Governors Blog

January 2017

Associate Members

2016 eh? Events beyond the wit of many opinion polls conspired to usher in a new year with more than the usual expectation of change, challenge, progress and disaster. The world shifts uneasily on its axis. The country waits to see what will be.

Cricklade is, of course, very much a bit player in all of this. We citizens of North Wiltshire will have to cope, and the organisations that inform and run our lives will have to adapt and face the future to continue to provide the services on which we all depend. For the school, change is a constant factor that governors must consider alongside the day-to-day responsibilities of ensuring accountability to the stakeholders who fund and use state education. Decisions made in Westminster, however remote they may appear from this end of the Thames, will visit this corner of Wiltshire and leave their mark on the governance of St. Sampson’s Church of England Primary School.

The good news is that the governing body is back at full strength with the election of our new parent governor Laura Dodsworth. Laura brings a wealth of experience in the education sector which the school will find valuable and we look forward to welcoming her at the full governing body meeting in February. She joins the group of local residents who provide their time, experience and skills to support the school and its dedicated staff.

Parent governor elections come round every once in a while but the governing body is always keen to accept associate members. Associates are similar to governors in that they sit on one of the three committees and their views and opinions have equal value. It is a great way for someone to gain experience in the governor role should they wish to fill a future vacancy and it allows us to tap into specialised expertise, such as in PR and Marketing, Human Resources, I.T. and Facilities, that may not be adequately represented among the elected or appointed governors. Meetings tend to occur on a Thursday and typically there are three Full Governing Body meetings and four committee meetings in a school year. There are also a few social events with an occasional pizza thrown in. If this sounds like something that might interest you, please contact me, Ian Wallis, via the school for an informal chat.

And so Happy New Year to you all and full steam ahead into 2017!

September 2016

Enter Hello and welcome to the first post on the St Sampson’s school governor’s blog. My name is Ian Wallis, the current Chair of governors, and myself or my fellow governors will attempt to keep you informed on a regular basis as to what we’re up to and why!

Hopefully all of you have received letters regarding the vacancy for a parent governor. As governors we work in partnership with the Head Teacher and Senior Management Team to oversee the strategic direction of the school. We also help to set school aims and policies, monitor the school budget, have an interest in the development of the school infrastructure and the staffing structure, foster links with the Cricklade local community and deal with complaints about the school. Looked at from afar, it may seem rather a lot to take on, possibly an onerous responsibility too far in today’s busy world.

In reality, being a school governor is a deeply rewarding opportunity to use the skills learnt in life to benefit the children of Cricklade. All new Governors are made to feel welcome and encouraged to find the area of expertise where they feel they can be most useful. We have a pretty fair cross section of Cricklade residents, each contributing in a different way to the success of the governing body and adding their personalities and talents to one of the three main committees – Staffing, Curriculum and Standards and Finance and Premises.

We’ve had moments of excitement in the seven years I’ve been a governor, and other moments where discussing the guttering has been the most pressing issue but through it all, I’ve felt proud to be so involved and important to the health of the school. The governors are the critical friend of an extremely well managed school, Jennifer and her staff make it easy for us and I would urge anyone who feels able to devote time and energy to a winning team to consider putting themselves forward for election to such a fulfilling occupation.

The vacancy has arisen as a result of one of our parent governor’s term of office coming to completion. I would like to thank Peter Imeson on behalf of the governing body for all that he has done over the past four years. Peter is hopefully staying on as an associate member which is a role within the governing body that many might consider if they are keen to get involved at a time when there is no official vacancy.
As always, if anyone would like to discuss the role of the governing body, or explore how they might get involved, please feel free to contact me through the school.