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‘Let your light shine.’ Matthew 5:16

Enabling children to flourish and succeed

Governors

Waltham School Governors

 

A warm introduction to the work of our Local Governing Body.

 

This section gives you an overview of why the Governing Body exists, who we are and what we do. We welcome any interest in our work and if you would like to know more, have specific questions, or are interested in becoming a school governor then please do not hesitate to get in touch via the school office: office@waltham.risemat.co.uk

 

Anna Butler
Chair of Governors

Why Are We Here?

 

School governors have general responsibility for the conduct and performance of the school. We do this through three core responsibilities:

 

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction (as outlined by the National Governors' Association);
  • Holding the Executive Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 

Governors are not expected to be involved in the detail of the day-to-day management of the school – this is the responsibility of the Executive Headteacher and senior leadership team. The Governing Body works in partnership with them, acting as 'critical friends', to support and challenge the work of the school. In practice this means continually monitoring and evaluating the work of the school against agreed targets and actions, setting and agreeing policies.

 

Our school is an Academy within a multi-academy trust – Rise Multi-Academy Trust, whose Board of Trustees are ultimately responsible for the school. Our Local Governing Body is a Rise committee and responsibility has been delegated to us by the Rise directors to:

 

  • Promote high standards of educational achievement, strategic planning and financial control;
  • Ensure that the school has identified what the Christian ethos means for the school in its context and community;
  • Ensure the school meets statutory requirements.

 

Who Are We?

 

Our governors are representative of all the groups involved in our school: staff, parents, local community and Church. They are all volunteers who give their time, energy and skills free of charge to benefit the children of our school. The number and type of Governors is determined in our Memorandum of Understanding from the Trust. The term of office is four years. We currently have eight governors comprised of:

 

  • Three Director-appointed governors, appointed by Rise;
  • One staff governors, elected by the staff at our school;
  • Two parent governors, elected by parents of the school;
  • Two ex-officio members (there by nature of their job) – the Executive Headteacher and the Vicar.

 

We have a Clerk to Governors who is paid to carry out administrative tasks for governor business.

 

See below for details of our work so far this year and to read our governor profiles.

 

What Do We Do?

 

The Local Governing Body meets once per term, but we manage a lot of work through our regular visits to the school. Our main work centres around:

  • Safeguarding - every time we visit, we consult with children and staff to check that everyone feels safe and secure.  During the course of the year, we review the security measures of the school, Single Central Record, policies and procedures, including Risk Assessments and school safety logs.
  • Finance, Pay and Personnel - where we review staffing, including staff well-being and recruitment when necessary; approve the annual budget; and monitor expenditure to ensure value for money. This includes Waltham Pre-school. We remain vigilant of possible funding opportunities (e.g. grants) too.
  • Estates, Health and Safety - where we check health and safety around the school site, and look at the learning environment for the children, maintenance and development of our buildings. We support the Executive Headteacher in securing S106 funding from local housing developments and Condition Improvement Funds.
  • Standards and Values - we review pupil progress and attainment with staff each term; we monitor school improvement, including curriculum development; and consider the church school distinctiveness of our school.
  • Vale Governors Cluster Partnership - we have formed a governor partnership with Redmile, Croxton Kerrial and Wymondham CE Primary Schools to oversee the strategic work of our Executive Headship model within the Rise Multi-Academy Trust. It is made up of two governors from each school, including a representative of the church and we meet termly.

 

From time to time, we also form working groups to work on specific strategic projects as they arise, eg. Headteacher recruitment.

 

How do we achieve this?

 

School Visits and Learning Walks

 

Governor visits allow us to see the school at work, gain relevant knowledge and understanding to be able to perform our governing role effectively and fulfil our monitoring functions. We set out a programme of governor visits for every year, each focused on a particular subject and undertaken by the relevant subject link governor. This might include: discussions with subject coordinators, visits to each class to see how learning takes place and meetings about specific aspects of work, e.g. safeguarding. In practice, many of our governors also frequently attend other activities going on in the school to ensure that they know the school well. They also accompany the staff and children on school visits and trips, including the biannual residential visit to Derbyshire.

 

Governor Training

 

We have a governor responsible for training and attend regular training and development events to support us in our role as governors, organised by the Governor Development Service, Rise and within school.

 

Partnership Links

 

We work in close partnership with the CEO and central team of Rise who visit our school and offer guidance and support when required. We also work with other governing bodies around our local area which helps to inform our strategic work as well allowing us to broaden our knowledge by exchanging experiences with governors in settings similar to ours.

Governor Profiles

 

Mr Nigel Smith 

Chair of GovernorsMy wife and I moved to Waltham in 2006. In 2010 we launched our own sustainability consultancy and work from a converted barn next to our house. We have two children, Isla and Oscar, with our daughter now at secondary school and son coming towards the twilight years of his time at Waltham. As a parent and chair of governors I am passionate about supporting and ensuring the viability of rural schools like Waltham. I believe we are very fortunate to have such a special school on our doorstep, providing a first class educational and caring environment for our children.

