The Island Learning Trust 'board of trustees' took the decision to combine both Minster Primary and Halfway Houses Primary Learning Governing Body so they now work across both schools as part of the academy setup.
My name is Vaughn Chambers. I am 45 years old and have two children currently at the school, in Year 2 and in Reception. I am a qualified teacher and for the majority of the last 17 years I have worked as a SENCO at a variety of primary, infant and junior schools in Kent. I have also worked as a specialist teacher in a large primary school and have worked for KCC temporarily as a part of the SEN team for the past two months. I have served on the leadership team at the schools I have worked in and have a good understanding of school improvement, analysis of data and in particular Inclusion within schools. Since my children started at this school I have seen how good the school is and how hard the staff work to support children to make the very best of their potential. As a governor for the school I like being part of its journey to being an outstanding school, to support the inclusive ethos that the school holds with a belief that all children have the right to be enabled to do their very best within a supportive and nurturing environment.
I have been a teacher at Halfway Houses Primary School for 17 years and have been the Deputy Headteacher since September 2015. I have been a staff governor since January 2013 at Halfway and until recently was also a governor at Hartlip CE Primary school as this is where my children have been at school. Initially I became a governor to broaden my own professional development and to gain more experience of being held to account as the Deputy Headteacher within the meetings. Halfway Houses and the children and staff are at the heart of all that I do and I am passionate about ensuring that they receive the best possible learning experiences and opportunities through an engaging curriculum. I work closely with governors and teachers across the Trust and strive to make it the best it can be.
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 as 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.
For the past 21 years I have worked in education and for the last 24 months, I have been a governor at Halfway Houses Primary School. As a formal pupil, it has always been a special place for me and to be involved with the continued evolution of the school is a privilege. Prior to becoming a governor, I was fortunate enough to be involved with the new school building on a professional level. It became clear very early on, the school has a friendly child-centric atmosphere, with dedicated and hardworking staff. I thoroughly enjoy learning about the excellent curriculum and pastoral care the school aims to provide and challenge the management team on how this can be improved even further.
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.