Governing Body

A Garden for the Greeks - RHS Tatton 2013 - Year 2-6 - Gardening Club with Gods and Monsters by Art Club

18th January 2021

A message from the governors RE lockdown 3

After an unusual and challenging first few weeks of term the Governing Body wanted to make contact with Parents and Carers to say a big thank for your resilience and support in adapting to the new arrangements in school. As you can imagine the Government's U turn decision to close schools in that first week put immense pressure on the teaching and support staff at school and we are so impressed and grateful that they managed to mobilise an online virtual school in less than 24 hours.

We as parents, carers, friends, relatives and workers all have our own worries and concerns and school staff are not exempt from these feelings, they all have lives and families like us outside of school. Therefore, we are disappointed with a small minority of parents who are expressing their own frustrations and concerns to the staff in an aggressive or unacceptable manner. Earlier in 2020 when the pandemic started there was a big focus on #bekind. This seems to be getting lost in the current situation as people become more impatient and less tolerant.

Please can we all rally for this lockdown and pull together as a Kingsmead Family. We have a great school which we should all be thankful for. All of the school staff deserve our ongoing support and understanding so they can continue to provide the excellent level of education, support and care for all our children

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Stay Safe

Kingsmead School Governing Body

There are places for twelve school governors on our governing board, their role being to oversee the work of the school, providing challenge and support to school leaders and encourage a culture of reflection and improvement.

What is the role of the Governing Body?

The governing body of the school has a number of functions. The Department for Education summarises them in this way: “In all types of schools, governing boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and

  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.”

Current government policy is to give all schools more autonomy, and in the current climate the capacity of the Local Authority to monitor, support and challenge the school has been significantly reduced. At the same time the environment in which all schools operate is one of continuing change. This makes the role of the governing board even more important. Governors provide very necessary scrutiny, challenge and support for the school. Governors work with school leaders to develop a vision and strategy for maintaining sustainable high standards (in their broadest sense) and a culture whereby Kingsmead continues to be a reflective, forward looking professional community. We strive to do this against an increasingly difficult funding context, as do other schools across the country.

How can Governors help if I have a concern about the school?

Governors will be informed of concerns and views shared through appropriate channels. The school consults with families and parents' and carers' views are shared with Governors; you can read more about this on www.kingsmead.cheshire.sch.uk/communication-letters-home/consultation. Themes and issues communicated through feedback@kingsmead.cheshire.sch will be shared with governors and, extremely occasionally, specific serious matters (with names redacted and confidentiality maintained) might be shared in order that Governor can undertake their role in holding school leaders to account.

The law is clear - the operational leadership and management of the school is the responsibility of the headteacher. The governors' role is to drive the strategic vision and values and ensure that these are reflected in the school's work and children's experiences.

Governors also have a role in the final part of the school complaints procedure (or earlier if a complaint about the headteacher). This means that they may be called upon when, having followed the procedure, the complainant remains unsatisfied and believes that the school have either acted unlawfully or not followed their own policies and procedures. In this event, a committee of governors will be convened to consider the complaint alongside the response the school has already made and consider whether the headteacher has acted lawfully or unreasonably in respect of the school's published policies and procedures. Following any complaint and whatever the outcome, governors and school leaders will always reflect in order that things can be improved for the future.

meet the governing boDY

Welcome to three new governors: Chris Atherton and Chris Reed were co-opted in November and newly elected parent governor, Lucy Pittaway, was elected in December 2020.

Chris Atherton (Co-opted: 26/11/2020 - 25/11/2024)

Register of interests:

  • Assistant Principal, Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College

Mr Atherton in Assistant Principal at Sir John Deane's College where he leads on innovation in teaching and learning, the Oxbridge and Medics programmes and remote learning. He teaches English and has a background in linguistics. Alongside his career in teaching, he writes academic books on education. He moved to Northwich in 2020 and has a two-year old daughter.

Kerry Galvin (Co-opted 1 September 2019 - 1 September 2023)

  • Vice Chair of Governors

  • Lead governor for Health and Safety and GDPR

Mrs Galvin has two children, one currently attending Kingsmead Primary School. Kerry is the Schools Liaison Officer at Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College where she co-ordinates the volunteer reading mentor scheme between the school and college.

Register of interests:

  • Schools Liaison Officer, Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College

Paula Hammond (Staff Governor: 22/03/2019 - 21/03/2023)

Mrs Hammond has been with us since 2005. Paula leads behaviour and well-being, PHSE and SRE in school and has a particular interest in philosophy for children. Mrs Hammond's three children all attended Kingsmead Primary.

Register of interests:

  • None

Louisa Jones (Co-opted: 01/09/2019 - 31/08/2023)

  • Designated governor for Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Children in Care [CiC]

Mrs Jones has been a Social Work practitioner and Group Manager specialising in the field of safeguarding children. Louisa has also been a guest speaker at a local university as part of their social work degree programme. She is currently taking a career break to focus on her two young children, of which the eldest currently attends Kingsmead Primary.

