Did you know that school governors make up the biggest body of voluntary workers in the UK? There are over 370,000 of us working to support around 29,000 schools nationally.
Who are we? We are a mixture of parents, members of the wider community, and the staff are also represented on the governing body. We meet seven times a year, but we are frequently to be found in school talking to teachers about their work.
What do we do? Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers in every school. Along with the Head Teacher, it is the job of a governing body to set the school’s aims and objectives around how the school will develop and improve. They agree targets to help the school achieve its objectives, as well as regularly reviewing progress. The governing body is there to support and challenge the school’s senior leadership team. They play a crucial role in holding the Head Teacher to account for securing the best possible outcomes for our pupils. By challenging key decisions and asking pertinent questions about the school’s performance data, governors ensure that the school always aims for the highest standards in education.
Could you be a governor? From time to time a vacancy occurs for a parent governor. All parents are notified of the vacancy, any parent can stand, and an election is held. You don’t need any qualifications other than a commitment to support the school in being the best it can be.
I became a Governor of Newburgh Primary School when my grandson was a pupil here (he’s now a teenager) shortly before Mr Smith was appointed as Head Teacher. As a former secondary teacher and with a background in educational publishing, I have always had a keen interest in education and learning, and being a governor has given me the opportunity to develop my interest as well as to have an influence on how the school is run. I love being involved in school life, and to see how the children develop from their first days in school through to year six. Although not part of my governance role, I am also deeply involved in the musical life of the school which gives me an opportunity to get to know many of the children.
Mr Rob Hughes
I have been a parent governor at Newburgh since January 2014 and I am the proud father of two children, one of whom is at Newburgh Primary School. I became a governor as I wanted to have an understanding of how my children’s school operates and to try to do something to make a difference and assist with the running of the school. My areas of governance are SEND (Special Needs Department) and also attendance. Being a governor has really opened my eyes to the demands placed on staff and pupils within our school and I thoroughly enjoy being involved with the governing body.
Mrs Sally Nowak
I have been a parent governor at Newburgh since October 2016 and have 4 boys who have all attended the school. I became a parent governor because I wanted to become involved in the school and have the opportunity to make a difference, not only for my children, but for children in years to come.
I work as a GP in South Warwickshire and also as GP inspector for the Care Quality Commission so I have been involved in regulations, policies and targets in healthcare. I have taken on the role as Safeguarding governor and meet on a regular basis with the headteacher to discuss this.
Mr Adam Geach
I became a co-opted governor of Newburgh Primary school in 2019 with a special focus on Pupil Premium. Having always worked in the education sector I see how important good governance is for all schools. Since moving to the Warwickshire area I wanted to support a local school in the form of a governor. I work for a national education charity that works with inner city schools, providing them with volunteers to support the most vulnerable pupils. I truly believe that all young people should have a fair access to a high quality education and I hope to bring my experience and enthusiasm to support Newburgh school.
Mrs Janice Simpkins
In April 2019, I was proud to be appointed as the Headteacher of Newburgh Primary School. Having taught part time at the school for many years, while my own children were young, I was delighted to take the opportunity to continue my full time career within the school as the Deputy Headteacher in 2011.
I am passionate about giving all children, whatever their background or needs, the opportunity to thrive and succeed within a caring, supportive but challenging environment. I enjoy finding new ways to enhance our school and curriculum to enable us to work with parents in giving each of our children the best possible foundations and opportunities in life.
Mrs Karen Turner
Deputy Headteacher/ Associate Governor
As Deputy Headteacher, my role supports both the Governors and Headteacher developing our vision for Newburgh and giving substance to the innovations of staff and students. As our children grow it our responsibility as educators to shape each child. I believe that developing each unique child’s skills and knowledge is the key to allowing them to access their chosen future. The experience I have gained teaching in the classroom for 20 years and watching my own children grow is a constant source of inspiration, which I draw upon when establishing Newburgh’s relationships with our community.
Miss Heather Reid
I became a Newburgh governor in September 2019. I have been a teacher at Newburgh since September 2013 and have taught in both KS1 and KS2. I chose to be a governor because I enjoy bringing my own experiences of education and life beyond school to inform conversations and bring fair and balanced perspectives to support decision making. I am proud to be part of a highly motivated, positive team that supports all children to be the best that they can be!
Mr Nishit Gopal
I am a proud father of two children. My son is currently in Reception at Newburgh, and my daughter will be joining Newburgh in a couple of years. I decided to become a parent governor as I am passionate about the education of our young people and believe every child deserves the best education to fulfil their potential and lifelong aspirations. I believe learning is a life-long endeavour and people realise their potential through opportunities and not by birth. I run my own cybersecurity consultancy and I believe my experience of corporate governance and dealing with regulatory and industry bodies will add value to the school board.