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.
Federated Governor Information
Name Role Date of Appointment Term of Office Appointed by Business and Pecuniary Interests
Paul Richards Chair Nov 2015 Nov 2019 Board None
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
Janet Collins Member Nov 2015 Aug 2017 LA 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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
Sheila Williams -
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.'
Janet Collins - Executive Head Teacher (email@example.com)
Jane Bishop - Head of School at Springfield House School. I began my teaching career in Birmingham in 1990 in an inner-city secondary school but moved into the special school sector in 1995 where I have been ever since. I have a passion for helping every child achieve their full potential and this has driven me my whole career. In 2007 I joined Springfield House School as Deputy Head teacher and a member of the governing body. I have a specific responsibility for Behaviour and Safety and regularly update Governor’s on these and other aspects of school life. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.