Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school. They are also a key part of the overall system for school accountability. Governing bodies have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education.
Governing bodies have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding the 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.
In practice, governors are a group of volunteers who include parents, staff and members of the local community who act collectively to make decisions that matter to the school. They are motivated to do the best for the children of the school.
Governing bodies help set the school’s aims and values. They also make decisions on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s development plan. They oversee the use of the school’s budget, and have responsibility to obtain value for money for that budget, and are responsible for the appointment of the headteacher.
In addition, governors monitor, support and challenge the headteacher and staff on how well those policies and targets are followed through. They do this by visiting the school, getting to know its strengths and weaknesses, and asking useful questions that foster an ethos of continuous improvement. A more detailed account of how we work can be found below.
Contacting the School Governors
If you wish to contact the Governing Body, please use the following email address: Governors@fulbrookmiddleschool.org.uk or the direct email form below.
Vision for Fulbrook
By 2016 will be an outstanding school delivering excellent levels of achievement and progress for all pupils. The school will be committed to providing life changing opportunities and inspiration for all children. Fulbrook will be the school of choice for the local community.
Respect, Honesty, Perseverance, Responsibility, Trust, Courage, Happiness, Empathy, Co-operation, Caring, Acceptance, Patience.
Approach of Governors and Governing Body
Governors act according to particular values:
Mutual respect and trust between staff, pupils and governors
Shared (with staff) common purpose and collective responsibility for the school
High expectations for the school – pushing for change and striving for better
Governors commit significant amounts of time and energy to their role and supporting the school and its development. This involves attending meetings, getting to know the school and keeping up to date with its activities (attending activities where appropriate) and taking up additional tasks as and when required.
Governors’ core focus is what is in the best interest of the school, pupils and staff and the aim is to ensure that the school is outstanding.
Governors focus on the broader picture and provide a general steer for the school and do not generally become involved in the detailed day to day running of the school.
Governors work to build constructive working relationships with staff at the school and other governors.
Governors are critical friends – supporting the school and challenging the school to improve its performance; asking difficult questions and working with the school to make difficult decisions as and when this is necessary.
Governors understand the boundaries of their role – they are not inspectors.
Governors know when to speak and when not to and when to give advice and when not to.
Governors work to add value to the school.
Specific Roles & Responsibilities
Governors oversee and support the strategic development of the school in the following areas:
School achievement - this is holistically (including academic and moral development of children) and in line with every child matters
Operating as a school and a business
Governors have statutory duties:
These relate to how the school is constituted
Particular areas are finances and safeguarding
Governors oversee and support the work of the Head Teacher.
Governors ask questions, monitor and focus on change – a key part of this is monitoring evidence and data.
Where possible governors are aware and consider past activities to ensure changes suggested are relevant and not re-inventing the wheel.
Governors bring in outside expertise and use their skills and knowledge from their professional lives to support the school, this is in particular areas such as finances, areas that the staff do not always have experience of.
Governors are a link to the community where the school is based.
Governors take up specific roles where necessary:
Individual governors take up specific roles – in particular Safeguarding, Finance, Data, Legal, Human Resources, Commercial Management and other strategic areas deemed appropriate
At times there are specific areas that governors will oversee/work with the school on – this will tend to be one-off and short to medium term and relate to the changing needs of the school
This necessitates having a group of governors with a range of background and experiences
Governors have a self responsibility to ensure that they are effective governors – building their awareness of school issues, attending meetings and updating their own training and learning and assessing their own performance on a regular basis.
Governors should be a physical presence at the school and where possible interact with staff and pupils – this helps make the teachers and pupils aware of the governing body and where possible get a better sense of their role.
Preparing & Training Governors
This is an initial and ongoing process and involves governors learning about their role and how they can add value to the governing body and the school.
Learning takes place through:
formal training sessions (mainly offered in the county)
reading relevant internal and external documents
learning through doing – through the experience of being a governor
attending activities at the school – this is seen as important as formal training - it includes attending open days and attending ongoing activities at the school (super learning days, strategic planning days, sports days etc)
Several key activities are put in place to help new governors learn about their role:
A system of mentoring - where the new governor is paired with an existing governor. They are encouraged to meet to review governor activities, such as meetings, training and the general development of the new governor.
Meeting with the Head Teacher
Attending both types of committee meetings
A formal session(s) inducting new governors
Reading key documents
Governors have a pro-active approach to learning and organise their own learning plan.
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Trade Union Facilities Time: Fulbrook is part of the pooled scheme arrangement managed by Central Bedford. No time off is taken by members of staff for Trade Union activities.
Members of the Governing Body
Mrs S Clancy
Secondary trained, Sam has always worked in middle schools, apart from two terms as Acting Headteacher at one of our feeder schools, Ridgmont Lower. She went to a middle school herself as a child.
She lives in Northampton and has two daughters, who are in secondary education. She began her teaching career in Northampton, but when the three tier system was reviewed and subsequently changed, she was keen to continue teaching in middle schools.
Sam came to Fulbrook in 2005 as the French Subject Leader. After being Head of Year 5, then Assistant Headteacher and SENCo, Sam was appointed as Headteacher of Fulbrook from September 2015.
Lindsay has been a governor at Fulbrook since 2006. Both her children attended the school and she has lived in Woburn Sands for 18 years.
Lindsay worked in the NHS as a nurse, General Manager and Performance Manager. She has experience in managing services, public finances and improving performance through sharing good practice. Lindsay is an associate director at the MK Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Group and a volunteer at the Woburn Sands Night Shelter.
Clive has been a governor since 2009. He lives near the school and both his, now grown up, children were pupils. Clive is the longest serving current member of Woburn Sands' Town Council and has been town Mayor on four occasions.
Clive is a retired teacher and for many years was the Head of Mathematics at a large Bedfordshire Upper School. He is a senior examiner for GCSE and was formerly chief marker for the Key Stage 3 national mathematics SATs. Clive is keen to foster community links and maintain Fulbrook as a local school of choice.
Mr C Cowmeadow
Mr N Firoozmand
Naysan joined the Governing Body in 2015 as a parent governor and is a link governor for science, sits on the Pupil Engagement , Achievement and Policy Committee and Chair's the Headteacher's Appraisal Committee.
He has three daughters, two of which currently attend Fulbrook. Naysan is an Occupational Psychologist and works for an international leadership development consultancy
Mrs Julia Murphy
Details to follow.
Mrs Fiona Cavanagh
Fiona has lived in Woburn Sands for 13 years and has a son in Fulbrook. She has 20 years’ experience within 2 large international businesses, primarily focused on business management and learning and development, having also been a stay at home parent, worked in a lower school along with being involved in the PTFA.
Fiona is passionate about wanting the best for our children and is a strong supporter of the future strategic changes for the benefit of our children. Fiona wants to support the school to continue to build on the current successes to work towards future goals.
Clair joined Fulbrook in January 2001. Formerly, she has been a Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Hemel Hempstead and both a supply teacher and Governor at Swallowfield Lower School.
Currently she teaches English and Latin. She is Head of RE and Key Stage 3 English. Her four children all attended Fulbrook.
Paul joined in October 2014. He enjoyed a long career with BP specialising in Procurement and Process Simplification. He is married with a daughter and a son, both of whom have two sons each. His two eldest grandsons attend Fulbrook’s feeder school Swallowfield.
Paul sits on the Finance, Estates and Staffing committee and is responsible for auditing the school’s Internal Controls. He is also a serving councillor on the Woburn Sands Town Council.
Nik Hartley OBE
Nik Hartley is the CEO of the Spinal Injuries Association, a national charity with a head office in Milton Keynes. The charity builds the voice, quality services and rights of people paralysed by a spinal cord injury. He previously led humanitarian organisations overseas, most recently focusing on the role of young people in their own countries. Nik is a qualified teacher himself but has always focused his efforts in charities.
Nik lives in Woburn Sands and joined the governors in 2012, having been attracted by the leadership Fulbrook was showing in education but also the centrality of its values at the heart of the school and his local community.
Amanda joined the Governing body in September 2013 as her eldest child started at Fulbrook. She is a teacher and parent governor at a local lower school, having previously taught and been teacher governor in Hertfordshire.
She took over as Chair in April 2015 and sits on the Pupil Engagement and Achievement Committee. She has experience of staffing, safeguarding, pupil achievement, data and performance management.
Sally joined as an appointed governor in 2012 and became Chair of the Pupil Engagement and Achievement Committee in 2014. As a resident of Woburn Sands and with a passion for youth development she was keen to support the development of the school and the learning of the pupils.
Sally is a freelance research consultant and visiting fellow at the Open University, specialising in youth issues, including non-formal and formal education, youth leadership and livelihoods, particularly in countries in Africa.
Angela has lived in Woburn Sands for many years and joined the Governing Body in 2004 with the responsibility for Safeguarding.
She has an administrative/marketing background, working for a national organisation for more than 30 years. She is currently on the Appeals committee and has previously been a member of the Finance and Policy committees.
LA Appointed Governor
Catriona has lived in Aspley Guise for 12 years and
has two daughters, one of whom attends Fulbrook,
and another who will join in 2019.
She is currently a freelance business consultant,
having worked in senior commercial and marketing
roles for many years.
Catriona joined the Governing Body in January 2018
and as a strong supporter of the school, she is keen to
help ensure continued high standards and success.
She is looking forward to representing parents in the
future, strategic development of Fulbrook.
Having worked at Fulbrook as head of Science since 2013, I am very glad I made the move to work in such a supportive and caring school.
My background in education is in the secondary school sector where I spent over 10 years working in various roles including teacher, head of department, head of year and progress manager.
I believe that as a staff governor I can represent the views of my colleagues but also give something of a fresh perspective as I have experience of different sectors, authorities and roles within our profession. It is a pivotal time to be involved with the strategic development of our school. I care about our children and staff and believe we have a responsibility to inspire, develop aspirations and ensure the welfare of all.
The future years will be very exciting for Fulbrook and as a governor, I relish the opportunity to help with the challenges ahead.