“Outstanding governance in a single school” National Governors' Association Runner up 2017
What is the role of our school governors?
The governing body is made up of: staff representatives, co-opted (community) representatives and parent representatives. As we are part of a The Aspire Educational Trust, our governors are called Local Academy Committee (LAC) Governors. LAC Governors provide the unique link between academies, parents, students, staff and the community. They focus on distinct areas where a local presence, and knowledge, are essential.
School Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England. School governors and trustees make an essential contribution to children’s education, opportunities and futures.
Click here to find out more about governance as part of The Aspire Educational Trust
The Department for Education (DfE) sets out that effective governance is based on six key features:
- Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy. [Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff and overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.]
- Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance. [Holding the school to account for the performance of the school is how governors help to drive school improvement – the “critical friend” role. This means holding the Head Teacher to account through a balance of support and challenge; Monitoring and evaluating the school’s work including reviewing pupil performance data, visiting the school and discussing school development priorities with staff and pupils and understanding how performance management of staff contributes to school development]
- People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity.
- Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements.
- Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance.
Click here to find out more about governance from the DfE
Governors are responsible for the effective use of public funds so the LAC oversees the school's annual budget and financial forecasts as well as ensuring the school's grounds and buildings are well maintained and safe.
The LAC is advised by the central Aspire team and the NGA as well as sharing ideas and best practice with other schools in the trust.
Who are our governors?
At Holmes Chapel Primary School, we have 2 Governor meetings per term which all of our LAC Governors (Local Academy Committee) attend. They are our Local Academy Committee (LAC) Meeting and our Combined Committee (CC) Meeting. Our Local Academy Committee has a Chair and Vice-Chair. Our Combined Committee has 2 Co-Chairs who share the role.
Helen Parkinson-Sykes (Co-Opted Governor - Chair)
I have been a school governor at HCPS for 6+ years, originally as a parent governor. I have 3 children who have all attended HCPS with the youngest is now in Year 7 at high school. We have lived in Holmes Chapel for 14 years after relocating from Essex. My background is as a freelance CAD Draughtsperson working in a variety of sectors including renewable energy, mechanical services and engineering. I have really enjoyed developing my role as a school governor and find contributing to our great school extremely rewarding. It is always a pleasure visiting school and seeing how happy and confident our children are!
Jenny Gough (Co-Opted Governor - Vice Chair)
I have two daughters who currently attend HCPS (my youngest is in Reception and my eldest is in Year 2). I attended this school in the 1980s and have many fond memories of my time there. I went on to study at the Comprehensive School, Sir John Deane's and then qualified as a solicitor specialising in Commercial Property. After the arrival of my second daughter I have worked part-time in the education sector and now work for another local Multi-Academy Trust. I have been a governor at HCPS for almost 12 months now and I am committed to helping the school.
Richard Gregson (Parent Governor)
I have recently (2019) become a School Governor. I have three boys, two who are in school and one who left having completed Year 6 recently. Charlotte and I have lived in the village for the past 14 years, having previously lived in Manchester, where I continue to work in Commercial Banking. My motivation to become a School Governor was due to seeing the school go from strength to strength over the past 8 years that my children have been associated with HCPS. I have always found the school to be a welcoming, safe and engaging environment as a parent. Outside of work and volunteering as a governor, I am a coach for the local Hurricanes Junior football team and I also have a passion for Golf, Northern Art and Stockport County in roughly that order.
Chris Tottey-Gee (Parent Governor)
I have been a parent governor since 2019. We currently have 3 of our children at HCPS, with another to follow in due course! My professional background is as a solicitor, specialising in commercial disputes. We have lived in Holmes Chapel for over 10 years now and I am looking forward to continuing my role as a governor in the years to come, and to watch the school and the children develop.
Helen Kerry (Co-Opted Governor)
I joined the governing body at HCPS in September 2019 as a Co-opted Governor. I live in Knutsford now, but did live in Holmes Chapel for 5 years prior to this and know the village well.
I come from a teaching background having worked as a primary school teacher for 11 years, teaching across both Key Stages. Over the last 5 years I worked with and supported Newly Qualified Teachers in Primary schools. I also helped to train student teachers both in university and school settings. I am enjoying being involved in education from the perspective of a governor and try to bring my experiences as a teacher to my role. I visit school regularly and enjoy getting involved in school life. I am looking forward to developing my role as governor further and continuing to support the school and the children.
Nicky Waddington (Staff Governor)
I have been a teacher at HCPS for over 20 years now - and love it more than ever. As a staff governor, I am now into my second term and enjoy looking at the school from a strategic perspective as well as bringing a wealth of teaching experience to the role. I love being part of a vibrant school community and being part of an outstanding team that brings the very best in education to our village.
Ffion Griffiths (Staff Governor)
I had the privilege of starting my teaching career at Holmes Chapel Primary School back in September 2016. During my career so far, I have taken on many roles; School Council, leading the PE curriculum as well as offering staff well-being activities e.g. Staff running club. In my spare time I enjoy baking and travelling around the UK.