Who are our Governors?
The Governors are unpaid volunteers who are all motivated to make a positive contribution to the education of Sebert Wood children. Our Governors are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are parents of children in the school, some live in neighbouring houses, others work in the local business community or are appointed by the local authority. There is always at least one staff governor.
Our current Governors are as listed below:
Mr Graham Balaam – Chairman – Co-opted Governor
Graham is our current Chair of Governors and has been a governor since 2004, both his children went through the school between 2004 and 2009 but he committed to stay on the board to see the school through the current School Organisation Review.
Coming from an Industry based finance background Graham has many years of experience with finance and business operations and has now gained good knowledge of the school budgets and day to day demands of a busy governing body.
Mr Jamie Gaskin – Vice Chair – Safeguarding Governor – Co-opted Governor
Jamie Gaskin has lived in Bury St Edmunds for the past 17 years. Jamie has two sons, both having previously attended Sebert Wood. Jamie’s wife Jo is also a Teaching Assistant in Nursery. Jamie works in retail as a company director.
Outside of work Jamie enjoys socialising with friends and family!
Mr Richard Attwell – Parent Governor
Mr Miles Beasley – Co-opted Governor
Miles has lived in Bury for 8 years and two of his three daughters currently attend the school. He has been a Co-opted Governor for a year and in addition to the full board responsibilities, supports the Personnel committee. A partner within the John Lewis Partnership, Miles works for Waitrose as a Regional Operations Manager. As is the case for many, family life is extremely busy. However there is a little free time found for sport as a participant and spectator and socialising with friends and family.
Mrs Helen Edgar – Parent Governor
Mrs Marie MacInnes – Co-opted Governor
Mrs Amanda Mead – Parent Governor
Mr Andrew Southwood – Parent Governor
Andrew, a governor since 2013, has three young children who are working their way through the school for several years to come. With over 15 years experience as an Environmental Regulator, Andrew’s areas of particular interest include climate change and the ‘Green’ agenda. His public sector contacts to accelerate the installation of solar panels on the schools roof, saving the school £100’s every year in energy bills and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our school.
Mr Peter Thompson – Local Authority
Mr Peter Dewhurst – Headteacher
Mr Jamie Winch – Staff Governor
Mrs Wendy Harvey – Co-opted Governor
What is the role of the Governors?
We view our Governors as our ‘Critical Friends’. They provide us with strategic leadership and accountability. They regularly challenge our decisions and by doing so help us to become as effective as possible.
What do the Governors do?
Our Governing body carry out a number of important roles including:
• setting the aims and objectives for the school
• setting performance targets for achieving those aims and objectives
• monitoring and evaluating the progress the school is making towards achieving those aims and objectives
• approving school policies
• ensuring all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum
• balancing the finances and approving expenses
• appointing the headteacher, assessing his/her performance and setting their pay
• assisting in the appointment of members of the teaching staff and agreeing their pay recommendations
• hearing appeals on pupil exclusion
• dealing with staff grievances and disciplinary action
• ensuring compliance with statutory safeguarding requirements
• hearing the second stage of parental complaints
What do the Governors not do?
Our Governors do not manage the school on a day to day basis. This is the role of the Headteacher and the senior management team. Whilst Governors do visit the school regularly as part of their strategic role, they do not assess the quality of teaching. They monitor this by analysing data provided by the school and external sources (e.g. Ofsted).
They do not monitor individual children’s performance or behaviour. They identify themes and trends by monitoring the progress of groups of children.
Governors do receive feedback from stakeholders, including parents, but only deal with complaints that have not been resolvable directly with the school. All parents are encouraged to approach the school in the first instance.
Governors do not fundraise for the school (although many choose to do so).
How often do Governors meet?
Governors meet as a full governing body at least once a term. In addition, all Governors sit on various committees that also meet once a term. A budget setting meeting is held once a year.
In between meetings, Governors attend training sessions, carry out school visits, review documents and respond to emails and telephone calls as needs demand. On average the role demands around 10-20 days commitment per year.
How do I contact the Governors?
Governors are happy to be approached in person in the playground. More formal approaches can be made by writing to the Chair of Governors, Graham Balaam. Letters for him can be left with the school office. Alternatively, Governors can be contacted at the following email address: Governors @sebertwood.co.uk
How do I become a Sebert Wood Governor?
If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please approach the school. Governors are appointed for a four year term. Whilst many Governors sit for more than one term, there are regular vacancies as Governors move, or change their home or working patterns which may prevent them from being able to commit enough time.
Anybody over 18 years of age can apply to become a Governor. No special qualifications are required. All necessary training and support is provided.
The Governors are committed and work hard for the school. However, they also know how to have fun and can often be seen socialising together!