The Governing Body of Holbrook Primary School
Thank you for logging on to the governors’ page of Holbrook School’s website. We hope the information here will give you an insight into the voluntary work we do. You can find out more about particular aspects of our role and the implications of becoming a governor at Holbrook School by clicking on the words in bold included in this introduction to our work. The document here What does a governor do? has been produced by the National Governors’ Association to give those individuals considering becoming a school governor an oversight of the roles school governors are expected to perform.
The governors of Holbrook School are individuals from different backgrounds with a range of relevant skills, knowledge and experience and, most importantly, a shared commitment to conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. Our core functions, as stipulated by the Department for Education, are to:
- ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- hold the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.
We take these responsibilities very seriously and, although we are volunteers, we are committed to conducting ourselves .professionally. Collectively, we maintain strategic oversight of the school, providing both support and constructive challenge to the head teacher and other senior leaders. Our ambition for Holbrook pupils is shared with school staff and is set out at the front of the school’s strategic plan which can be found under the School Development section of the school website. The plan outlines the school’s strategic priorities for the next two years, and our longer term aspirations for the school whilst the governing body’s monitoring and evaluation policy indicates how we hold the school’s senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils. We oversee the financial performance of the school by ensuring that the school’s financial resources are directed towards school improvement priorities and by evaluating the impact of expenditure to ensure that the school obtains value for money. Individual governors have no power, nor any responsibility, unless delegated to them by the governing body and the head teacher is accountable to the governing body for all aspects of the school’s performance.
School staff and parents of current pupils are entitled to be represented on the governing body as is Wiltshire Council as we are a maintained school. The staff governor is elected by other school staff and may be a teacher or a member of the support staff. Parent governors are elected by parents of pupils at the school and Wiltshire Council’s representative is appointed by the governing body. The head teacher is also a governor. Our instrument of government allows us to co-opt additional individuals as governors where the governing body considers they have the necessary skills to add value to our work. Whether appointed or elected, all governors have equal status. There are currently 12 positions on the governing body. Prospective governors are always invited to meet the chair and vice chair of governors so that they are clear about the expectations of the role and to ensure that the governing body has a good balance of governors from different backgrounds. Prospective governors are also encouraged to observe governing body meetings before committing to the role.
All governors, with the exception of the head teacher, are appointed or elected for a 4 year term of office, at the end of which we have to be re-appointed or re-elected if we wish to continue for a further 4 year period. A head teacher is entitled to be a governor for the period of his/her headship at the school. There is no limit to the number of times a governor can be re-elected or re-appointed as long as they still qualify for the position they hold. There are certain criteria that prevent individuals from serving as a school governor and these are brought to the attention of prospective governors. The disqualification criteria are listed in the Constitution of Governing Bodies Regulations. The chair and vice chair of governors and the chairs of each committee are elected at the last full governing body meeting of each academic year to serve in that capacity for the following academic year.
We place great importance on distributing leadership roles throughout the governing body and on implementing leadership succession arrangements to ensure continuity of effective governance. Governors are encouraged to visit the school occasionally during the school day to gain a good understanding of the school, its staff and its pupils. Governors may also visit to fulfil an agreed monitoring role on behalf of the governing body and are expected to write reports of these visits for consideration by relevant school leaders and the governing body.
Whilst the full governing body meets 5 times during the year, much of our work is carried out in committees. We continually review the effectiveness of our committee structure against expectations of governing bodies and currently have a performance and standards committee, a finance committee and a premises committee. The responsibilities of the full governing body and each of its committees are set out in a scheme of delegation, which is reviewed annually.
The minutes of all governors’ meetings, with the exception of any confidential items, are public documents to be made available to anyone wishing to see them by contacting the clerk to governors via the school office. In addition to producing minutes of all our meetings we compile a report for parents and carers at the end of each term to keep them informed of our work throughout the year. These can be found in the parents’ section of the website. Additionally, and in line with the Department for Education’s expectations, we also now produce an annual governance statement to demonstrate the impact of our work on the school and transparency of our structures and attendance at meetings. The Governance Statements can be found under the Governors’ section of the website.
All governors are expected to observe the governors’ code of conduct, which is brought to the attention of all prospective governors. New governors are provided with a programme of support as outlined in the governors’ induction policy, which includes the allocation of an experienced governor as a mentor. A governors’ allowances scheme outlines where governors may claim expenses e.g. child care arrangements for attending meetings.
Governors at Holbrook School are encouraged to access relevant training courses, including school based training and courses arranged through our participation in the Trowbridge Area Schools Governors’ cluster arrangements. Governors who attend training courses are expected to provide a brief feedback report for the governing body so that the learning is cascaded to all governors. If you are interested in joining the governing body of Holbrook School or simply want to find out more about what we do please contact the chair of governors or clerk to the governing body. They can both be contacted via the school office. A profile of each of our current governors is included below.
