged pupils, including GCSE and A level. For the last 20 years I was a senior manager, which included posts as Assistant Headteacher, Senior Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher. I have led on most responsibilities and am sure my experience in school improvement, pupil tracking, assessment, data, teaching and learning, line management and staff development will be of use at Brabourne.

I also have experience with primary aged pupils as my last school amalgamated with our adjacent primary school to form an all-through school for 1500 pupils aged 3-16. I have been on the governing body of my previous four schools and chaired several sub-committees. I have now been appointed as the Local Authority Governor to Brabourne C of E Primary School until 2019. I am also a Governor at Mersham Primary School.
Having had a gap from education I am now revitalised and ready to help the school in any way I can. I have lived in Brabourne Lees for 9 years now and this seems the obvious choice of school for me.

Appointing Body: Local Authority
Joined Governing Body: 27/06/2015
Term of office: 26/06/2019
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning (Chair)
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/7
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 3/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 5/6

 

Maggie Smith – Foundation Governor

I am a mother and grandmother and a recently retired secondary school teacher with a BSc(Hons) and a MA in Educational Studies. I taught science to A-level and was responsible for the pastoral care of all pupils in Years 7-11. I have a strong Christian faith and  am a regular attender at St Mary’s the Virgin Smeeth, currently serving on their PCC. I have lived in the Brabourne area for 35 years and am actively involved in many of the village activities.

I will bring my understanding of issues that can affect pupils’ learning and the principles of my faith to the role of Foundation Governor.

Appointing Body: Canterbury Diocese
Joined Governing Body: 1/8/2017
Term of office: To cover period of inter-regnum (until new rector is appointed)
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture
Business Interests: None

 

Vacancy – Foundation Governor

 

Emma Keating – Parent Governor

As the mother of Ellie and Sam, I became a Parent Governor in December 2014, picking up special responsibility for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability). I started my career as a Helicopter Design Engineer, having completed a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, and this led me to Brussels and into project management in a variety of disciplines (engineering design, purchasing and supply chain, higher education accreditation). During this time I also played a lot of rugby (once for Belgium!) and completed an MBA. Since returning to the UK, I have worked with my husband to build up a management consultancy practice, specialising in purchasing and supply chain and am in the process of building my own jewellery/silversmithing business with a focus on animals and nature.

I was interested in the role of Governor for two reasons: Firstly that schools need the active support of their parents in a variety of ways and the governor role allows me to get to the heart of the issues. The second is much more personal and relates to my experience as a parent in a situation which eventually resulted in me removing my children from another local school and bringing them to Brabourne. On joining the school, and still 2 years on, I am struck by the caring nature of the school and the importance placed on children becoming well-rounded and confident individuals – while at the same time excelling academically.

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 01/01/2015
Term of office: 31/12/2018
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture (Chair); Teaching & Learning; SEND
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/7
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/6
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 6/6

 

Sarah Hopker – Parent Governor

I have two children, Amelia who is in year 3, and Ben who is at a local secondary school. Amelia joined Brabourne in year 2, and I quickly became aware of how special the School is. I wanted to contribute to the successful development of the School and so volunteered to become a parent governor.

I have been a teacher for 17 years and my current role is working as a specialist teacher, which is part of the specialist teaching and learning service. In this role I support children and schools in the local area with Special Educational Needs. As a consequence, I have a personal and professional interest in education and felt that I could bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience to my role as parent governor.

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 6/2/2017
Term of office: 5/2/2021
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 5/5 (one as observer)
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 1/1

 

Sarah Vant – Parent Governor

I became a parent governor in February 2017 and have two children attending the school. I have worked for my own company as a freelance consultant since 1998. Although my qualifications are mainly in the IT and Telecommunication field, in practice, assignments tend to be very varied with work in both the public and private sectors. These mainly relate to critical communications for Central government, the Emergency services and industry but have also included projects for new build or refurbishment of facilities, writing various technical reports for Ofcom and Best Value Inspections of local government services. In a voluntary capacity, I also previously served for nine years as Vice-Chair on the Board of Ashford Leisure trust, until late summer 2016.

I was born and grew up in the Ashford area and, having moved away for a few years for university and work, I returned to the Ashford area in 2000, when I moved into our current home in Brabourne Lees. As an attendee of the church in Brabourne, I appreciate the importance of the school’s Christian ethos and the maintenance and strengthening of the links with the local Church community.

As a governor, I have picked up the responsibility for Health, Safety and Maintenance and alongside conducting this role, I hope my experience and practical skills in technology, facilities and the public sector will bring a worthwhile perspective to the wider Governing Body and, in turn, bring some benefit to the school as a whole.

