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 with Curriculum, EYFS and SIAMS; Finance and Personnel; Premises and H&S. 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.
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 Henry and I am a Co-opted Governor and I joined the governing body in July 2021. I am member of the Premises and H&S Committee and have special responsibility for Pupil Premium and Sports Premium.
Hello my name is Tina Scanlon and I am a Staff Governor, elected in September 2021. I am also the Year 6 teacher and the Maths Lead. I have been a qualified teacher for the last 4 years although I have been working in education for the last 19 years as a class TA and an HLTA cover teaching. The last 11 years have all been spent in Years 5 and 6 although I have worked in all year groups.
Outside of school I enjoy travelling, spending time with my two grown up children and my dog, gardening and reading. I look forward to being a Governor.
My name is Wayne West and I am a Foundation Governor appointed by the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education. I am an MOT tester and mechanic by trade. I am a qualified amateur boxing coach and KCC registered escort for disabled children. I have personal carer experience of over 20 years. I love spending time around nature and animals, and with my wife.
I am Jennifer and I am the school clerk. I am a Pitman Trained executive assistant and legal secretary and have company secretary training through ICSA . I have been a corporate and private PA for circa 25 years. In 2018 I founded a private PA company of which I am the sole Director. Although new to clerking for schools, I have spent my career working alongside various companies, particularly within the wealth management sector, creating agendas, taking minutes and following up with actions for committee and board meetings.
I moved to Cooling with my parents in 1985, attending school locally. After relocating to Hampshire for a number of years, I returned to live in the Medway and Gravesham areas before coming back to the Village in 2016. In my spare time, I enjoy exercise; swimming, mountain biking, bootcamp and walking my two dogs