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
Chair of Performance Sub Committee
Performance Sub Committee members
Mrs B O’Mahoney (Chair), Mrs S Morris, Mrs C Barry, Mrs G Gregory, Judy Larner & Mrs K Reid.
Finance and Building Sub- Committee
Mr P Carter (Chair), Mrs A Bousfield, Mr D Newton, Mr B Parkes, Mrs J Walker, Mrs J Ottley & Mrs K Reid.
Federated Governor Information
Julie Walker - Chair, Date appointed Nov 15, Term of office- Nov 19, Appointed by -LA, Business and Pecuniary Interests - none.
Gill Gregory – Vice Chair, Date appointed Dec 18, Term of office- Dec 22, Appointed by -Local Authority, Business and Pecuniary Interests - none.
Bridgette O’Mahoney –Chair sub committee, Date appointed Nov 15, Term of office- Nov 19, Appointed by -Board, Business and Pecuniary Interests - none.
Brian Parkes –Co-opted, Date appointed Nov 15, Term of office- Nov 19, Appointed by -Board, Business and Pecuniary Interests - none.
Kay Reid - Associate, Date appointed Nov 15, Term of office- Nov 19, Appointed by -Board, Business and Pecuniary Interests - 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.
Caitlin Barry – Staff Governor
I was voted on to the Governing Board in 2017 to represent the staff cohort across both Springfield House School and Lindsworth School. I have worked at Springfield School 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 take a specific interest in staff well-being. I am currently on maternity leave.
Dr Phil Carter - Chair of Finance Sub-Committee and co-opted Governor
I worked in National Grid and its predecessor British Gas for over 25 years, predominantly in commercial, strategic and business development roles. As Head of Commercial for the company's gas import and storage businesses I was involved in setting strategic direction and, with budget management responsibility, gained significant finance experience. I have lived in Knowle for over 25 years and I am enjoying using my skills and experience in a different area, working with a diverse range of Board members to give something back to the community. I recognise the importance of education having a degree and Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering from Manchester University and a Masters in Business Administration from Aston University. I now work as an independent consultant, focusing on large energy and power projects. I am married with 3 children and my wife is Headteacher of Longwill School for Deaf Children.
Gill Gregory – Local Authority Governor and Vice Chair
I am the nominated Local Authority Governor to the Federated Governing Board. I am a retired senior school teacher of a Birmingham Secondary School and on my retirement I wanted to keep in touch with education. I have extensive experience as a Governor at more than one school. In 2019 I was elected to the role of Vice Chair and I am sure that my experience will help me carry out this role effectively. As a Governor I oversee safeguarding, child protection and looked after children.
Judy Larner – Parent Governor
I was elected as a Parent Governor for Lindsworth School in 2018. I am an experienced Social Worker working in the Birmingham area. I am passionate about making a difference and improving the life chances of young people with individual needs. I feel that I can use my extensive skills to make a valued contribution to the Governing Body. I take a special interest in pupil behaviour, attendance and welfare.
Sue Morris – Co-opted Governor
I joined the Federated Governing Board in Feb 2018. Having practiced as a Psychologist for many years and having worked with children with special needs I decided that by joining the Governing Body this would enable me to make a contribution in a different way. I am currently the Director of Professional Training in Educational Psychology at the University of Birmingham. My particular interest on behalf of the board is care and residence.
Darren Newton – Co-opted Governor
I am an experienced Housing Manager with expertise in Finance and Welfare benefits and I work for a local housing provider. I am keen to use my knowledge and skills at the Governing Body which I joined in 2019. I also have a child with special needs. On behalf of the board I oversee pupil premium and sports premium.
Bridget O’Mahoney – Chair of Performance Sub Committee and co-opted Governor
I was a secondary school teacher for 39 years, with the last 12 of those 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.
Jo Ottley – Co-opted Governor
I have been employed at Lindsworth School since January 2000. 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 made me enthusiastic to become more involved in contributing to the future progression, improvement and success of The Springfield House and Lindsworth Federation schools. On behalf of the board I ensure that our public information is kept up to date.
Brian Parkes - Co-opted Governor
Since 2008 I have been a Governor of Springfield House School and subsequently the Federated Schools. Born in Solihull with close family connections to Birmingham I identify strongly with the local community.
I would still 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 have been much involved with Cambridge Assessment as a senior examiner. As a long serving member of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee I have a particular responsibility for Health and Safety and Buildings.
Julie Walker - Chair of the Governing Board and co-opted Governor
I am the Chair of the Federated Governing Board. I first became a Parent Governor at Springfield House because my daughter has special needs and I wanted to ensure that she and her peers had the best possible education and care. Eventually, I was elected as the Chair of Governors at Springfield House School and subsequently, when Springfield House and Lindsworth federated, I became the Vice-chair of the newly federated Board. Upon the resignation of the last Chair in 2018 I was very proud to be elected as Chair of the Board. Before my retirement, I was a senior leader with a large Housing Association and have over 30 years management experience. Within this role, I managed a large rented stock, and managed significant, complex projects and budgets. I have also been responsible for supported housing as well as for residential homes for people with learning disabilities, and have extensive people management experience.
I also have a PTLLS qualification and have taught in adult education or in ‘Lifelong Learning’ at different times throughout my career. In addition, I was a member of the District Board in Lichfield District, and previously a Trustee of the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust. I am currently the Vice Chair of a Domestic Abuse charity which mainly operates in Staffordshire.
Anna Young – Parent Governor
I was elected as a parent governor for Springfield House School in 2019. During the day I work as an Information Technology and Network Manager at a Birmingham Secondary School. I feel that the role of Parent Governor makes an essential contribution to the Federated Governing Board. I am particularly interested in parental engagement.
Kay Reid – Executive Headteacher
I have been the Executive Headteacher at the Federation of Springfield and Lindsworth Schools since September 2017. Prior to that I was Head of School at Lindsworth School and previously worked as a maths teacher in various schools including Lindsworth School.
Clerk to the governors Verna Mills - Verna.Mills@services4schools.org.uk