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 6/2/2017
Term of office: 5/2/2021
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture; Health, Safety & Maintenance
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 4/4
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 1/1

 

Jasmine Stewart – Co-opted Governor

I have an Honours degree in Business and Education, a PGCE in Adult Education and a Masters Degree in Education. For 13 years I was a serving police officer, leaving to explore other opportunities in Education resulting in 4 years working in the middle east responsible for the delivery in 23 schools across the country, on Sheikh Mohammed’s, national student citizenship programme.  I am particularly interested in Special Educational Needs implementation within the KCC area and the furthering of Adult Education for rehabilitating offenders.

Appointing Body: Full Governing Body
Joined Governing Body: 08/10/2015
Term of office: 07/12/2019
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning; Early Years; Finance; Headteacher Performance Panel
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/7
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/8
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 5/6

 

Roger Shaw – Co-opted Governor

I have a Fellowship of a major international accounting body and also an MBA in Corporate Finance.

I started my finance career working for Unilever, and then Ford Motor Company. I have been Finance Director of manufacturing companies in leisure and engineering industries.

Having now retired, I decided to become a Governor of Brabourne CEP School to help deliver financial management into a vital area of the local community.

Appointing Body: Full Governing Body
Joined Governing Body: 20/10/2016
Term of office: 21/10/2020
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance (Chair); Headteacher Performance Panel
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/6
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/6

 

Andrew Stapley Headteacher

I have been the Headteacher of Brabourne Primary School since January 2017. I have a BA (Hons) degree in French and Italian and a PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages. I began my career as a secondary languages teacher at the Norton Knatchbull Grammar School where I worked for 6 years as Head of Italian. I took on the role of Primary Regional Trainer for primary languages, working with local schools to train and prepare them for the primary languages entitlement. This led me to Brabourne School, where I have worked for the last seven years as a Year 5/6 teacher, Assistant Headteacher and now Headteacher.

Appointing Body: Ex officio (previously staff governor)
Joined Governing Body: 24/07/2010 (as staff governor) 1/1/2017 (as Headteacher)
Term of office: Ongoing
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 7/7
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 3/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 6/6

 

Colin Taylor – Staff governor

I have been the staff governor at Brabourne Primary School since January 2017. I have BA (Hons) degree in History and a PGCE in the same subject. Since then, I have obtained professional qualifications in the field Egyptology (the translation of middle Egyptian Hieroglyphics and art) and a SENCO qualification. I began my career in the Police Force,  tutoring new recruits who were struggling with the training process as well as the normal duties which were expected of an officer. After an exciting career, I decided to move into teaching full time returning to University to study for my PGCE. I have worked in schools across the county, especially with children who have a Special Educational Need. This path led me to Brabourne School and my current role as SENCO and Assistant Headteacher.

Appointing Body: School staff
Joined Governing Body: 1/1/2017
Term of office:31/12/2020
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture
Business Interests: None
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 5/5
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 2/2

 

Catherine Hazelden – Clerk to the Governors

I have been Clerking since 2000 and have experience in Clerking Community, Special, Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools as well as Academies both at Primary and Secondary sectors.

As part of my Clerking experience I have also been involved with new schools, merging schools and closing schools and hold the BTEC in Clerking.
I am employed by the KCC Clerking Service and currently clerk for 5 schools one secondary and four primary.

Joined Governing Body: 27/02/2015
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 7/7
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 6/6

 

Previous Governors (last two years)

Ian Goldsmith – Parent Governor

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 09/12/2011
Stepped down: 29/11/2015 (end of term of office)

Aidan Gillespie – Foundation Governor

Appointing Body: Canterbury Diocese
Joined Governing Body: 01/02/2015
Stepped down: 07/01/2016

Kieran Osborne – Co-opted Governor

Appointing Body: Full Governing Body
Joined Governing Body: 27/03/2015
Stepped down: 14/07/2016

Vincent Chan – Headteacher

Appointing Body: Ex Officio post
Stepped down: 31/12/2016 (on retirement from HT role)
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 2/2
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 6/6

Peter Heckel – Parent Governor

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 01/12/2013
Stepped down: 20/01/2017
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 2/2
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 5/6

Jo Mortimer – Parent Governor

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 10/12/2015
Stepped down: 04/01/2017
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 2/2
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 5/5

James Barber – Foundation Governor

Appointing Body: Canterbury Diocese
Joined Governing Body: 02/09/2016
Stepped down: 07/07/2017
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 6/6
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 3/3

Richard Le Rossignol – Foundation Governor

Appointing Body: Canterbury Diocese (ex officio post as Rector)
Joined Governing Body: 2007
Stepped down: 31/07/2017 (on retirement from role as Rector)
FGB Meetings attended in 2016/17: 4/6
Committee Meetings attended in 2016/17: 2/2
FGB Meetings attended in 2015/16: 4/6

 


Minutes of meetings are available from the school

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