Who are the Governors and what do they do?
In her foreword to the 2020 Department of Education Governance Handbook, Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, states that Governance has never been more critical to the education of our nation’s young people…. The governance duty is, above all, to drive relentless ambition for the young people served by our schools system, whatever the circumstances.’
The Handbook defines effective school governance as:-
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
At Wallace Fields Junior School, the focus of the work of the Governing Body is school improvement and high standards of educational achievement. Governors are not expected to be involved in the detail of the day-to-day management of the school but to maintain strategic oversight of the school and hold school leaders to account for educational standards.
As part of its strategic role for example, the Governing Body agrees with the Headteacher which areas the School should focus on to improve in order to provide the best possible education for our children. Governors have a monitoring role and seek assurance regarding progress in achieving the School’s priorities, including in the educational performance of pupils, and in fulfilling its third core function, governors provide oversight of financial performance to ensure value is derived for the public money spent.
Governance at Wallace Fields Junior School is operated through a ‘no committee system’ and therefore the Governing Body meets as a full Governing Body twice or three times a term and does not delegate any of its functions to sub-committees (apart from statutory panels and committees such as for pay, head teacher appraisal, appeals).
Who are the Governors?
The Governors at Wallace Fields Junior School are all volunteers who give up their time because they care about the School. The Governing Body of Wallace Fields Junior School consists of 5 Parent Governors, 1 Headteacher Governor, 1 Staff Governor, 6 Co-opted Governors and 1 Local Authority Governor. This constitution is defined in the School’s Instrument of Governance.
Governors serve a four-year term of office and, depending on the category of governor, may be either appointed or elected as follows:-
- Parent governors are elected by the school’s parent population. Parents (including carers) of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as parent governors and can nominate themselves for this role.
- The Staff governor is elected from all the people who work at the school.
- The Head Teacher governor is an ex officio governor by virtue of their role as head teacher.
- The Local Authority governor is nominated by the Local Authority and appointed by the Governing Body.
- Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are individuals who have been identified to have skills required to contribute to the effective governance of the school.
In addition, Associate Members may be appointed by the Governing Body to bring specialist knowledge or experience deemed by the Governing Body to be needed generally or in respect of specific projects. Their term of office can vary and they do not have voting rights.
Governors bring a wide range of skills and experience and the Governing Body currently includes members from areas such as the Civil Service, communications, banking and of course education and parenting. At Wallace Fields Junior School, we regularly undertake a governor skills audit to highlight any gaps in experience and skills needed. The results are used to inform recruitment and to recommend training to be undertaken by our governors. The School invests in a range of different training opportunities to help governors keep up to date with changes in the education landscape and support governors’ development and contribution to governance.
Governors at Wallace Fields Junior School sign up to a Code of Conduct which provides the standards expected of governors, including adherence to the Seven Principles of Public Life (The Nolan Principles). They also sign the declaration of eligibility to become a governor and appointment is subject to satisfactory references and clearance through the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service.
Being a school Governor is a very rewarding role and it is a fantastic way to contribute to the local community.
We would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to contribute your experience to supporting your local Junior School. Please contact Tessa Jones, Clerk to the Governing Body by emailing Tjones@wallacefields-jun.surrey.sch.uk if you are interested in joining the Governing Body of Wallace Fields Junior School.
Mr C Champness
Chair of Governors
Chair of Governors and Co-opted Governor, appointed November 2021
I am delighted to be Chair of Governors of such a great school with a fantastic ethos - so evident when my two children attended the school. The role allows me to contribute back to the school by leading our highly experienced and passionate Governors in supporting the school leadership team and staff to deliver the very best education and experience for each and every pupil. I am a qualified accountant and have worked at board level for over 20 years including roles in Higher and Further Education. I have previously been a volunteer charity trustee for over 12 years for an organisation supporting people with learning difficulties, a trustee for the national Samaritans charity and a governor at a local secondary school. It is a privilege to be a Governor of Wallace Fields Junior School and I look forward to working hard to overcome the inevitable challenges as well as celebrating the school's many successes.