I have lived in Trowbridge since 2001 and before that, Bradford on Avon, so I have been local almost all my life. Most recently I was the Finance Director for a consultancy in central Bath. My role was largely Finance and Cost Management but all included HR, Contracts and Employment Law, IT and Marketing. In 2016, I had my daughter and decided to put my career on hold in order to devote my time to her. As a member of Holbrook’s governing body, I am hoping that I can utilise some, if not all, the skills, knowledge that I have acquired over the last 15 years. In my free time I enjoy cooking, gardening and yoga.
I joined the Governing body in 2006 as a parent governor. During this time I have gained lots of experience and taken on various roles which include chair of the staffing committee and I was chair of governors for 3 years. I am currently the vice chair of governors and have taken the opportunity to be lead governor for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and pupil premium. I moved to Trowbridge from Leicester in 2001, my eldest child had completed his primary education there but the other 8 have all been pupils at Holbrook. The youngest are currently in years 3 and 4. As a result of being a governor and having such an interest in education, I have now undertaken full time studies as a mature student. I enjoy my children, grandchildren, family days out, reading and various sporting activities.
Since 2008 I have been a councillor and a local authority appointed governor of Holbrook Primary School, as well as Trowbridge town mayor for 2013/14. I am very pleased with how pupils, staff, governors and parents support the school and each other to ensure safety at the school for all and that a high standard of education and learning is maintained, to enable the children to get the best start in their educational life. It is my belief that every child has a gift that our school has the task to find and nurture so that every child can reach their full potential. My jobs have included working within a factory doing manual and office trades, then a chosen career within the IT industry to consultant level, self employment, a career in the public service area of pensions, welfare, training and employment, and now in the health and care area supporting independent living for adults. Outside of Holbrook and my working life time is spent with my wife Deborah. We regularly attend our local churches and helping out at local community events, meeting people and visiting places as well as both working with both town and county councils to ensure Trowbridge and Wiltshire provide the services we need.
I became a Community Governor at Holbrook School in 2013. I have many years experience working in Education and have seen many changes and the importance of learning. I have previously served as a governor at Trowbridge and Wiltshire College. During my career, I have taught apprentices. BTEC and A level students and I believe that every young person should be provided with the opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills so that they can achieve their full potential ready for their next step in education and their future prospects.
I trained as a professional electrician and progressed to Health and Safety, Construction of Buildings. My main interest is Trowbridge, documenting its history/events and I am involved with many local Trowbridge groups.
I have enjoyed a long association with Holbrook School and during that time have served in many capacities on the governing body. I am currently fulfilling the role of Chair of Governors until I finally step down from the governing body in December 2018. During my time as a governor I have found it very rewarding to work with other governors and school leaders who share my commitment to ensuring that the school ensures the best possible outcomes for all pupils and I can often be found visiting the school during its working day. My husband and I enjoy taking short holidays, often in the Dorset countryside, throughout the year. I also enjoy reading, walking and swimming, as well as spending time with my3 grandchildren and wider family and friends.
I have lived in Trowbridge for about ten years and have settled down with my lovely wife and two young boys who attend Holbrook Primary School. I have a keen interest in Trowbridge town and the local community where I live. I hope to be a useful member of the Holbrook Primary School governing body providing useful observations and suggestions from a parent’s perspective. I am in full time employment in a Sales role, different from my history that is in the Motor Trade. In my free time I enjoy a variety of sports and am particularly competitive at racket sports, focusing on Squash and Table Tennis. I still manage to find time to complete large DIY home projects that my wife dreams up.
I was lucky enough to join the brilliant Holbrook teaching team in February 2015, having taught across KS2 since completing my BA (Honours) Primary Education in 2003. I am an avid rugby fan and enjoy visiting the Rec. to cheer on Bath Rugby! I learnt to juggle at the age of seven and over the years have challenged myself to juggle with everything from glow in the dark rings to flaming fire torches! In the holidays I can often be found exploring woodlands. National Trust parks or the Cornish coastline with my wife and little boy.
I have been head teacher of Holbrook Primary School since September 2007. Previously, I was head teacher of a primary school in Shepton Mallet for 10 years and head teacher of a school near Wincanton for five years. I have also taught in Frome, Ilchester and Yeovil. I love being a head teacher and think it is important to always have a challenge. I like working at Holbrook because everyone who works here shares the same belief that this can be an excellent school. When I have free time I like to read, cycle or go to the cinema. I am also learning German at Wiltshire College. My best friend at school was Gary Tate, somebody I talk about from time to time in assembly!