What is the role of our school governors?
The governing body is made up of: staff representatives, co-opted (community) representatives and parent representatives. As we are part of a The Aspire Educational Trust, our governors are called Local Academy Committee (LAC) Governors. LAC Governors provide the unique link between academies, parents, students, staff and the community. They focus on distinct areas where a local presence, and knowledge, are essential.
School Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England. School governors and trustees make an essential contribution to children’s education, opportunities and futures.
Click here to find out more about governance as part of The Aspire Educational Trust
The Department for Education (DfE) sets out that effective governance is based on six key features:
- Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy. [Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff and overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.]
- Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance. [Holding the school to account for the performance of the school is how governors help to drive school improvement – the “critical friend” role. This means holding the Head Teacher to account through a balance of support and challenge; Monitoring and evaluating the school’s work including reviewing pupil performance data, visiting the school and discussing school development priorities with staff and pupils and understanding how performance management of staff contributes to school development]
- People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity.
- Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements.
- Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance.
Click here to find out more about governance from the DfE
Governors are responsible for the effective use of public funds so the LAC oversees the school's annual budget and financial forecasts as well as ensuring the school's grounds and buildings are well maintained and safe.
The LAC is advised by the central Aspire team and the NGA as well as sharing ideas and best practice with other schools in the trust.
Who are our governors?
At Holmes Chapel Primary School, we have 2 Governor meetings per term which all of our LAC Governors (Local Academy Committee) attend. They are our Local Academy Committee (LAC) Meeting and our Combined Committee (CC) Meeting. Our Local Academy Committee has 2 Co-Chairs who share the role.
Chairs of Governors:-
Roger Dixon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Gregson - email@example.com
As a school we recognise that a diversity of thought, voices and perspectives is essential to good governance and the effective running of any organisation. We regularly collect diversity information from our governors and, depending on current data, can use this to:
- target recruitment to address gaps in experience and diversity
- develop and adapt board practices to ensure full participation
- prioritise training and awareness-raising in identified areas
- address potential ‘blind spots’ through seeking wider advice and perspectives on current and upcoming opportunities, challenges and risks
However, we are unable to publish this information as it would mean that individual members of our governing body are identifiable.
Chairs of Governors - Roger Dixon and Richard Gregson
Vice-Chair - Jenny Gough
Staff Governors - Fiona Gresty (Headteacher), Vicki Bradford (Associate), Heather Williams, Nicky Waddington
Parent Governors - Paul Cudby, Naomi Mitchell
Co-opted Governors - Chris Jackson, Jean McLaren
Richard Gregson (Co-Chair) - I have recently (2019) become a School Governor. I have three boys, two who are in school and one who left having completed Year 6 recently. Charlotte and I have lived in the village for the past 14 years, having previously lived in Manchester, where I continue to work in Commercial Banking. My motivation to become a School Governor was due to seeing the school go from strength to strength over the past 8 years that my children have been associated with HCPS. I have always found the school to be a welcoming, safe and engaging environment as a parent. Outside of work and volunteering as a governor, I am a coach for the local Hurricanes Junior football team and I also have a passion for Golf, Northern Art and Stockport County in roughly that order.
Jenny Gough (Vice-Chair) - I have two daughters who currently attend HCPS (my youngest is in Year 2 and my eldest is in Year 4). I attended this school in the 1980s and have many fond memories of my time there. I went on to study at the Comprehensive School, Sir John Deane's and then qualified as a solicitor specialising in Commercial Property. After the arrival of my second daughter I have worked part-time in the education sector and now work for another local Multi-Academy Trust. I have been a governor at HCPS for a number of years and I am committed to helping the school.
Paul Cudby (Parent Governor) - Our family relocated to the area in 2020, and having previously been a governor at our old primary school, I was keen to join and help out to share experiences. My son currently attends school here, is happy and settled, and I’m really keen to help the school continue to improve and flourish. Outside of school I’m a Business Analyst, and I’m also a keen cricketer and actor (amateur dramatics) too. As a group of governors we’re a supportive and diverse bunch, and are always keen to hear from others who can lend their skill sets to the progression of the school.
Chris Jackson (Co-opted Governor) - I moved with my family to Holmes Chapel in 1986 and our three boys all attended Middlewich Road Primary School. Shortly after moving my wife joined the staff and taught at the school for over 20 years up to retirement, followed by 7 years supply teaching.
During our youngest boy’s final year, I was elected Chair of the PTA.
I have previous experience as a governor, having served on the board of an independent co-educational day school in Cheshire for 25 years. I have been a director of two charity-based organisations.
I am a Chartered Civil engineer by profession with wide management and community liaison knowledge including Health and Safety legislation and practice. Although retired from full-time employment I act as Transport Consultant to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. I am a member of Holmes Chapel Parish Council.
I enjoy reading and railway modelling among my leisure activities.
Jean McLaren (co-opted governor) - I moved to Holmes Chapel in 2019 from Poynton with my husband Rob, when he became vicar of St Luke’s church. We really enjoy being part of the village and I’d heard lots of good things about HCPS. I was a parent governor when our own 2 children were at primary school in Stockport (several years ago as they’re now both teachers themselves) and when I was approached about being a governor for HCPS I was happy to get involved. I work in the NHS in Manchester for a Psychological Therapy Team as a counsellor and counselling supervisor so I always have a particular interest in wellbeing. I’m really enjoying starting to get to know the school, the staff and the students.
Heather Williams (Staff Governor) - I have worked at Holmes Chapel Primary School since 2014 when I graduated from University as a mature student. I have taught throughout school in both Key Stage 1 and 2. In 2019, I became a member of the senior leadership team, and now I am in the role of KS1 Assistant Head. I became a staff governor in September 2021 and I am thrilled to be part of the school’s governing body, supporting the school in developing further and continuing to be a key part of the community. Together with my husband, 2 sons and 2 step-sons, I live in Sandbach. I play golf (badly!) and love to travel.
Vicki Bradford (Associate Governor) - I joined Holmes Chapel Primary School in 2022 as Deputy Headteacher and Associate Governor. I have been in the teaching profession for 19 years and a senior leader for the last 11 years at schools also in Cheshire East. I am an active learner myself and I am currently studying the NASENCO Masters Level Award. I am from North Wales originally, but along with my husband and two children, I have been living in Sandbach for the past 8 years. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, reading, coffee and cake!