Chair of Governors
I have a BA (Hons) in Early Years Education and lead and manage an Outstanding early years setting on the Island. I live with my family in Minster and all my 3 children are in secondary education. I have an interest in education and providing the best outcomes for families, my passion is promoting inclusiveness and ensuring children have the best opportunities that are unique as they are. I have been a school governor for many years and built upon my skills and knowledge to support schools on their journey to becoming outstanding.
I am the Assistant Headteacher at Minster Primary School and staff representative on the governing body. I take special responsibility for school performance data analysis; delving into our successes and areas of improvement. In addition to this, I update and monitor the governor development plan which we use to map out our visits and visit reports – ensuring that we support the HoS by tracking the delivery of the school improvement plan.
I have been teaching for over 10 years at two schools, teaching in years 2, 5 and 6. In my staff role at Minster Primary I work alongside the numeracy lead, working to ensure that the children at Minster receive the highest quality teaching and learning available, researching new strands of thinking and evaluating their impact. We work hard to ensure that Minster is at the leading edge of maths teaching. I also led year six over a number of years, which linked well with my keen interest in analysing data. Now, in my role out of class I am able to spend time dedicated to pushing Minster Primary forward and developing staff to be the best they can be. I take great pleasure in the leadership of such a caring, professional and dedicated team, a team who I believe personify the ‘Minster Muscles’. I am an active participant on another governing body, currently vice chairperson, which gives me a unique perspective. I am determined that every young person at Minster Primary School experiences the very best education, in all aspects of their young lives: this is the reason I was keen to serve on the Governing Body.
My name is Felicity Walsh and I have a BA (Hons) in Primary Education. I have been a teacher for 12 years at Halfway Houses Primary School (mainly in EYFS but also across the school in a PPA role). I was lucky enough to be appointed as the SENDCo in September 2015 and successfully achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Co-ordination (National Award for SEN Co-ordination) in November 2017. I am a member of TILT SLT and enjoy working in partnership to ensure that all SEND pupils make progress across the Trust. I am also the Designated Safeguarding Leader and the whole school Mental Health Leader. I am determined to ensure that all children experience a high quality learning experience especially those on the SEND/AEN register. I make sure that I get involved with a full range of activities across the school both in and out of the school day and have built up outstanding relationships with parents. I have set up a very successful and positive SEND/AEN Parent Group (involving external professionals) which is well attended and has forged even better home/school relationships. In my personal life, I have 2 sons and enjoy motor sports, cricket and camping.
I have worked in education since 2006 as a secondary English teacher in both comprehensive and Grammar school settings. During my time as a teacher at Invicta Grammar School, I led KS3 as second in department in English at a time when the school was the highest performing in Kent. Additionally, I led the development of PSHE across the school, resulting in the award of Quality Mark certification. I have always had an interest in working with vulnerable people having worked for Surestart in Canterbury before beginning my career in teaching. My role was based around supporting fathers with their children who had a background of social and economic difficulties as well as a history of crime or time spent in prison. After 5 years as a mainstream teacher I moved to Bradfield’s school in Chatham to help establish a new ASD resource before moving to Meadowfield School where I taught in the secondary department, leading on the implementation of marking and assessment, supporting effective use of technology as a learning aid as well as leading ‘Shakespeare for Schools’ which culminated in a performance of Macbeth at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. In 2017 I accepted the role of Specialist Teacher, which involves supporting all the schools in Swale with SEN. My role involves working closely with schools to support individual pupils but also delivering training, advising on policy and building the capacity of schools in Swale to support children as effectively and empathetically as possible.
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 parent 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.
KCC Clerk is Tracy Rose
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.