The governing board provides strategic leadership and accountability in schools. It has three key functions:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Governors or trustees set the aims and objectives for the school or group of schools and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. In action, this means:

  • Appointing and performance reviewing the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay
  • Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
  • Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
  • Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary
  • Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
  • Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school

Governors and trustees must be prepared to adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. 

Governors and trustees should also be committed to their role and to young people; confident in having courageous conversations; curious with an enquiring mind; able to challenge the status quo to improve things; collaborative to build strong relationships; critical to improve their own work and that of the board; and creative in problem solving and being innovative.

 

At Whitefield Primary School, we have a strong, skilled governing body who are committed to our school and actively work alongside the Headteacher, the staff and families within our community to ensure we continue to improve on our journey towards outstanding.

 

Governors

Mrs Susan Jackson - Chair of Governors

After teaching at Whitefield for many years, I am delighted to continue my work with the school as a member of the Governing Board. I became Chair of the Governing Board in Summer 2022.  My association has also been as a parent, as both my children attended Whitefield, enjoying and thriving in the school’s environment. I look forward to working to ensure that all pupils attending the school are happy and thrive and able to fulfil their potential.

 

Mrs Sarah Foster

I have been the Head Teacher at Whitefield Primary School for twelve years. I have been a teacher in Blackpool and Penwortham primary schools for 26 years. I have a 15 year old daughter who attends a local high school in Blackpool and is in her GCSE year.  I am passionate about children achieving the best that they can, in both social and academic areas.  I enjoy working with the Governing Board - we are a team of highly skilled people who support each other and the Whitefield community.

 

Mrs Kamini Gandhi

I have one child at Whitefield in Year 4and one who attended Whitefield and is now at Hutton.  I was a Solicitor working for a firm for 8 years specialising in Personal Injury before taking a career break.  I became a Parent Governor in 2017 and thoroughly enjoy being a Governor at the school.  I enjoy being part of a governing body that have the children’s best interest at heart, in making sure that they enjoy their time at school whilst still achieving to their potential.

 

Mrs Rebecca Caslake

I have been a staff governor for the last year and I am committed to helping Whitefield to achieve the best outcome for each individual child in terms of their academic achievement and emotional well-being.  I am a Mum to two young children who both attend Whitefield. I enjoy spending spare time with my husband, children and extended family and friends on days out, walking, swimming, playing board games (although they can get a bit competitive!). We love camping in our tent, it’s great to get away for the weekend and have a bit of time together device free!  I have worked in education for a number of years. First as Secondary Science teacher and now, following a career break to care for my children, as Learning Mentor at Whitefield. I am passionate about education.

 

Miss Judith Ward

My name is Judith Ward. I am one of the Governors at Whitefield Primary School.    It was with great pleasure that I agreed to the position here at Whitefield, as I had heard nothing but great things about the school and I would like to be a part of continuing to driving the school forwards.  I am currently teaching at another school within the South Ribble area and I currently teach in the Year 1 class but also have experience in Reception and Nursery. I have been teaching for nearly seven years now and I thoroughly enjoy it.  My hobbies are dancing, fitness classes, and socialising with family and friends.  I enjoy travelling and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced teaching in China and Thailand.

 

Mrs Kerry Oram

I have two children at Whitefield Primary School.  I was elected as a Parent Governor in July 2017.  I have ten years’ experience as a Human Resources Manager within the education sector (with experience across state schools, Academies and private schools).  I have particular expertise in employment law and resource management within schools.  I also have a real passion for working with schools; I genuinely believe that no-one can take away the value of a good education and I enjoy supporting schools to be great places for children and also great places to work.

 

Mr Jack Gray

During the past year, I completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant at Whitefield Primary School. During this period, I worked alongside an excellent team of Teachers and Teacher Assistants and it confirmed that I had a passion for education and teaching. The experience was extremely beneficial and enjoyable and helped me in my journey to Edge Hill University (Where I am now, becoming a teacher!). I have also refereed children’s football for over 4 years now. As I thought my time at Whitefield was drawing to a close, I was honoured to become a member of the governing board. I hope to bring fresh ideas to meetings, which hopefully can improve Whitefield and give the pupils the best possible time at the school.

