Governors

Governing Body

The governing body of Giles Junior School is composed of parents, representatives of the local community and the local authority, and school staff. Governors have legal powers, duties and responsibilities. Our role is to work strategically with the school’s senior leadership team, challenging and questioning the school, identifying priorities for improvement and ensuring that these.

Who we are

Our governing board should comprise 15 members of which 3 are Parent Governors, 9 are Co-opted Governors, 1 is a Local Authority Governor and 1 is a Staff governor and Miss Whitby our Head teacher is also a governor.

Parent Governors are elected by the parents of the school. These may be parents or carers of pupils registered at Giles Junior School. They represent the parents and ensure other governors are kept in touch with the concerns and issues of most importance to our parents. They are not there to promote the interests of their own children but of all the children attending the school.

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Board. Some are former parent governors whose children have left the school but continue to support the school and have a contribution to make. Some may be teachers or other members of staff who help to bring a school and educational perspective to the Governing Board. Some are members of the local community who have an interest in education and also bring other skills.

L.A. governors are appointed by the local authority.

Staff Governors represent all the people who work within the school.

The term of office for all governors is 4 years.

 All governors have equal status and their overriding concern is the success and welfare of the school as a whole.

Our governors make a positive contribution to the school and the education of the children and were commended for this by Ofsted at the last inspection.  They work in close partnership with the Head Teacher to promote continuous improvement in the performance of the school.

 You can see profiles of our current governors here.

 Why be a School Governor

Anyone over 18 can be a school governor (unless they are disqualified), and you do not need to be a parent of a child who is at the school (see above - the types of governors). Being a governor means you will be making a positive and rewarding contribution to the school and local community, and your skills will help the governing board to be more effective, which leads to improvement for the school and to the pupils’ education and development.

You do not need to have knowledge of the education system – you will quickly learn about this as you settle into your role – and you don’t need to be ‘a professional.’ Of course you will receive training, which will extend your continuing professional development, providing you with new skills and understanding.  There are many aspects to school leadership where skills outside of the education sector are invaluable, such as human resources or finance.

What we do?

Our role is to set the strategic direction of the school and to ensure that all of the money allocated to the school is spent in the best way to raise school standards. We ask the school leaders lots of questions to ensure the priorities we have set and agreed are being followed, and that the results we expect are being realised. In this way we are both supportive and challenging at the same time. Together with the school’s staff, we all have the same objective – to provide the best education for the pupils and to provide an environment where they are safe and can reach their full potential.

Your commitment as a Governor.  

Our governors give significant amounts of time and energy. They involve themselves actively in the work of the governing board, attend regularly and accept their fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees or working groups.  There are two full governors’ meetings a term, but this depends very much on need (Ofsted creates a lot more work).  Meetings last between 2 - 2½ hours and are usually held on Wednesdays in the evening. You will be asked to join a committee and their meetings also take place once or twice a term and may be in school time or the late afternoon or early evening. During the current pandemic all our meetings are by Zoom.

 Governors are expected to visit the school during the school day at least once a term, preferably more often, in order to become familiar with the school, understand how it operates and get to know the staff and children.  At present because of the pandemic, governors are not going into schools. There is also a considerable amount of reading involved including reports, data and reviewing policies. The Governors Code of Conduct and Charter will tell you more (you will find this in the Policies section on the school’s website).

Overall, being a governor will need, on average, about 7 hours of your time every month.

Under law to you are entitled to ’reasonable time off’ to undertake public duties which includes school governance. This is not defined and you will need to negotiate with your employer who is not obliged to pay you for this time. Please note that we do not pay governor’s travel expenses.

 You will be assigned a mentor from the governing body to help you. The Clerk to the Governors will contact you to explain procedures of our Governing Body and to send documents for completion and signature. The Local Authority values the contribution of its governors and aims to provide good training and support. New governors are required to attend Induction, Safeguarding, Exclusion and Prevent training courses, which at present can all be done on-line. Other courses increase knowledge and understanding of educational issues and can be taken as required.

