We are recruiting!
We currently have spaces for Governors to represent out Trust family of schools and are looking for passionate, skilled and forward thinking Governors to join us. Are you one of those people? Do you have a genuine interest in the following?
Improving children's life chances
Helping children succeed in education
Supporting schools in your local community
If the answer is yes, then please read the leaflet below with details of how to get in touch - we would love to hear from you!
Our Island Schools Local Governing Body
I'm Claire, I was elected as a parent governor in July 2021. Having lived in Minster my whole life and with a son at Minster Primary, I am fully committed to the schools continued success. I bring both a parent perspective and relevant skills and experience to the role of Governor. I have worked in the Education and Skills sector for over 22 years. I support Schools, Colleges and Independent Training providers to develop a curriculum that supports learners aged 14 to adults progress through lifelong learning. While promoting inclusivity and fairness for all to enable them to reach their true potential. I believe a good education that is broad and goes beyond academic, is fundamental to ensuring our children become the best versions of themselves. The ethos at The Island Learning Trust seeks to do just that. I will appropriately challenge and support the school and its senior leadership team to achieve their goals. I will use my experience, time and energy to help us to achieve this for the benefit of all the children.
I have worked in Independent Education since 1999; as an IT Manager in a boarding school for 18 years, and more recently as a Data Manager for a large London school. I am ITIL-certified and also a certified Project Manager (PRINCE2). As both an IT Manager and a Data Manager, I have had a consistent interest in technology and data regarding how it improves outcomes for students, makes teacher roles easier, and increases parental engagement. In recent years I have had a particular focus on data analysis and parental communications. I am also very heavily involved in web application development, having developed school intranets allowing teaching staff, pupils, and parents to access and analyse data stored within various databases in a format which is relevant and useful. My wife is an Art & Textiles teacher in Secondary education, so it is safe to say that as a family education has very much been our focus! I have three children at Halfway Houses Primary School.
I have lived on the Island since I was two and have fond memories of my time in Minster Primary as a pupil, knowing how special and important the teachers and the school were in bringing out my personality. The teachers there encouraged my mindset to work hard to achieve my goals and because of this, I now have an LLB(Hons) Law degree and have just started my career in Kent Police as a Call Handler. This is a dream job for me as I have always aspired to be in a role where I am able to help the local community. As a young professional, I can bring a fresh opinion for change and diversity to the Board of Governors. I am excited to able to work together with the other members of the board to strive to provide the best education and experiences for the young people at Minster Primary, allowing them to reach their potential.
I am the Assistant Headteacher at Halfway Houses Primary School with responsibility for Literacy and Reading and my day-to-day role includes aspects such as Safeguarding, Mentoring and Assessment. I have been lucky enough to have worked in all three of the schools within the Island Learning Trust over the last fourteen years. I have a Doctorate in Education looking specifically at building teacher resilience and expertise and a Masters in Education that focused on assessment as well as a NPQ in Senior Leadership; I am about to start an NPQ in Leading Literacy. Over the last few years I have been a part of the Local Cultural Educational Partnership and worked on building opportunities for the arts across Medway and Swale through the work of Theatre 31. I live with my family in Minster and have a son who has just leaving Minster Primary School to start his secondary education. I have a diverse range of hobbies including horse-riding, rugby and reading as well as walking my dog and enjoying family time. I have a passion for improving education on the island, believing that every child can exceed their potential creating greater opportunities for their future lives.
Mrs Louise Payne
I have been teaching for 17 years and before that enjoyed roles as a helping mum and midday meal supervisor – what a long time ago that was! I currently lead the Year 4 team at Minster and take a leading role in the development of Science across our Trust. The personal development of children is my utmost concern and always at the forefront of my decision making.
Dr Colin Morris
I am a native of Sheppey and though I was away at Exeter University for over six years, and have travelled extensively, I have always lived here.
I graduated with BA and PhD degrees in geography from Exeter and promptly became an opera singer! I later decided to fill the gaps between engagements by teaching in the local prisons. After teaching for a short time, I managed first HMP Standford Hill and then HMP Elmley for very nearly twenty years. For a time, until reorganisation by a new employer, I oversaw education in all three island prisons, and was at one point acting regional manager for Kent. In particular, I devised a staff training package in Safeguarding and was the instigator for a Learner Voice programme which was embedded into everything we did. We won a national award for this.
