Welcome to Holy Redeemer Board of Governors!
This information is to support you in understanding the role, expectations and current practice of the school Governors at Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School. All New Governors attend training that offers more detail about the specifics of School Governance.
What is governing?
The Governing Body is made up of church, parent, staff, local authority and community representatives. We are involved in the school in a variety of ways and are a point of contact for parents. The role of the school Governors is a complex one which includes overseeing the curriculum, management and buildings of the school; Governors are not there for a day to day running the school but to assist in the vision for the school and to challenge and ask questions as critical friends.
Holy Redeemer Board of Governors: Who are we?
Mr Stuart Adams: Foundation Governor
I’m Stuart, I’ve been on the board since November 2016. I’m a Holy Redeemer parishioner and ex-teacher at the school, so I’ve seen first-hand what goes on … and it’s all good! I currently sit on the Academy Steering Committee and support the Finance Committee and enjoy attending the school events when I can. I’m a teacher within another school in the county but the staff and children of Holy Redeemer hold a special place in my life.
Mrs Debbie Breakwell: Associate Member; Teaching Assistant.
I am the school’s Governing Body representative for the support staff in the school. I have been on the Governors since I joined the school as a teaching assistant in 2011. In school I take responsibility for teaching some of the art and have a special interest in the arts in general. I am on the Marketing Sub-committee.
Mrs Pamela Clark: Foundation Parent Governor
I’m Pam, I’ve been on the board since December 2015. I’m a Holy Redeemer parishioner and a parent to Michael and Olivia who attend the school. I lead on the Marketing and Communications Committee, support Nicky Garrad on the Curriculum Committee and enjoy attending school activities and events. I’m a nurse and Nutritional Therapist and when work commitments allow I support the early morning running club and love working with the children in the eco-garden.
Mr Glenn Deary: Parent Governor
My name is Glenn Deary I am a high voltage electrical engineer. I have been school Governor for the last 4yrs. I am local parishoner and my son attends the holy redeemer. My roles on the Governing Body are health & safety and Special Educational Needs (SEN) governor. I am also part of the marketing and finance committee, and enjoy helping the school and staff at every opportunity given. Ihold our school in very high regard and will do whatever I can to help keep the outstanding status it holds.
Mrs Nicky Garrad: Foundation Parent Governor
I first joined the Governors in 2009 as a foundation governor but became a parent foundation governor when my daughter started school in 2014. I lead on the Curriculum sub-committee and take a special interest in RE in the school. I am passionate about supporting Holy Redeemer to be a nurturing Christian community with a high-quality teaching and creative curriculum for the benefit of all.
Mrs Christina Hall: Headteacher
I have been a governor since my appointment as Headteacher, in September 2011. I had previously been staff governor at two other schools before this. I am on the Curriculum, Finance and Marketing Sub-committees and part of the Academies Steering Group. I am a parishioner and also a parent, with our youngest son still in the school at the moment. Holy Redeemer is a strong Catholic community that works together for the good of the pupils and wider community and I am really proud to be a member of staff and a governor.
Mr Alan Smith: Chair and Foundation Governor
I’m Alan, and I have been a Foundation Governor at Holy Redeemer since 2014. As Chair of Governors, my job is to help the Governors work as an effective team; recruit people with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to the team; offer support, challenge and encouragement to the Headteacher; make school improvement our priority; ensure that statutory requirements are met, that the school offers value for money, and that the business of the Governing Body is conducted efficiently and effectively. In addition, I maintain the school website and I am the parish organist. I started teaching in 1974, led two secondary school music departments, then was deputy headteacher in two secondary schools and, finally, a local authority music adviser, before retiring in 2011.
Mr Stephen Thorley: Associate Parent Governor
My name is Steve, I have been on the board of Governors for 5 years, 4 of which as Chair of Finance. I have recently taken on the role of pre-school governor. I have a background in catering and business management. I take an active role within school running a cooking club, helping at sports events, topic work within class and monitoring school lunches.
I have enjoyed being part of a Governing Body within this amazing school and feel honoured to have been asked to remain as an associate governor.