 

Mrs Anna Butler (Chair of Governors)

I have lived in Waltham for the last 18 months with my husband, son and two step children. I work for a multi-academy trust as a School Improvement Advisor, overseeing maths and the pupil premium strategy. Prior to this, I was Vice Principal at a secondary school in Nottingham and have 15 years’ experience teaching maths in a variety of schools in different contexts. I am passionate about providing a quality education for all children and feel privileged to be a governor at our school where this is achieved by a team of such dedicated staff.


Mrs Debra Meakin

I have been on the Governing body since 2015. As local farmers, our daughter attended Waltham during her primary years and thrived throughout. I bring experience from the early years sector being both a practitioner and employer to support me in the role of challenging the school for improvements ensuring Waltham is the nurturing and excellent school it is. 

 

Mrs Helen Edwards

I moved to Waltham in 2011 after several years living and working in London.  It was a move back ‘home’ as I grew up in the East Midlands and still have friends and family in the area. I have two children, right at the beginning of their Waltham School years, which is a very exciting time for all of us.  I’m delighted to join the LGB as a governor, and I hope to use my professional skills as a commercial barrister to support, challenge and work in partnership with the school, to help ensure the best possible environment for our children.

 

Reverend John Barr

We moved to Waltham in April 2017 from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, when I became Rector of the Ironstone Villages - a family of seven churches - at the same time as my wife Mary became Vicar in the Melton Mowbray Team. I am delighted to be involved with Waltham School which I look across at every day from the other side of the Melton Road! As a parent of two (now adult) children who both went to their local Church of England Primary School, I fully appreciate the value of a church school education in those formative years and the opportunities to build good community links. I look forward to continuing to work with others in developing the already strong links between school, church, and wider community, and to contributing in whatever way I can to the flourishing life and Christian ethos of this lovely village school.

 

Mrs Briony Cheeseman

My husband Ben and I moved to Waltham in 2013 from Reading to be closer to our family. We renovated our current house and live here with our two children.  Both our children now attend Waltham School and really love it. I wanted to get more involved with the school, so I became a parent Governor in November 2020. I currently work part-time as a Transport Planner in Nottingham, and I have previously worked for Sustrans. I have a keen interest in sustainable travel and developing sustainable travel habits. I am looking forward to working in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and other governors to support the school and help it grow.

 

Mrs Alexandra Wilson

I arrived in Waltham in early 2020 after spending a year in the Arctic, studying the effects of global warming and climate change in these regions, as part of an Arctic research project at UiT (the Arctic University in northern Norway).

However, prior to this, much of my working life has been spent in a variety of educational settings, including the University of Nottingham and twelve years as a residential housemistress at Eton Collage, Windsor.  Since returning to the UK I have been a part-time member of the matron team at Witham Hall School in Lincolnshire.

I now look forward to becoming more involved in the village and feel honoured to be able to serve as governor at Waltham school.

 

Mrs Denise Garnett

I have been a teacher at Waltham since August 2015, and very soon after joining the school became involved as the staff governor. I am very passionate about being part of the team that continues to deliver sustainable success at Waltham. Along with the guidance and support of the school governors, the staff work extremely hard to create a safe and inspiring environment and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the views and ideas of the teaching team.

 

Mrs Julie Hopkins

I am the Executive Headteacher of our school as well as Redmile, Croxton Kerrial and Wymondham CE Primary Schools. I work very closely with all governors to ensure that our children have the best education possible, enabling them all to make progress and enjoy their learning in the process. I contribute to all aspects of governance and maintain regular contact through meetings, emails and telephone conversations. I live in the Vale and my daughter attended a local village primary school, as well as The Priory Belvoir Academy and MV16, so I consider myself to be in a unique position to offer full support to governors through my extensive knowledge of what it means to be part of a village community. I am very honoured to work with such a dedicated team of governors.

Mrs Alexandra Wilson

I arrived in Waltham in early 2020 after spending a year in the Arctic, studying the effects of global warming and climate change in these regions, as part of an Arctic research project at UiT (the Arctic University in northern Norway).

However, prior to this, much of my working life has been spent in a variety of educational settings, including the University of Nottingham and twelve years as a residential housemistress at Eton Collage, Windsor.  Since returning to the UK I have been a part-time member of the matron team at Witham Hall School in Lincolnshire.

I now look forward to becoming more involved in the village and feel honoured to be able to serve as governor at Waltham school.

Governor

Appointment Type

Appointed by

Term of Office Start / End

Nigel SmithFoundation GovernorDiocese24.09.20 - 23.09.24
Alexandra WilsonFoundation GovernorDiocese18.06.21 - 17.06.25
Rev. John BarrIncumbentEx-officio 
Anna ButlerTrust appointedDirectors17.06.20 - 16.06.25
Brioney CheesemanTrust AppointedDirectors25.02.21 - 24.02.25
Debra MeakinParent GovernorParents19.11.20 - 18.11.24
Helen EdwardsParent GovernorParents01.03.19 - 28.02.23
Denise GarnettStaff GovernorStaff01.09.19 - 31.08.24
Julie HopkinsExecutive HeadteacherEx-officio 

 

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