All state maintained primary, secondary and special schools, are accountable to their governing bodies, which in turn are accountable to parents and the community.
The Value of School Governance
Governing bodies make decisions which are in the best interests of the children and young people. Keeping the decision making as close as possible to those that are affected by the decisions makes for sound and efficient leadership and governance.
The Role of the Governing Body
The governing body is responsible for the conduct of its school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school. It is the school’s accountable body and as such:
- provides a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework. It appoints and performance manages the headteacher, agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structures
- monitors and evaluates the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets, and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy
- holds the headteacher to account for the performance of the school
- Governors need to work together as a team, under the leadership of the Chair of the governing body. Most governing bodies require their governors to sign a code of practice,
Governing bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year. Meeting dates are usually set well in advance and meetings generally last between two and three hours. Governors are expected to be well prepared for these meetings and attendance is expected, with apologies only for good reasons.
Many governing bodies meet more frequently than this, and most also delegate work to committees and/or working parties and task groups which meet between the governing body meetings. Governors are expected to play a full role in agreeing how their governing body works, and then in supporting this.
Skills and Training
Governors do not need specific skills, but many of the tasks they are required to undertake can benefit from general business knowledge such as understanding management systems, budget planning and HR functions.
Federation of Springfield House and Lindsworth Schools Governor’s Roles with effect from March 2018
Training and Development Governor
Finance/Health and Safety/Buildings Sub Committee
Brian Parkes, Fiona Tyson, Julie Walker,Jo Ottley
Behaviour/Attendance/Care Standards/Teaching/Learning Sub Committee
Bridget O’Mahoney, Judith Smith, Julie Walker, Julian Lee, Caitlin Barry, Fiona Tyson
Federated Governor Information
Name Role Date of Appointment Term of Office Appointed by Business and Pecuniary Interests
Julie Walker Vice Chair Nov 2015 Nov 2019 LA None
Bridget O’Mahoney Chair of Performance Committee Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
Shelia Williams Chair of Finance Committee Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
Judith Smith Performance Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
Brian Parkes Finance Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
Jane Bishop Associate – no voting rights Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
Kay Reid Associate – no voting rights Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None Fiona Wallace Safeguarding Governor Sept 2017
Lisa Speake Clerk – no voting rights Nov 2015 N/A Board None
Meet the Governors
Due to the federation between Springfield House School and Lindsworth in November 2016 we now have a new joint governing body.
Paul Richards - Chair of Governors
Julie Walker -I am currently the Vice Chair of the joint Governing Body. I first became a governor at Springfield House because my daughter has special needs and I wanted to look to ensure that she and her peers had the best possible education and care. Prior to taking on the Vice Chair's role I was the Chair of Governors at Springfield House School.
Career wise I was a senior leader with a Housing Association with over 30 years management experience. Within this role, I managed a large rented stock, and experienced managing significant, complex projects and budgets. I have also been responsible for supported housing as well as nursing and care homes for people with learning disabilities, and have extensive people management experience. In addition, I am also a member of the District Board in Lichfield District, as well as a Trustee of the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust.
Bridget O'Mahoney - I have been a secondary school teacher for 39 years, spending the last 12 years as a member of the Leadership Team of a large, mainstream Birmingham secondary school. I loved my job and so when I retired in August 2014 I was keen to continue to help and support a school as a governor. I joined the IEB of Lindsworth School in January 2015 and when the school came out of Special Measures I joined the new Governing Board. The federation with Springfield House School was an exciting time and allowed me to enter the previously unvisited territory of primary education. I am the teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment governor for both schools. I chair the Performance sub-committee which takes an overview of all aspects of pupil performance, behaviour, attendance, care and well-being. I am able to visit both schools and witness first hand all the hard work done by pupils and staff. It is a privilege to be part of the Federation Governing Board of both of these schools.
