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, Year 4 Leader (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. I have been teaching for nearly 9 years at two schools, teaching years 2, 5 and 6. In my staff role at Minster Primary I work alongside the numeracy lead, working to deliver elements of the school improvement plan and 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 lead year six, which links well with my keen interest in analysing data. It gives me great pleasure to lead such a caring, professional and dedicated team, a team who I believe personify the ‘Minster Muscles’. I am an active participant on the PTFA and am also the vice chairperson; supporting fundraising events to support school projects. 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 retired in February 2020 after twenty four years in the driver training industry developing the skills of new and experienced motorists. I was one of a number of people asked by the Driver and Vehicle standards Agency to review the Highway Code and other driver training publications when revisions were planned. Prior to joining the driver training industry I worked for many years in engineering design/drawing offices serving as Assistant Chief Draughtsman for several years. When the company was bought out and closed down, I joined two of my co-workers in forming our own company. When my daughter was at school during the eighties I served as a parent governor at Lower Halstow Primary and Rowena Girls School. When my time as a PG came to an end, a change in work arrangements made continuing as a governor unrealistic. During 2020 I read an article stating that a shortage of volunteers existed so I volunteered. I am also an LA governor at Meadowfield School in Sittingbourne.
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.
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.