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Term 1 starts Monday 5th September 2022

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.

Governors have no operational, day-to-day responsibility for the school. The Headteacher has responsibility for delivering every aspect of education and support to the pupils. Governors help set the vision, the Headteacher and his staff deliver it.

If you would be interested in joining the Governing Board of Brabourne School, please do contact us via the school office.

 

Who are the Governors?

Hester Fenwick – Co-opted Governor (Chair)

I have been a governor since September 2013, for the most part as a parent governor with three children having gone through the school. Now they’ve moved on to secondary, I’ve been appointed as a co-opted governor. After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge, I joined Unilever on their Management Development scheme, working with them for ten years in various supply chair roles in the UK and abroad.

I left to do an MBA at Stockholm School of Economics with the intention of moving into the not-for-profit sector but 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 in East Brabourne.

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: Governing Board
Joined Governing Body: 01/09/2013 (as a parent governor)
Reappointed: 31/08/17 (parent governor) 31/07/2020 (co-opted governor)
Term of office: 31/07/2024
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance; Headteacher performance panel; Marketing; Governor Training and Development; Teaching & Learning, SEND Link governor, Pay Panel (Chair)
Business Interests: Spouse is Finance Vice President for Unilever UK

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 5/5
Finance Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 6/6
T&L Committee Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 3/3

FGB Meetings attended in 2022/2023:

 

Lucie Edmed – LA Governor (Vice Chair)

Since retiring five years ago I have become a grandparent, bringing a new and exciting dimension to my life. I have three young grandchildren whom I look after during the week. The oldest has just joined Brabourne and is eager to go each morning. To me this reflects the care and ethos of the school.

My career led me down a wide variety of paths, all under the education umbrella, but mainly focussing on the quality of teaching and learning which is my passion. After gaining my Certificate of Education at Teacher Training College in 1973, I began my career as reception class teacher at Beaver Green Infants School and held a variety of posts including Special Needs Co-ordinator.

I taught both Y1 and YR at Willesborough County Infant School and was later promoted to Early Years Co-ordinator. My many roles and responsibilities included teacher appraisals, mentoring newly qualified teachers, leading the collaborative development of the Early Years Policy, implementing the School Improvement Plan and both monitoring and reviewing the Early Years curriculum but most importantly being an advocate for the highest possible quality provision. I believe it is paramount that all staff feel valued by identifying their strengths and addressing areas for development, listening to their points of view and acting accordingly. I played an instrumental role as a member of the Senior Management Team and as Teacher Governor.

In 2001 I gained my Performance Threshold Award, a KCC initiative, by demonstrating that I had met the National Standards for Effective Teaching. My class teacher experience enhanced my understanding of the fundamental principles of quality Early Years Education, how to motivate children in their learning and implementing appropriate teaching strategies – all vital if children are to achieve their full potential.

As Early Childhood Education and Course Tutor at Canterbury College I enjoyed cascading my knowledge and understanding of current national and local education developments and initiatives to my students. I found discussing current topics and all aspects of child development in both play and learning both stimulating and thought provoking.

In 2004 I realised my ambition by accepting a post as Early Years Advisory Teacher. I felt it a privilege to be able to visit and support voluntary, private and independent nurseries, schools and pre-schools within the Kent Early Years Development and Childcare Plan. My role was as a ‘critical friend’ helping practitioners to review their own practice and find ways of developing and improving it, particularly in those with needs identified through the Ofsted Inspection process. This I found most inspiring and rewarding.

I look forward to working alongside other members of the Governing Board and supporting the future direction of the school. I feel very strongly that every child has the right to a high quality of care and education from the time they are born.

Appointing Body: Local Authority
Joined Governing Body: March 2019
Term of office: March 2023
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning (Chair), Early Years Link Governor
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 6/6
T&L Meeting attended in 2021/22: 3/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Emma Watson – Co-opted Governor

I became a governor at Brabourne School after moving into the village with my partner in 2021. I felt a strong desire to offer the benefit of my time and experience as a way of giving back to the lovely community in which I live. I have recently had a daughter and I’m so thankful she is able to grow up in this environment. I’m constantly amazed at the calibre of education offered at Brabourne School and the wonderful approach to the children’s wider wellbeing and future potential.

My professional career has so far been various roles in Finance, most recently as Head of Commercial Finance for a global market research company, helping them achieve their commercial goals. I have studied AAT and ACCA and offer 15 years of finance experience.

Appointing Body: Governing Board
Joined Governing Body: 19th May 2022
Term of office: 18th May 2026
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance (Chair)
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 2/2
Finance Committee Meetings attended in 2021/22: 2/2
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Ruthie Gilbert – Foundation Governor

Ruthie Gilbert was brought up in Kenya and has lived in many different countries. When asked where she is from, Ruthie will simply say, ‘I am a daughter of the King!’ She sees herself as a person who loves life, loves people, loves family and an open home, and is a life long learner which attracted her to be a Foundation Governor of Brabourne with its excellent vision for outstanding education and care of the whole child.