Mrs Abi Huxtable

Miss Sarah Mansfield

This is my fifth year at Whitefield Primary School and my second year as a staff governor. I have been teaching since 2014 and have worked in three very different schools, which has allowed me to develop different skills as a teacher. Before that I was employed as an Accounts Payable auditor, a position I held for almost 5 years. I have a BAHons in Journalism and English Literature combined, and am really passionate about the teaching and learning of literacy in school. 

Mr Alex Spratt

Mrs Nicola Simpson

Mrs Janice Adams - Deputy Headteacher / Observer

Clerk to the Governing Board - Mr Brian Wright, Lancashire County Council

 

The Role of the Governors

School governors are drawn from different parts of the community and can be parents and staff or from the local authority (Lancashire), the community and other groups. This helps ensure the governing body has sufficient diversity of skills, views and experience but does not mean governors of a particular category represent that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not represent the parents at the school and do not report back to them.

 Governors are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. 

 In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

   1.  Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  1. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  1. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 When a school is inspected by Ofsted, its governing body will be required to show evidence that governors conform to their three core functions

 In the work that they do, a governors’ essential focus is on:

                Setting vision, ethos and strategic direction

                Holding the headteacher and school management to account

                Asking the right questions

                Being aware of the importance of objective data and their sources

                Overseeing financial performance

                Setting policies, targets and priorities for achieving those objectives

                Monitoring performance and progress towards those objectives

                Reviewing achievements against the set aims and objectives

                Enabling better governance through training, review and planning

 Another aspect of the governors role has traditionally been referred to as being a ‘critical friend’ of the school whereby in addition to the duties laid out above, governors can and should also:

            Offer support

            Provide constructive advice

            Act as a sounding board for the headteacher’s ideas

            Give a second opinion on proposals - which includes asking questions and challenging assumptions

            Help in arriving at the best solution - to further the best interests of the school

 

The children will see our governors in school on a regular basis - they are instantly recognisable by their bright orange lanyard with the word 'governor' on!

 

The governors come in to school for many reasons.  We meet on a termly basis for three different things - the first meeting is to discuss our school standards and the impact of actions we are putting in place.  The second meeting is to discuss our school finances and everything to do with the school buildings and surrounding premises. The last meeting is a 'full governors' meeting where we meet as a full governing body and review the term and ensure the correct plans are in place for us to continue to move forward.

As well as these meetings, we also have a policy group meeting every term to ensure our school policies are up to date and any changes from Lancashire or the Department for Education have been addressed. And we hold a 'focus group' meeting every term - this meeting allows us to take one area of our school improvement planing and review and discuss it in more detail.

 

Each of our governors has a different skill set that is beneficial to not only the Headteacher, but the school business manager, the teachers and the children.  These individual governors will be in school throughout the year to work alongside staff and children.

 

And one of our favourite activities is our governor Q&A session with the children!

 

Governors in School

The children will see our governors in school on a regular basis - they are instantly recognisable by their bright orange lanyard with the word 'governor' on!

The governors come in to school for many reasons.  We meet on a termly basis for three different things - the first meeting is to discuss our school standards and the impact of actions we are putting in place.  The second meeting is to discuss our school finances and everything to do with the school buildings and surrounding premises. The last meeting is a 'full governors' meeting where we meet as a full governing body and review the term and ensure the correct plans are in place for us to continue to move forward.

As well as these meetings, we also have a policy group meeting every term to ensure our school policies are up to date and any changes from Lancashire or the Department for Education have been addressed. And we hold a 'focus group' meeting every term - this meeting allows us to take one area of our school improvement planing and review and discuss it in more detail.

 

Each of our governors has a different skill set that is beneficial to not only the Headteacher, but the school business manager, the teachers and the children.  These individual governors will be in school throughout the year to work alongside staff and children.

 

And one of our favourite activities is our governor Q&A session with the children!

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