Judith Smith - I have spent my entire career, a very enjoyable one, teaching in a range of secondary schools in Birmingham and also in Madrid in Spain. Before my retirement in 2013, I had spent several years as an Inclusion Leader in the City of Birmingham School (formerly the Behaviour Support Service). In 2014, I became a member of the Lindsworth Interim Executive Board and worked hard and closely with the school to make improvements. I was therefore delighted when the school came out of Special Measures in January 2016 and also that it had federated with Springfield House School in November 2015. It has always been my strong guiding principle to ensure that all children, whatever their difficulties, have the best possible chances in education and in life.
Brian Parkes - A governor at Springfield House since 2008, I am currently a member of the Finance Sub-Committee of the federated Schools. Born in Solihull and resident in Knowle for over thirty years I identify strongly with the local community. Partially retired, I continue to describe myself with pride as a ‘teacher’. Professionally I am familiar with working both in the state and independent sectors. Much of my career was spent in Further Education where apart from being a lecturer and latterly a departmental manager I was a very active trade unionist. In association with my educational experience I continue to be much involved with Cambridge Assessment as a senior examiner.'
Fiona Wallace - I have worked in education all my working life since graduating from Birmingham University. I taught infant children in Wolverhampton before returning to Birmingham University to train as an Educational Psychologist. As an EP in Birmingham I supported mainstream and special schools to meet a really wide range of pupil needs. I also set up and ran a Portage home visiting service for pre-school children and was seconded to the Children’s Hospital as their educational psychologist.
I loved all those years but could not resist a job with what was then the City’s Behaviour Support Service. Since 1996 the Service has undergone many transformations and so has my role. I am now about to retire as Head of City of Birmingham School which was formed from a merger of 3 Pupil Referral Units and the Behaviour Support Service. The merger was a long and challenging task with complex HR, financial, strategic, communication and teaching & learning issues. This, coupled with my very successful leadership of COBS, has left me with a wide range of skills that I could offer in continued development of both Lindsworth and Springfield House.
As I retire I am proud to reflect on my role in leaving COBS in a strong position within the Authority with a great reputation amongst schools, partners, families and most pupils (you can’t win them all!)
My natural strengths include
- bringing energy and passion to the work I do
- being seen as helpful, personable and cooperative
- working at pace and keeping myself and others organised
- setting up systems and creating helpful processes
- people management and team building
- strong communication skills
I was pleased to be asked to be a governor for Linsdworth and Springfield House and have attached the skills audit from my current position as Head Teacher on the Governing Board for COBS.
Caitlin Barry - I was voted on to the Governing Board this year (2017) to represent the staff cohort across both Springfield House and Lindsworth school. I have worked at Springfield since 2016 and prior to that my experience has been within the Mental Health Sector. I have worked with children, adolescents and adults who are experiencing enduring mental health difficulties within hospital and home settings. I have a passion for understanding the complex nature of the difficulties faced by many children with developmental and mental health disorders and also the mental health and well-being of those who support these individuals on a daily basis. I am looking forward to being part of the Governing Board and uitilising the wealth of knowledge shared by the other members of the board.
Jo Ottley - I have been employed at Lindsworth School for 18 years.
I have had several different roles within the school working closely with all departments and feel that this has given me a good understanding of all areas of the school i.e. curriculum, support services, care and working with and supporting pupils.
During this time there have been many changes, and recently some very positive changes. These positive changes have made me enthusiastic to become more involved in contributing to the future progression, improvement and success of The Springfield House and Lindsworth Federation schools.
Kay Reid - Executive Head Teacher - Information to be uploaded shortly.
Lisa Speake - I became Clerk to the Governing Body for Springfield House School in December 2014 and have found the role to be very interesting and varied. I have previously worked in administration roles for Solihull MBC and Severn Trent. During my time as clerk I have learnt a lot about the school environment and look forward to now taking on the role of Clerk to the Governing Body for both Lindsworth and Springfield House School now that we have Federated and become one governing body.