Mr G More
Co-Vice Chair. Parent Governor appointed 09/07/2021
I was appointed to the governing body in July 2021. I currently have one son in year 6, with another having already attended WFJS. I am incredibly grateful for the excellent education this country offers our children, which is a privilege that not all countries around the world have on offer. I hope that being appointed as a governor affords me the opportunity to give back, supporting the school’s leadership utilising any relevant skills from my own diverse global business experience and background.
Mrs N. Hamblin
Safeguarding Parent governor 22/05/2019 to 21/05/23. Elected by parents.
"My name is Ni Hamblin. I currently have one daughter in the school in year 6. I volunteered to become a Governor in September 2019 because I wanted to make a positive difference to the life of all the children in the school. I bring my experience as a class teacher with over 20 years of work at schools in Merton, Kingston and now locally in Ewell to the role. I have a specialism in education for children with additional needs and I love to engage with the enthusiasm and commitment of all the staff at Wallace Fields who strive to ensure the children are happy in the classroom, having fun as they learn. Being a school governor is challenging. The governors work well as a team to help make important decisions about the school. We ensure that the various needs of the children are at the very heart of those choices, and this is the part of the role I enjoy the most, and believe is the most valuable."
Mr S. Lee
Head Teacher governor; ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher from 1/09/2013.
Mr C Kingsley
Parent Governor - elected January 2021
I have been in secondary school leadership for over 20 years and am currently the Head of a Secondary School in South London. In 2017 I established a Multi-Academy Trust with a local Primary School and now jointly lead a group of 4 schools with a strong focus on inclusion and diversity. As the parent of a Y6 boy, I am proud to be able to support the leadership of the school in partnership with the governing body.
Mrs D. Maroothynaden
Co-opted Governor appointed 12/07/21
I currently work in the independent sector with a Business and Financial remit. I have been working in education, overseeing the strategic business, finance and operations of schools since 2016. My prior experience was with The Prince’s Trust overseeing the Team programme for South West London. I am very pleased to be working with the school to ensure the pupils continue to meet their full potential through an excellent and challenging curriculum.
Mrs S Watson
Hi, I am Sarah Watson. I currently have one child in Year 4 and a younger child at Wallace Fields Infants School. I volunteered to become a governor because I want to help the school to deliver the best possible education and support that it can for our children, now and in the future. I have 15 years’ experience working in financial institutions, and currently work at PwC. I enjoy giving back to the community and have volunteered at schools or charities ever since my teenage years.
Mrs J Clayton
I feel privileged to have worked as a teacher at Wallace Fields Junior School for 17 years as a class teacher, a member of the senior leadership team and English Lead, following an earlier career in banking. I currently volunteer at the school to support reading and thoroughly enjoy meeting the children. I know that the school has a dedicated and enthusiastic staff who deliver a curriculum that is varied, challenging, inclusive and enriching. I was therefore excited to be welcomed as a member of the governing body so that I could use my experience to support the leadership team and staff with their dedication to continually making school improvements, enabling all children to reach their full potential academically, with skills and values that will equip them to become caring and respectful members of society.
My professional background is in HR and Operations, and I volunteered to be a governor to help the school leadership continue to provide a fantastic education for the children of our local community. I work in the Tech sector, and I am especially passionate about the opportunities that STEM subjects will provide students in the future. My professional roles have been closely linked to university-level educational programs but with 2 children at WFJS from September 2023 I'm excited about playing an active role in a junior school.
I am a teacher at a local secondary school and have been involved in education for twenty years having a range of academic and pastoral roles. For the past 9 years I have been a governor at another local school and was presented with the significant contribution to governing in Surrey award by the county council last year. I am delighted to bring my skills to help further the education delivered at Wallace Fields Junior School.
Clerk of Governors