 She is married to Rod Gilbert and together they have been working all over Asia for 40 years. They have five children and twelve grandchildren. 

Ruthie is a qualified teacher and family counselor, writer and inspirational speaker. Together with her husband Rod she established Cornerstone House Family Life Centre in India and the Marriage Masala resources, which are translated into many languages. In 2003 they moved to Sri Lanka, where Rod was the principal of Trinity College in Kandy, and Ruthie was involved in training.

 In 2009 Rod and Ruthie spent two years in Pastoral Care at Bethany Ministries in Hong Kong.

Based now in Kent UK they have a 17th century homestead, KingsMill , with a rich history of love, adventure and mission – giving a home to young asylum seekers, and to families and people from all over the world in need of rest and restored relationships.

Appointing Body: Diocese of Canterbury
Joined Governing Body: 18/10/18
Term of officer: 17/10/22
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture; Headteacher Performance Panel, Pay Panel

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 4/6
T&L Meeting attended in 2021/22: 1/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Becks Massie – Parent Governor

I’m the parent of four children aged 23,22,19 and 10, also grandparent to one aged 5. My youngest son and grandson,  both attend Brabourne school.  I studied Valuation and Estate Management at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
 
Whilst my eldest three children were in primary school, I qualified as an England Hockey coach, teaching in one of our local primary schools, now at Brabourne and at Ashford Hockey club on a voluntary basis . I have taught hockey for 13 years now and also worked as a TA voluntarily.
 
It is my belief that all children should have access to a variety of sports in schools. Sport contributes greatly to the
well being and general mental health of all children. Having worked with children of varying abilities and behavioural challenges, seeing the positive effect it has on them, I have developed a passion for intervention through outdoor activities.
 
My faith is paramount to my life and I therefore believe in the Christian values upheld by the school and their benefits to the children.
 
As a governor I hope to combine my experience as a parent and intimate knowledge gained from working in the school to provide a balanced and supportive role.
 

Appointing Body: School parents
Joined Governing Body: 07/02/2019
Term of office: 06/02/2023
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 6/6
E&C Meeting attended in 2021/22: 2/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
E&C Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Lena Valentine – Parent Governor

My son Milius joined Brabourne School in 2019 and has had a wonderful start to school life. He loves going to school and is curious about learning; something I attribute to the inclusive and challenging yet supportive school environment that Brabourne is providing. I wanted to have a more proactive role in helping to shape the future of the school and its pupils and decided to join the governing board in 2021. As a parent governor I have taken on the role of Health & Safety governor. I am also a member of the Ethics and Culture Committee.

I believe in sharing views, listening, and collaboratively working to improve systems, policies and practices. Having worked in a range of commercial enterprises, I have learnt a lot about effective communication, organisation and working as a team, and I am confident that these qualities will be an asset to the governing board and the school as a whole. I have also worked as a clerk to Governing Boards, which has given me useful insight into good governance practices.

I am originally from Germany but have lived in Kent since 2007. I have a degree in English Literature and Media Studies and have a working background in online marketing and administration. One personal passion of mine are retired greyhounds and I volunteer for a local greyhound charity. We have a retired racer, Jack, as a family pet and I enjoy taking him out in the beautiful Kent countryside as often as I can.

Appointing Body: School parents
Joined Governing Body: 2/2021
Term of office: 2/2025
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture, Health & Safety

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 6/6
T&L Meeting attended in 2021/22: 3/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Natasha Hilton – Parent Governor

My children joined Brabourne School in September 2020, which was a special moment for me as my family and I have lived in the village and surrounding area most of our lives. I appreciate the community feeling of the village which is promoted by the school. This is an ethos which you can instantly feel when visiting Brabourne School and one I wanted for my children.

I am a qualified PE teacher, BSc (Hons) PGCE in Sports and Exercise Science, and have spent my entire 20+years teaching career within the Ashford area. Initially, Christ Church High School (now John Wallis Academy), Highworth Grammar and in a sport’s advisory role to their feeder primaries. My love for Key Stage 2 teaching began whilst travelling around the world, during which time I taught in a Primary School in Sydney. now teach at Ashford Prep School (since 2010), and where mduties are; Head of Girl’s Games, Year 4 teacher of history and drama on a part-time basis. 

Locally, have helped create and manage an annual “Ashford Giving Tree, enabling every vulnerable child to receive a gift for Christmas in the Ashford and Folkestone area. I enjoy fund raising for charities such as the Pilgrim’s Hospice, Demelza House and Brain Tumour Research, a cause close to my heart.

I hope in my role as governor, to assist in achieving the best all-round education for all those who attend Brabourne school. I believe in the foundations provided by the school, and I hope that my experiences in a variety of learning environments, working with younger children and endeavouring to maintain and improve their well-being, could benefit the already thriving school environment.