Mr James Turner:Local Authority Governor
I have taught for nearly 40 years and have been a Headteacher for 20 years. I have experience in 7 schools and have enjoyed working with Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School, seeing ways to assist the school as it seeks to take the next steps in its development. I have enjoyed working with the school to build a closer partnership with Worcester Primary School, South Africa.
Mrs Olive Williams: Deputy Head Teacher
I have been Deputy head teacher at Holy Redeemer for 16 years and for most of that time I have been the staff representative on the Governing body. Prior to working at Holy Redeemer, I taught in Ireland and I spent ten years in an inner city school in Birmingham.
I am the Year 6 teacher and I am also responsible for monitoring the teaching of literacy and R.E. in school. I enjoy teaching at Holy Redeemer primarily because it is a Catholic school and I feel it is a privilege to provide children with the opportunity to get to know Jesus as a friend and to help them to discover the person God is calling them to be. I also gain a lot personally from working with some of our amazing parishioners, who support the school in so many ways. I really enjoy being part of a community at Holy Redeemer.
Mrs Candie Thorley: Clerk of Board of Governors
Candie is our clerk and is responsible for all communications and documentation. Prior to Governors termly meetings Candie will send out minutes, she records minutes and forwards any relevant training information and leave requests.
The Governors have a variety of experience, interest and length of service, but we all have a shared interest in the welfare of our school community.
What do we do?
As you can see, we each have different interests and responsibilities. Every Governor is expected to attend the Governors’ meetings and may be asked to join another committee; this can be useful to better understand the Governors’ role and to observe the work of fellow Governors.
To support the school more generally, Governors are invited to attend school assemblies, concerts, parents’ evenings and other events. This is not mandatory, but it is another way to better understand the work of the school and support staff, pupils and parents. Governors are sometimes invited to briefly speak at the end of a school event, such as Christmas Concerts.
There are six meetings, once a term, normally on a Wednesday from 7pm until 9pm. Non-attendance on three consecutive meetings will result in disqualification from the board.
Alan chairs the meeting, starting with an opening prayer, a review of previous meeting before progressing to the agenda; which covers a summary of each committee and any current issues.
Christine offers her Head Teacher’s report every second term and this is shared alongside the School Development Plan (SDP) and achievement results which draw from raw data and that from OFTED, RAISE online and Family Fisher Trust.
All committee meetings are open to any Governors. There should be a minimum of 3 committee members in attendance normally, including Christina.
Chaired by Steve currently; with Stuart soon to take over this role. These are usually from 6.30-7pm prior to the main meeting. The role of this committee is to:
- Review and monitor the school’s budget plans
- Agree a deficit reduction programme if the school is in deficit
- Challenge excess surplus balances if held by school without good reason
- Plan and carry out an audit programme for schools if indicated
- Intervene in school if there was cause for financial concern
The finance report is circulated prior to the meeting and he also gives a brief summary at the main meeting for the record and those unable to attend the committee meeting. Steve’s role is varied; for example, he has recently been involved in pursuing quotes for the new building to accommodate the additional children from Hopscotch.
Health and safety
Led by Glenn. The role of this committee is to:
- Oversee risk assessment
- Ensure accident recording is in place and if needed investigate any accidents
- Carry out inspections, observing structural repairs and maintenance, equipment, e.g. equipment for the playground, upkeep of grounds
Prior to each meeting Glenn reviews the building and grounds with Candie and alerts the board to any areas of concern; feeding this back during the Governors meeting. As a high voltage electrical engineer, Glenn has worked very closely with the Health and Safety Executive, thus giving him the experience in risk assessment and foreseeing problems that may arise. Glenn can often recommend specific interventions and at times carries out the work himself. For example, Glenn has recently been involved in reviewing the lighting into the school from the car park and advising on appropriate action for a diseased tree within the playground.
Led by Nicky. The role of this committee is to:
- Ensure the statutory requirements of the national curriculum and curriculum for religious education, personal, social and health and citizenship are in place
- Agree curriculum policies written by teaching staff
- Review annual targets for Key stage 1 and Key stage 2
- Constantly develop and progress the Developing and Raising Achievement Plan (DRAP)
The curriculum committee meet in the weeks prior to each Governors meeting. It is an opportunity for Christina to go into detail about the specific curriculum themes, practices and challenges going on within the school.Members of the Leadership Team and Subject Co-Ordinators share plans, targets, data and monitoring for activities ongoing in the school. Curriculum Committee meetings closely follow the four priorities set out in the Development and Raising Achievement Plan. Throughout the year they monitor progress on action points, which in turn flags up areas to be further developed the following year. Naturally being a catholic school one of the priorities is always to continue to improve standards in R.E. and to continue to improve the quality of all teaching and learning within school and Pre School.