Next Steps

If you are reading this and think you may be able to offer your expertise to our governing body we would be delighted for you to join us and look forward to meeting you.  

For more information about applying to become one of our governors, please contact our Clerk, Mary Hadall   m.hadall@gilesjm.herts.sch.uk

If you decide you wish to apply to become a governor please note that you will be required to have an interview with a few of our governors, to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and to supply references.

 

Committees

Curriculum & Standards Committee

The Curriculum and Standards Committee is responsible for ensuring that Giles Junior School provides a balanced curriculum which promotes the development of children and prepares them for future opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences.  We monitor teaching and pupil achievement to maintain and improve standards and ensure high expectations.  Our work includes:

  • Monitoring progress in children’s books
  • Receiving and analysing data on attainment and progress
  • Holding the Senior Leadership team and teachers to account to ensure they maintain high standards by asking challenging questions
  • Monitoring lessons
  • Talking to children to gain their views
  • Ensuring the school allocates pupil premium funding and sports funding to good effect
  • Supporting learning in the classroom

Resources Committee

The Resources Committee is responsible for four main topics – money, people, the premises (buildings and grounds) and safeguarding (children and staff, including Health and Safety).

The committee works with the school to ensure that it is able to make the most of its staff, finances and facilities, and that it is a safe and stimulating environment for our pupils, staff and visitors, through a range of activities including:

  • Setting the school’s budget and ensuring that the school’s priorities are included
  • Regularly monitoring income and expenditure and ensuring that all financial risks have been considered and minimised
  • Ensuring that the school gets the best possible value for the equipment and services we purchase
  • Producing and implementing policies and standards for financial management (including those for Lettings, Charging and Remissions, Debt Recovery ), personnel, Health and Safety and Safeguarding (including Accessibility, Attendance, Behaviour, Child Protection, Equality, First Aid, Safer Recruitment and Whistleblowing)
  • Determining and implementing the school’s staff pay and performance management policies
  • The recruitment of teaching staff
  • Managing the school’s assets, including the school buildings and grounds.

Governor Profiles

Kim Hedley - Chair of Governors

I was a governor at Giles many years ago when my daughters were both pupils at the school. I was extremely proud to be asked to consider joining again. I know the value we (the governing body) can add as a group and individuals to the achievements of all the pupils who attend our school. I believe that we add value and help the pupils and the staff by supporting the school.  I joined the governing body in autumn 2018 as a co-opted governor.  I am a scientist at Lister Hospital, Sevenage, where I work full time, I am also a member of the Trusts staff side exec, which gives me a different insight into how policies and procedures can work this helps me make a different contribution to the governing body.

Mr Bill Hadall - Vice-Chair 

I became a Parent Governor when the youngest of our three sons was still in the school, so I have been a governor of the school for over 30 years now. I have always had an interest in education and the development of young people; as a chartered engineer in industry I have managed graduates and apprentices, run a UK-wide graduate recruitment and development programme for a multinational engineering company and more recently set up my own consultancy business working in the engineering sector and with the University of Bristol. Although now retired, I am still very much involved with the engineering community and with Giles Junior school.

I am proud of the way the school has developed and grown whilst dealing with ever-changing requirements from governments and education authorities, and through all of this the staff and governors have worked together to achieve the best for our pupils.

Mrs Woolston  - Staff Governor

I have been a teacher since 2015.  Prior to that I was a sales representative for medical research companies, and a medical laboratory scientific officer in the NHS.  I Joined the governing body in March 2019.  Previously I was an SEN governor at York Road Nursery School.  I enjoy walking my dog, gardening and Pilates. I am currently developing my photography skills. I have also started to practice mindfulness.  My instant love of this school was when I originally visited made me appreciate what a special school Giles Junior is. I wanted to help develop the school further.  As a parent of a child with SEN, I always want to ensure that similar children are receiving the best education and support possible. Every school needs a strong governing body to help them develop – I felt I had a range of skills that could be beneficial.

