All schools in England have a governing body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. The Headteacher is responsible for the day to day running of the school and all of the staff are accountable to the Headteacher. In turn the Headteacher is held to account by the governing body and reports back to us. A key role of the St Helen’s governors is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions and ultimately to represent the school community, ensuring the school is a safe environment where every child is given the education they deserve.
The governing body is a voluntary group which works in close partnership with the Headteacher, staff and the local authority; Governors are involved with such things as staffing, school buildings, safeguarding and finance. We do not assess teachers, (we leave that to the professionals) but we do ask challenging questions in order to ensure high standards across the school.
St Helen's governing body is made up of:
We also have a clerk and associated Governors who specialise in certain areas such as health and safety or finance; these members don’t have voting powers unless delegated by the FGB. They attend meetings and play an important part in our team.
Our governing body meets in full four times each year, we also have sub-committees which deal in finance and resources, performance management and staffing and a worship team. We have link governors who learn about specific areas like safeguarding, pupil premium, SEND provision and health and safety to name a few. We undertake regular training to assist us in our roles and offer outreach to other governing bodies to achieve best practice. Governors conduct learning walks in the autumn, spring and summer terms and also attend open evenings offering a tea stall for parents and school events in support of the school.
St Helen's Governors share a common passion for the school, the staff who teach here and the outcomes of every child who come through its doors. We also have a love of biscuits, a tendency to chat too much and regard ourselves as a very friendly bunch! We are also always on the lookout for other like minded people who care about the direction of the school and would like to play a strategic role alongside us. If you would like to find out more, please leave your details with the school office.
During my business life, I worked for a large retail company called Halfords where I worked my way up and became a Branch Manager for the company, moving throughout Kent in this role. I then moved into the motor trade at a dealership in Dartford and worked my way up to become the IT Manager for the group. I was then head-hunted and become a Parts Manager of a large Land Rover and Jaguar dealership in London. It was at this point that I decided to work for myself and became self-employed owning my own retail business, but due to my disability I had to give this up in 2000.
I have been a governor for over 26 years within Medway and Kent. During this time, I have held the position as Chair of Governors for a large primary as well as being involved in the creation of what is now Rivermead School within Medway. I have also been Vice Chair of the Hundred of Hoo Secondary School as well as Chair of Kingfisher Primary, Vice Chair at St Thomas Aveling, Chair at Chalk School in Gravesend and Vice Chair at Cuxton Academy.
I was until 2021, the Chair of Hoo Primary School and The Marlborough Centre which deals with children with special needs as well as Chair at Rivermead Inclusive Trust again which deals with complex and challenging pupils due to health and mental health implications. Whilst being a governor I have appointed a number of heads to schools within Medway, and been on many staff selection and interview panels, as well as disciplinary panels for both staff and pupils. I have undergone around 18 Ofsted inspections and mentored a number of Chairs in obtaining good or outstanding governance.
Since leaving my business I have become a magistrate and enjoy this role. I have also become a mentor with the Princess Trust as well as a trustee for a company call Compaid in Tunbridge. I am trained in restorative justice and am part of the Circles South East. I have also undertaken training to resolve family matters as well as becoming a counsellor in supporting complex families and challenging situations such as abuse, financial difficulties and drug related matters.
On a personal note I have been married for 39 years to Jackie and we have a daughter called Kelly, who 6 years ago gave us the gift of a granddaughter, called Natalie. We have lived in our current location for over 30 years and have no plans to move. I have a number of hobbies which include music, photography, reading, cooking, computer work, watching documentaries as well as just sitting and reflecting on the day as they say.
My name is Joanne Shorter. I'm a Parent Governor and joined the governing body in September 2017. I am a construction professional and Healthcare Estates Consultant and have one son in the school. I am on the Finance, Pay and Head Teacher Performance Management committees.
My name is Rev. Andy Hobbs and I am the Priest-in-Charge of St. Helen's Church and a Foundation Governor at school. I am on the Head Teacher Performance Management and Chair of the Worship Committee. I am the Safe Guarding Link Governor. I have a long background in Youth, Schools and Children's work before being ordained. As I have three children at St. Helen's school you'll often see me in the playground at drop off and pick up time and am happy to chat to you about anything - whether school, church or simply football!
I am Sue Lamb. I am the Local Authority Governor. My profession is a teacher and at present I am an Early Years Consultant working with children and staff within the Early Years Foundation Stage. I am also a Paediatric First Aid trainer and have particular interest in Mental Health First Aid. I am delighted to be part of the Governing Body at St Helens and look forward to supporting the school to deliver the very best education for our Children.
My name is Jade Marco and I am a Parent Governor who was elected in October 2019. I am an assistant headteacher for Inclusion as my day job (currently working across two schools in Kent and Medway) so education and inclusion are my passions in life, as well as my two children - one of whom still attends St Helen's. I am a member of the Finance, Pay and Head Teacher Performance Management committees and I am currently being trained to become the Link Governor for SEN and Pupil Premium.
My name is Jamie, I am a foundation governor and joined the governing body in September 2020. I have one child in Year 3 at the school. I have recently joined the Pay and Worship Committees and will also be involved in Early Years and Health & Safety Link Governor Role.
My name is Louise and I am a Co-opted Governor and I joined the governing body in September 2020. I am an HR professional in my day job and also have two children in the school. I am a member of the Finance, Pay, Head Teacher Performance Management and Worship committees and I am the governor for Sports Premium
The Governor’s Award is an award given to children who show that they are following the school core values of friendship, trust, love and perseverance on a consistent basis. One child from each class is selected by their class teacher to receive the award at the end of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. The winners are presented with their certificate during a special assembly which parents of the winners are invited to. The winners and their parents are then invited to enjoy an afternoon tea provided, and served, by the governors.