What is a School Governor?
What do governors do?
- Helping to establish the aims and policies of the school and how standards of education can be constantly improved;
- Ensuring that a broad and balanced curriculum is delivered and that it meets statutory requirements, while promoting high standards and monitoring progress during the year;
- Appointing, challenging and supporting school leaders (being a ‘critical friend’);
- Acting as a link between the local community and the school;
- Helping to set and manage the school budget;
- Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff.
At Awbridge School our governors do this on several levels. They meet as a Full Governing Body (FGB) about six times a year but also in two main committees, where certain aspects of the school are considered in more detail. At present our committees are:
- Resources– dealing with finance, our building and grounds (including Health & Safety) and all staffing matters.
- Curriculum and Standards– dealing with curriculum and assessment matters and monitoring standards, as well as communication with parents and the wider community (including the production of the school prospectus).
Individual governors are also linked with a particular area, such as Special Educational Needs, Safeguarding, or a curriculum or class. This ensures that Governors ‘know their school’ and are able to challenge the school to achieve the very best outcomes for children.
All governors are encouraged to visit the school during the working day if they can, but do not interfere in the day-to-day teaching or running of the school.
Hampshire County Council provides training in all aspects of governors’ responsibilities and our governors take full advantage of that, in order to be as effective as possible.
Roger Savage – Chair of Governors
Roger Savage started as a parent governor over 20 years ago and is now a co opted governor and is the vice chair of the governing body. Roger created and runs a business near Romsey and is able to bring some of the experiences learned to that of school governance. A believer in giving every child the best opportunities that the schools can give and in particular looking beyond academic disciplines towards life experiences and skills that are so important for our children growing up in the complex and ever demanding world today.
Janette Benakis chairs the Finance & Resources Committee.
She has extensive experience working in the commercial business world with sales, marketing, budgeting and team management experience.
Janette is the designated Safeguarding Governor, sits on the Pay Committee and is the link governor for Sport/PE at Awbridge. She has a particular interest in ensuring best utilization of our resources (facilities and budget) to improve outcomes for all children and creating a positive working environment for both pupils and staff.
Kim Bown is designated Safeguarding Governor and sits on the Curriculum and Standards Committee. He is a qualified social worker and has held a range of practitioner, manager and academic appointments related to children’s services. He is currently a university senior lecturer specialising in teaching and researching issues relating to safeguarding and the wellbeing of looked after children.
He has extensive experience of external assessment and regulation of higher education in England and Northern Ireland.
Kim is a parent of two children who attend Awbridge school. He is committed to school being a richly rewarding, aspirational, safe and inclusive experience for all children irrespective of background and ability.
Jane Stokes chairs the Curriculum and Standards Committee.
Her post-graduate qualifications and background are in education and she currently works as a lecturer for a further education college, teaching English and Employability Skills to vocational students.
Jane is the link governor for RE and PSHE at both schools. She has a particular interest in seeing how SMSC and British Values are disseminated throughout the curriculum.
Jane is an Autism Ambassador for the schools and her employer: this scheme, which was rolled out in 2015 by Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight councils, aims to “raise awareness of autism in our communities to improve outcomes for individuals with autism”.
Ben Maddison has been a governor since September 2017. He sits on the Curriculum and Standards committee, with specific responsibility for Special Educational Needs. He is passionate about ensuring that all children are given the greatest opportunity to thrive at school.
Ben is a government scientist and has 20 years experience conducting research and providing advice to senior decision makers on procurement and policy decisions.
He has twin boys at Awbridge Primary School and has lived in the village for 10 years.
Although Ruth Easton was only appointed to the governing body as a co-opted member this year, she has lived in West Wellow for 25 years and her daughter attended Wellow Primary School in the 1990s. She retired from full time teaching a couple of years ago after serving Hampshire County Council as a junior school teacher for 35 years. The majority of her career was spent in upper key stage 2, so she has a strong understanding of the expectations for this age group. She is keen to see all children achieve their potential by engaging in an exciting and broad curriculum. Previously, Ruth has served as a staff governor for 8 years in a junior school near Totton.