Dawn De-Vall - Co-opted Governor

I have been a governor at Giles for over six years.  I am a co-opted governor and I am Chair of the Curriculum and Standards committee.  I have four children who have all been to Giles and one is still attending in Year 5.   I have just completed a master’s degree in law and business, and I work in a local secondary school as an attendance officer.  I enjoy being a governor because I like being part of the Giles community and I want to make an impact on the education of all the children at Giles Junior School.  I enjoy keeping fit and spending time with my children.

Sarah Allcock-Green - Co-opted Governor

I am Sarah Allcock-Green, I have 3 children that have all been to school at Giles, with my youngest child currently in year 5. I have been a governor at Giles since November 2010. I wanted to be a governor to be able to support and invest time into the school that was educating my children. My expertise is within Special Educational Needs (SEN) and ensuring that children with SEN have good outcomes. Every Child Matters and working closely with the whole of the Giles community, I know that provision for all children is outstanding at Giles. I work at a local secondary school as an Assistant SENCo and SEN transition lead. I enjoy being a governor and spending time with my family.

Sophie Bichener - Co-opted Governor

I joined the governing body at the start of 2018. I live in Stevenage and work in London as a Marketing Manager. My aim as a governor is to give back to my local community and use my expertise to help others. Giles has always been an important place for me as I grew up making frequent trips to the school while my mother taught there for nearly 25 years. It was an easy decision for me to find somewhere close to home where I could make a positive impact on the community and future generations.

Cath Whitehouse - Parent Governor

My name is Cath. I have two children; my son who is in the Juniors and and daughter who is in the infant school. I am a parent governor and have been I post since November 2019. I am enjoying this new role and want to try my best to make the School the best it can be for the children and families using it. I am a full time Foster Carer, looking after children from all sort of backgrounds and ages. My career has mainly been based in childcare/ children’s residential care and safeguarding. This is what I am passionate about and I advocate for children and young people to be able to achieve to the best of their abilities. I am able to listen carefully and understand their points of view. This is what I hope to also do in my role as governor. 

Eddie Kaahwa - Parent Governor

I am a teacher in a comprehensive secondary school and also hold a middle leadership position. Watching children develop into their full potential is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job and playing a part in the process is a privilege. I visited Giles Junior as a parent and talking to the friendly and passionate teachers at the school encouraged me to take up the position of parent governor to play a part in shaping the future of our children. I am very honoured to work with the school as we strive to ensure we offer the best education for all our pupils and their families. I hope to play an active and supportive role to help shape the future of Giles Junior school.

Ric Euteneuer - Local Authority Governor 

I have been a governor at Giles Junior since 2003, representing Hertfordshire as a local authority nominee. In my working life I am employed by Southwark Council as a pupil place planner - ensuring there are sufficient school places now and in the future for all pupils to have a place and choice of schools. Prior to that I have worked across London in a similar role and in rural Cambridgeshire in strategic housing. All of this has given me a "joined up" view of the provision of education in Stevenage and the role of this governing body and individual governor in the support and scrutiny of the senior leadership team.

Hugh Allcock-Green - Co-opted Governor 

I am parent of 3 children, all have attended Giles Junior and the youngest is in Year 6. I am a Facilities Manager with over 20 years’ experience in building operations, H&S and operational finance.

I was previously a Governor at Giles from 2010, however, work commitments eventually took up too much time. I am thrilled to now have the time to be re-appointed. I have also been a Governor at a secondary school in the town.

Miracle Nkwocha - Co-opted Governor 

I am an experienced Project Professional with an MSc in Advanced Materials Science and Engineering. An effective communicator with stakeholder management experience. Award Winner, Toastmaster International Public Speaker, STEMettes Mentor. I have been a STEM Mentor for five years because I am very passionate about supporting females wanting to pursue an unconventional degree or career. I have been privileged and fortunate to have inspired females into pursuing an engineering degree by using my story and devising a strategy with them to get them into the university of their choice. I became a school governor to support and challenge the school leadership to drive school improvement and improve children's education.