Appointing Body: school parents
Joined Governing Body: 2/2021
Term of office: 2/2025
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 5/6
T&L Meeting attended in 2021/22: 2/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Selina Eyles – Parent Governor

I have two young children, my daughter is in year 3 and my little boy is 3. I love living in Brabourne, and I’m proud to be part of the community. I volunteer with the local Brownie unit, this time has really shown me the importance of inspiring and challenging children to be their best. 

I have a degree in Business and come from a Financial Services background, with numerous years of leadership and operations management experience. These roles have involved managing teams, performance, recruitment, process efficiencies, budgets, quality assurance, customer care and complaints. 

I currently work in the office at another local village primary school. I hope I can bring my work experience to support the school values and continue to build on the success of the school. I believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and be supported to do so both academically and emotionally.

Appointing Body: School parents
Joined Governing Body: 12/2020
Term of office: 12/2024
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 5/6
Finance Meeting attended in 2021/22: 6/6
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
Finance Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Rev.Chris Denyer – Foundation Governor

I am the Vicar of the Stour Downs Parish, which includes the churches and communities of Brabourne, Mersham, Monks Horton, Sellindge, Smeeth and Stowting. This parish was formed in 2018 just before I took up post, previously being Curate at High Halden, Bethersden and Woodchurch for three years.

I am a member of the Governing Body by virtue of my office, as this is a Church of England school, yet it is more than representing the local church on the Governing Body- it is about being involved with and supportive of the community I serve. I have a passion for education, having been a primary teacher before being ordained, and it gives me great joy to be a part of ensuring the pupils of this school have the best start in life possible. I enjoy getting to know the families of our school community through my involvement with the Governing Body and supporting the school in my ministry.

My first calling was to be a teacher, and I taught in the Early Years, Year One, Two and Three at Kingsnorth C of E Primary, as well as part-time cover work across all year groups at Brenzett C of E Primary and as a supply teacher. I have been an Early Years Manager and a Team Leader, and in this role gained experience of school leadership. My love for stories – telling them and acting them- spills over from my years as a Literacy leader and studying for an MA in Primary Literacy, to writing novels and directing, writing and treading the boards in pantomimes and plays. I guess that stories were at the heart of my love for studying History as part of my first degree at the University of Kent.

I have four children, the eldest of which is at university and my youngest son is at Brabourne school.

Appointing Body: Ex Officio (parish priest)
Joined Governing Body: 24/09/2018
Term of office: Ongoing
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Ethics & Culture (Chair), Headteacher performance panel (Chair), Pay Panel
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 5/6
E&C Meeting attended in 2021/22: 3/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
E&C Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Andrew Stapley – Headteacher

I have been the Headteacher of Brabourne CEP School since January 2017. I have a BA (Hons) degree in French and Italian and a PGCE in 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 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, Ethics & Culture
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 6/6
T&L Committee Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 3/3
E&C Committee Meetings attended in 2021/2022: 3/3

Katie Vasu Staff governor

I have worked at Brabourne School since 2014 as a 1:1 teaching assistant. This followed my initial role as Clerk to the Governors of the school. I currently work in Jupiter Class, where I hope to continue as class TA. I have a specific interest in pastoral care, SEN and specifically meeting the medical needs of children within school. This follows on from my previous career as a paediatric nurse. I am lucky enough to be part of the teaching of art and PSHE in Jupiter supported by the class teacher. Both my children attended Brabourne School and loved it! I am committed to being part of its continued success as a welcoming, supportive school with high academic standards.

Appointing Body: School staff
Joined Governing Body: 04/2021
Term of office:04/2025
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Business Interests: None

FGB Meetings attended in 2021/22: 5/6
T&L Meeting attended in 2021/22: 2/3
FGB Meetings attended in 2022/23:
T&L Meetings attended in 2022/23:

Vacancy  – Clerk to the Governors (being covered by Lena Valentine)

 

Previous Governors (last two years)

Sarah Hopker – Parent Governor

Appointing Body: School parents
Joined Governing Body: 06/02/2017
End of Term of office: 05/02/2021

Sarah Vant – Parent Governor

Appointing Body: School parents
Joined Governing Body: 06/02/2017
End of Term of office: 05/02/2021

Natasha Miller – Staff Governor

Appointing Body: School staff
Joined Governing Body: 15/03/2018
Term of office:14/03/2022
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Resigned: December 2020

Colin Taylor – Staff Governor

Appointing Body: School staff
Joined Governing Body: 12/20
Term of office: 12/24
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Teaching & Learning
Resigned:  04/21 (Moved schools)

Roger Shaw – Co-opted Governor (Vice-Chair)

Appointing Body: Full Governing Board
Joined Governing Body: 20/10/2016
Term of office: 21/10/2024
Committee(s)/Responsibilities: Finance (Chair); Appeals panels (Chair)
Business Interests: None
Resigned:25/02/22

 

 

 


 

 

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