Throughout my time in offender learning, I maintained my singing career, but it was a bit of a tightrope at times. My operatic career has taken me all over the British Isles and Ireland, to the Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok and the USA.
My reason for thinking about applying to be a school governor is rooted in our being a deprived area and my wanting to give something back to the community which nurtured me. My background in education is possibly of less value per se than my experience in seeing the bigger picture and trying to take a strategic, creative view – but I also believe that I have an eye for detail when it is appropriate. My experience of educational management taught me that in the very broadest terms, the job is about three things: curriculum, resources and people. The first two are usually ‘fixed’ by external bodies. People are by far the most challenging element in the mix. I’d like to think that I have good people skills.
I have worked in accounts for circa 25 years for various different sectors. Currently I work for a Charity which works with Adults who have Autism, I find this a very rewarding job to be part of something that helps others.
My understanding of accounts and many years of experience will hopefully help me with being a governor and looking at the current statistics and costs and funding etc. and being able to interpret reports.
I have lived on the island for 25 years and I have a teenage daughter who attends a Sittingbourne School. I am actively interested in the current schooling on the island and to play any part in this would be rewarding. I also have another daughter who will be starting primary school in Sept 23.
KCC Clerk is Clare Levere
What governors do?
Governors make a difference. They have a strategic role supporting and challenging the Headteacher. And it is more than having something that looks good on a CV. You have to put some time in. The exact amount of time depends on the particular circumstances of your school. It needn't be daunting and it can be an interesting and rewarding experience.
Working for the best interests of the children, the school and the wider community
Governors work as a team, in the best interests of the children and the school, to raise educational standards. More specifically, they:
- Appoint the headteacher, who has day to day responsibility for everything that happens in a school and is accountable to them.
- Agree how the school's money is allocated.
- Agree policies about the way the governing body and the school work.
- Ensure new initiatives and guidelines from the Department for Education and the education authority are put in place.
More widely, schools are increasingly becoming a focal point in the community they serve. Some open their sports facilities to the community while others offer education and life improving chances for adults. So you could influence community involvement with your school.
A governing body is not a supporters club. Governors are not there to 'rubber stamp' decisions. You have to be prepared to give and take and be loyal to decisions taken by the governing body. You may become involved in confidential matters and must respect that confidentiality.
When a school is inspected by the Office of Standards in Education (Ofsted), the effectiveness of the school and its governors is taken into account.
Meetings and time as a governor
The full governing body usually meets at least once a term and to be effective and remain a governor, you should attend.
Most of the governors' work is done in committee meetings when financial, staffing, curriculum and premises issues are discussed in detail. You would be expected to join one or two of the main committees and they would also meet at least once a term. They may meet more often if, for example, there is a lot of building work going on. And there are other occasional committee meetings that you might be asked to join, from time to time.
Time in post
Governors are usually in post for four years and may serve for longer. If you need to give up because your circumstances change, the governors may be sorry to lose you, but will understand.
Governing Body Key Activities
|Key Activities||Typical Inputs|
Understand our school
Pupil attainment and progress
Pupil behaviour, attendance and safety
Teaching quality and staff development
Set our school's strategic direction
Champion our vision, values and ethos
Set priorities for school improvement
National floor standards
Parent and pupil voice
Agree improvement targets and strategies
Agree allocation of resources
Agree how to monitor and review progress
Performance manage our school leaders
Appoint Head of School and support their leadership
Hold school leaders to account for progress
Ensure financial probity and efficiency
Check we are fit for purpose
Clarify our role and purpose
Review constitution and ways of working
Make sure members have necessary skills
Governing Body Audit Programme
Governors want and need to know their schools. Many governors find that visiting, particularly during the day, is a helpful way to find out about the schools. Visits can also be an important part of robust school accountability. Through pre-arranged visits, governors can check that the schools are implementing the policies and improvement plans they have signed off, and see for themselves how their vision and plans for the schools are working in practice. Visits also provide an opportunity to arrange meetings with pupils, staff and parents about what they think of the school and how it is changing.