Register of interests:

  • None

Chair of Governors

Lesley Nelson (Parent: 23/05/2016, Co-opted: 30/03/2020 - 29/03/2024)

Mrs Nelson is a Project Manager for Atkins Construction Ltd. where her work has included new school buildings. Lesley can also be found, recorder and flute in hand, every Wednesday where she helps Mrs Whitham with the woodwind sections of band and orchestra. Mrs Nelson also represents the KFA on the governing body.

Register of interests:

  • Atkins Construction Ltd

Lucy Pittaway (Parent: 11/12/2020 - 10/12/2024)

  • Lead governor for sustainability and Eco-Schools.

Mrs Pittaway is a Senior Lecturer in Events Management and a Year Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University; having spent 15 years working on large scale events in London and Manchester, she now shares her passion and experience with young event professionals. She has two children at Kingsmead and is supportive of all events held by the KFA.

Register of interests:

  • A career mentor for Reachout charity

Chris Reed (Co-opted: 26/11/2020 - 25/11/2024)

Register of interests:

  • Kingsmead Parish Council (former Chair)

Catriona Stewart (Headteacher Governor: 01/03/2004)

Ms Stewart is subject leader for Art and Music and has an additional PGCE (post graduate certificate of education) in teaching children with dyslexia, tutoring children in school with specific learning difficulties. Catriona trained to inspect for Ofsted and now undertakes additional work supporting schools in the Local Authority. She has one daughter, also a teacher and lives in Northwich.

Register of interests:

  • Local Leader in Education and Associate School Improvement Advisor - CWAC

Paul Tuohy (Co-opted: 01/09/2019 - 31/08/2023)

  • Lead Governor for Resources (finance, premises and staffing)

Mr Tuohy has two children attending Kingsmead Primary School and works in senior commercial roles across Government. Paul is also a Chartered Chemist.

Register of interests:

  • None

Joanne Watkins (Parent: - 17/01/2019 - 16/01/2023)

  • Lead governor for Quality of Education (curriculum and standards)

Mrs Watkins has used her expertise in High School mathematics to support our older children in meeting the challenging expectations for the year 6 mathematics curriculum at greater depth. Joanne has been a link governor for Mathematics.

Mrs Watkins works as a Mathematics teacher at Ashton on Mersey Teaching School where she also works as a professional mentor for new trainees. She works supporting other schools within their teaching school alliance and across the North West Maths Hub.

Governors don’t need to be experts on education, but they do need to be committed to keeping all discussion, scrutiny and decision-making focused on the best interests of children and be relentless in their determination to make the school vision a reality for all pupils. They need to be able to get on with people and to be able to work as part of a team, but also be able ask the difficult questions when it’s necessary – and sometimes the easy questions too, like ‘Why do we do it like that?’ Governors, as volunteers, also need to be able to make time to come into school occasionally during the school day for purposeful visits, and to attend and contribute to evening meetings regularly – at least two meetings a term.

Governors meet once every half term; days and times are kept under review to best maximise governor attendance. While we no longer operate a committee structure, we have lead and designated governors who support the chair and clerk in setting agendas and managing governors' work. Committees for Pay appeals and Discipline and Grievance (and appeals) are convened from the full governing body.

Our expectations of each other are summarised in our governors’ code of conduct, which we reviewed and updated at our October 2018 meeting. Details of current members of the board, our code of conduct, committee membership and governors’ attendance records, as well as the register of interests are provided on this website page. Should you wish to contact the chair of governors, you may do so in writing, care of the school, or by email at chair@kingsmead.cheshire.sch.uk.

We are always keen to meet new people interested in joining our governing body. If you would like to find out more please make an appointment to discuss this with the chair of governors or headteacher. We welcome all people wishing to make a contribution to school as a governor and particularly welcome interest from groups underrepresented on the governing body including minority ethnic groups, LGBT+ and the disabled.

Support for Governors

At Kingsmead we take the voluntary role of governors very seriously. There is an expectation governors undertake relevant training, which may be online or face to face, and keep abreast of educational developments as they affect the school. Course fees are paid for by the school and governors are entitled to travel and subsistence expenses for training. We will also reimburse additional childcare costs for governors undertaking duties as part of their role.

Previous Governors

Rosie Bangham - Co-opted 2014-2017

Claire Barker - Co-opted 2011-2018

Lisa Forbes - Parent 2014-2016

Angela Harris - Associate Member 26/10/2018

Mark Higgins - Parent 2016-2018

Andy Kent - Co-opted 25/10/18-25/07/19

Kerry Kirkwood - Co-opted: 16/11/2017 - 06/10/2020

Cathy Lewis - Staff 2012 - 09/02/2019

Cat Oakes - Co-opted 2017-2018

Sam Rocke - Parent: 23/10/2003 - 13/07/2016, Co-opted: 14/07/2016 - 20/06/2024

Mark Smith - Parent 2014-17, Co-opted 2017-2019

Michael Walters - Co-opted 2011-2017, Associate Member 2017-2018

Helen Weltman - Co-opted - 23/04/2014 - 20/03/2021)