Because we are a Church school, the majority of our governing body is appointed by a combination of the St Peter’s Church Parochial Church Committee and the Diocese of Oxford. Currently Mrs. Fran Childs, Mr. Paul Clayson, Mrs. Sara Green, Ms. Sarah Mollen, Barbara Sexton, Mrs. Anita Smith and Mrs. Kate Woods and hold these positions as ‘foundation’ governors.
There is a requirement that at least one of the foundation governors is a parent of a child at the school; Mr. Clayson, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Woods are current parents.
Mrs. Becky Parsons is staff appointed governor. Reverend Hannah Reynolds is an ex-officio member of the governing body as is the Headteacher, Mr. Paul Shaughnessy. There are also two parent-governor positions, currently held by Mrs. Catherine Yarker and Mr. Simon Hodder.
What do governors do?
The first thing to make clear is that the Headteacher runs the school on a day to day basis. The Head and the staff are professionals; the governors are not, nor are they expected to be. Anything concerning the ordinary running of the school should be addressed to class teachers or the Headteacher.
But governors do have a lot of responsibility and the relationship with the Head can only work effectively if they are prepared to invest time in the role and attend regular training courses.
- The governors are expected to work with the Head to promote the improvement and monitor the performance of the school.
- Together with the Headteacher, governors set the future direction for the school and decide how the budget should be spent.
- Governing bodies make decisions collectively on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s development plan.
- Governors monitor the impact of policies and the use of the school budget. They hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints.
- Governors provide the Headteacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions and respect the Headteacher’s position as the professional leader of the school.
All governing bodies operate on the basis of ‘collective responsibility’. This means that once a decision has been agreed all of the governors share responsibility for it. This applies to parent governors in exactly the same way as the others; parent governors are not ‘parent representatives’ but full, active members of the governing body.
Other roles can be taken on when a governor has more experience.
Governors are not paid although they can claim back basic travel expenses for attending training courses and the like.
Our Current Governing Body
Mrs. Sara Green (Chair of Governors; Foundation Governor; Resources and Teaching and Learning Committee; Whistle-blowing Governor)
I am Chair of the governing body and one of the Foundation Governors. I have been a governor at Northbourne for 4 years, serving on both the resources committee and the teaching and learning committee at various points. I am also the governor with responsibility for whistle-blowing.
I am a full time mum with three children, one at the school, two having moved on to secondary school. When not running around after the children, I fill my time with various community activities; I am a member of Didcot Baptist Church, helping out with the toddler group that runs there during the week, I help out at the Food bank and also volunteer with Christians Against Poverty. I help with the school choir, playing the piano for them, and I also play for the school services at St Peter’s Church.
Mrs. Anita Smith (Foundation Governor; Resources Committee)
I have been a governor at Northbourne for 6 years. I enjoy the challenge of being part of the Governing Body and the opportunity to help the school plan and move forward, ensuring that all children have an excellent start to their education.
I am a full time mum to 3 children. My oldest two children attended Northbourne but are now both at secondary school and I have a daughter who is in Hawks. When I am not looking after the children I fill my time by volunteering once a week at a local toddler and baby group and I am also Chair of the school PTA. I am also involved with a local Beaver/Cubs and Scouts group.
Rev. Hannah Reynolds (Ex-Officio Governor; Chair of Resources Committee)
I have been Priest-in-Charge at St Peter’s Didcot, and ex officio Governor at Northbourne, since January 2013. Before coming to Didcot, I was Priest-in-Charge at All Saints Hanworth (near Heathrow Airport) and Curate at All Hallows, Twickenham.
Before training as priest in the Church of England, I worked for nearly 20 years as a professional engineer, starting out in Control Systems for gas turbines (used in oil rigs and distribution networks in the Middle East, Russia and the North Sea) before moving on to Avionics design and development with British Airways. In my later career I worked for the Engineering Council as Senior Executive responsible for Codes of Professional Practice and Guidelines on Sustainability, Health, Safety and Risk Management and the Environment. My last non-Church job was for The Energy Saving Trust managing their Energy Services, Community Energy and Schools programmes.
Mrs. Kate Woods (Vice-Chair of Governors; Safeguarding Governor; Foundation Governor; Teaching and Learning Committee)
Having previously been a trustee for Stepping Stones Pre-School, I joined Northbourne as a parent governor in September 2017. My three children are all currently enjoying their primary school years here and I am looking forward to another year contributing to the life of the school, as the governor with responsibility for maintaining our Christian values and as safeguarding governor.
When not running around after my three young children, I work as Fundraising Manager for an Oxford-based charity and help lead the children’s work at The King’s Church, Didcot.
Mr. Paul Clayson (Foundation Governor; Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee)
I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2017. I have a daughter in Y4 and am looking forward to helping support the school. I have worked with computers at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the Harwell Campus for 30 years. I teach judo in my spare time and am also on the committee for the Fleet Meadow Community Association.
Mrs Catherine Yarker (Parent Governor; SEN Governor; Teaching & Learning Committee)
I have been a parent governor since February 2018 and I have a son in year 3. I am the link governor for SEN which I am particularly passionate about, both through my work and my personal life. Outside of my governing role, I am a Social Worker and Deafblind Lead working with children and adults who have a Sensory Impairment. I am looking forward to continuing to be an approachable, effective and proactive school governor, supporting the school for the future.
Ms. Sarah Mollen (Foundation Governor; Teaching & Learning Committee)
I am pleased to have been appointed as a governor this September 2018. I recently moved to the area following a period working at a British international school as an Assistant Head. I have worked within education, youth work and play work for over twenty years and currently work at a local secondary school. I look forward to contributing towards the ongoing success of the school.
Barbara Sexton (Foundation Governor; Resources Committee)
Becoming a school governor is a new role for me though I have a lifetime’s experience of education at nearly every level in either a professional or voluntary capacity. I moved to Didcot in the late 70’s when I came to do post doctoral research at Oxford University. I’ve since done some teaching, acted as administrator for two educational charities and done quite a lot of exam marking for different boards. I’m a member of the Methodist Church. a Local Preacher, Junior Church leader, Connexional assessor and also help with a number of community groups in Didcot. I look forward to learning and helping at Northbourne.
Mrs. Becky Parsons (Staff Governor; Teaching and Learning Committee)
I have been a teacher at Northbourne since 2010, working in various classes in both KS1 and KS2. I am currently teaching in Wren Class and am also the subject lead for RE across the school. I have previously been part of the school Governing Board as the staff representative and am happy to be able to take up the role again. I appreciate seeing the broader picture which being a governor brings and also the opportunity it gives to further support the school.
Mr. Simon Hodder (Parent Governor; Resources Committee)
I became a Northbourne Parent Governor in September 2019. I have 2 young children at Northbourne, with a 3rd not too far away from school age. I became a Governor to help all children educated at Northbourne reach their full potential. In my day job, I am a Software Engineer and Team Leader at STFC, helping support the systems used by scientists to carry out ground breaking research. I want to bring the knowledge and skills I have gained at STFC to help anyway I can in my role as Governor for Northbourne.
Governor Information 2019-20
Governor Information 2018-19