Nicky presents the Curriculum Committee Report to the full Governing Body meetings and this should link closely with the School Development plan.Additionally, Nicky may work alongside staff on specific projects. For example, she has recently supported Mrs Williams in collating examples of the extensive religious life of the school together into a book format for staff, parents and visitors to gain insight to the various ways in which the catholic life of the school and parish are celebrated.
Marketing and communications
Led by Pam. The role of this committee is to:
- Elevate our school profile and disseminate the activities and achievements of the pupils of Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School
- Support a growing nursery and school roll and the continuation of catholic education into local secondary schools.
- Celebrate the success of our hard-working pupils, teachers and parents
- Aid communication within current and future parents/guardians, our parish, town, villages and county
This is a newly established committee and meets once a term. So far it has been focused on establishing communications with parents via the website and raising the school’s profile in local media.
The Pay Committee meets annually to monitor that spending on wages is in line with the budget. We consider applications for teachers wishing to pass through the threshold and award additional half or whole points on the pay scale for additional responsibilities or roles that staff have taken on, if we can.
Additional Governors’ responsibilities:
Spirituality: Olive communicates relevant curriculum and project work in this field. Governors are invited to attended school masses, Christmas and Easter reflections, etc. We may be asked to complete a Governors Visit Form to record this. These forms may be viewed durng a school inspection to highlight the Governors’ input.
Policies: These are circulated for Governors to read and review prior to the meetings and signed by Alan and Christina during the meeting.
Safeguarding: All Governors are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Specific training opportunities and guidance are regularly circulated by Candie. Jim Turner is our Safeguarding Governor and provides an annual Safeguarding report.Both Jim and Christina are qualified to provide Safeguarding staff training.
Governors’ Development: Governors are invited to attend local training organised by Governors Services. At Governors’ meetings we are invited to share any courses or development work we have been participated in.
Complaints: Please see the guidance as set out in the School’s Complaints Policy. Individual Governors cannot deal with either a concern or a complaint, but a parent may approach a Governor to ask what they should do if they have a concern. Governors cannot get into discussion with a parent but will advise them of the procedure to follow: to contact the designated teacher with responsibility for your child, or the headteacher.
Fundraising: Occasionally Governors may support fundraising work within the school; for example, supporting the raffle at the biannual No8 Theatre event or as a one-off social fundraising event.
Governors’ Visits: Visits are by prior arrangement and can be related to specific committees, school activities or project work. Governors Visit Forms help to capture the nature of the visit, these are kept in a folder in the office.
Special project work
Occasionally, Governors may become more involved in specific project work; this may be an area of special interest, examples include:
- As a professional chef Steve, was keen to improve on the children’s school meal experience and researched an alternative, healthier, tastier local supplier that the school now use. Steve also has been involved in an after-school cookery club, teaching the children basic food preparation and cookery skills.
- Nicky has been working on improving road safety and has worked with the school to organise awareness raising walks whilst liaising with local and county counsellors. Nicky also supports religious education projects and supports the children in raising awareness and funds for the El Salvador charity Aid for Children of El Salvador (ACES)
- Recently Alan has been encouraging the children to join the church choir, where in addition to the school masses children have now joined the church choir every week; which strengthens the church-school link and deepens our celebration of mass.
How can I help?
Occasionally, we recruit onto the board of Governors and are looking for parents/ guardians/parishioners to volunteer their time. The role is different for each governor depending on their skills, interest, time and the needs of the school, and we’re grateful for everyone’s contribution.
As a parent you can support the school by attending school events and providing us with feedback in order that we can continue to develop our school. It maybe you have an area of interest or background that could be used within the school environment. Where possible, the Governors attend Parents Evenings and are always happy to chat with parents and children.
Further reading and resources: