Meet the Governors
What is the purpose of school governance?
All Governing Boards have three core functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
What do Governors do?
You might think that being a school governor is all about attending lots of meetings and completing lots of paperwork but this definitely isn't the case.
The main role of the Governing Board is to help raise the standards and performance of the school by supporting the work of the head teacher and staff. We work very closely with Julie and the rest of the staff to provide support, but we also challenge and ask questions to ensure that the best possible decisions are made for the school and its pupils. We do not become involved in the day to day management of the school because this is Julie's responsibility but we do hold her to account for all aspects of the performance of the school.
How do we do this?
We meet as a full Governing Board at least once every half term to consider a wide range of issues rather than having a committee structure in place with responsibilities delegated. We made this decision to improve the effectiveness of our Governing Board with the following aims in mind:
- To avoid repetition between meetings.
- To allow decisions to be made immediately rather than having to be passed through committees.
- To reduce the time burden on governors who were members of more than one committee.
- To ensure that every governor had a sound understanding of all aspects of their role and responsibilities.
- To provide high quality, meaningful support and challenge of the school leadership team.
- To ensure rapid turnaround of change and actions generated at meetings.
A typical agenda includes the following:
- Staffing and Resources
- Premises, Health and Safety
- Curriculum and Standards
- Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare
We also have a number of committees that deal with issues such as headteacher appraisal, discipline and complaints and they meet only as required.
Every governor has specific responsibility for some aspect of the school's work or performance and they visit school on occasions with this focus in mind. Governor monitoring visits help us understand and appreciate the workings of the school. Sometimes these are just walks around the building to develop our own knowledge and on other occasions they are focused on a particular aspect of the school's performance and involve discussions with staff and pupils. We do not make judgements about the quality of teaching or the progress of individual pupils because that is the responsibility of the head teacher. We also attend training to assist us in carrying out our duties effectively.
Who are we?
Our governors come from many different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common: we are passionate about Orgill Primary School and dedicated to ensuring that our pupils have the best education possible. We all bring different skills and experiences but we work well together in the best interests of the school. The normal term of office for governors is four years, although sometimes governors are reappointed for further terms if they wish.
Parent governors are elected by other parents of pupils registered at the school. They should be parents of pupils currently at the school but they may serve out their term of office if their child leaves. Parents who are also members of staff are not eligible to be parent governors.
Local Authority Governors:
Authority governors are appointed by the local authority which maintains the school, in our case this is Cumbria. Sometimes potential authority governors approach Cumbria LA and ask to be allocated to a particular Governing Body but, in practice, such governors are usually recommended by ourselves and then approved by the LA.
Community governors are appointed by the Governing Body to represent community interests. They can be people who live or work in the local community or anyone else who is committed to the success of our school.
The head teacher of a school automatically becomes a governor at the time of appointment unless they inform the Governing Body that they do not want to be a member. Our head teacher is a governor and this ensures a really productive working relationship. Other staff members are elected by and from the whole teaching and non-teaching staff. Staff governors may not continue to be governors if they cease to be employed by us.
My name is Lynn Huddart and I am one of Governors at Orgill Primary School. I have been a Parent Governor since 2011. It is a real privilege to play an active part in the development of our school and to see all of our children thrive and have pride in their achievements. Working with the staff at Orgill is very exciting and they are always looking for ways to engage and encourage the children in all that they do. Children do not just achieve academic success here but also personal and social qualities that they will take with them throughout their lives. I am extremely proud to play a supporting role in the achievements of our school.
My name is Fiona Thompson and I have been a member of the Governing body at Orgill Primary School since 2017 and became the Chair of Governors in September 2020. I attended Orgill Primary School as a child and now my children also attend.
I currently work for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as a Finance Business Partner. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and provide the school with support and assistance in all aspects of their finances.
I work closely with the Headteacher and the Governing body to support the school to achieve its vision, the academic success of every child and also their personal and emotional development. I am extremely proud to be a part of such a fantastic community.
Being part of the school's Governing Body is an important part of my role as head teacher of Orgill Primary School. I work closely with governors with the ultimate aim of providing the best possible educational experience for our pupils. The work of our Governing Body is effective because we share this vision and all have high expectations of what our pupils can achieve. We work together identifying areas for improvement, setting targets and monitoring actions to ensure that things are having the impact that we want.
My name is Holly Collins and I am the staff representative on our Governing Body. I have been part of the Orgill Primary School team since September 2006 when I started my teaching career here as a newly qualified teacher. I am now one of the assistant head teachers and the Early Years leader. As a former pupil of the school, I feel particularly passionate about contributing to its success in every way possible and this led me to becoming a governor.
My name is Nichola Branney and have been a member of the governing body for 13 years. I’ve had the privilege to be part of the Orgill Early Years team for several years. I’m passionate about my role in school, every child 100% matters. The well-being of children is a huge priority especially in these unprecedented times. I take pride in watching and supporting these children grow from strength to strength.
My name is Fay Newell. I have been a member of the governing body since 2016 in the role of parent governor. I have two children, so I have been a member of the Orgill family since 2013 when my daughter joined the school Nursery. Having seen the amount of hard work and energy that was put into the education of children at Orgill and the involvement of the school in the local community I felt like becoming a member of the governors would be my way of giving back and helping this amazing school continue with the work that they are doing. I am a former Orgill pupil so I love seeing how this small junior school has transformed into the fantastic primary school that it is today. I look forward to continuing with Orgill Primary School's journey and helping to work on the non stop improvements.
I work for Sellafield Ltd in the Masterplanning department implementing the 100 year plan for the further development and decommissioning of the site.