What is it?
All schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions, and ultimately to represent the school community.
The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Headteacher, staff and the Local Authority. Whilst the Headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are responsible for setting the strategic vision for the school, setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement, management of the school’s delegated budget, ensuring that the curriculum for the school is balanced and broad.
Who are we?
The Danesfield Governing Body, chaired by Sean Collins, includes parents, teaching staff and representatives from the local community. We are all dedicated, enthused individuals driven by our purpose to ensure Danesfield children receive the very best education and inspirational opportunities to achieve their full potential to be happy, well rounded children with a love for learning. All governor roles are voluntary (unpaid).
How do we work?
Formal discussions and decisions are typically made in meetings, either in full governing body meetings held once per term, or in sub-committee meetings. We have several sub-committees – Education, Resources (which covers finance, estates, HR, health & safety) and Admissions. Governors also visit school regularly to talk with staff, children and observe school life. A number of governors also have responsibilities for specific areas within the school such as maths, science, sport, SEND (special education needs and disabilities) and safeguarding.
We all operate in a way that is both challenging, holding the head teacher to account, and supportive with a hands-on approach to proactively help the school where we can.
If you would like to contact the governors or know more about being a Governor of Danesfield School, please contact our Chair of Governors firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danesfield Governing Body Members
Victoria Downie - Co-Chair of Governors, Safeguarding Lead
Victoria has been a governor since 2018 and has 2 children at Danesfield. She works as a Performance Innovation Consultant with Olympic and Paralympic Sport and has previously worked with the military and emergency services on optimising physical performance. She brings her passion for sport and exercise into her role as Governor, as well as a desire to support Danesfield in becoming the best it can be for our children.
Kate Armstrong - Co-Chair of Governors, Lead for SEND
Kate is one of the more recent parent governors and has 2 children at the school. With a background in international finance and business management, she is analytical, logical and brings to the table good general business skills. Kate is the SEND governor lead and using her own personal experience, is keen to ensure that all children at Danesfield can achieve their full potential.
Heather Cooper- Vice Chair of Governors
Heather has been a governor since 2019. She has extensive experience in all areas of HR and brings to the role relationship management, leadership and commercial skills. Heather has 2 children at Danesfield and is committed to supporting the school in delivering the best for the children.
Sarah Morgan - Headteacher
Responsibilities – Headteacher
Sarah Austin-Smith- Chair of Education
Sarah has been in education, both teaching and pastoral leadership, for 11 years and has 1 child at Danesfield. She brings her school experience to the governing body and is an advocate for the importance of education for all our young people.
Margaret Matthews - Chair of Resources
Margaret is a parent and has been a governor since late 2019. As a qualified solicitor and lecturer in law to undergraduates and postgraduates, Margaret brings sound legal analytical skills as well as understanding of educational pedagogy. Margaret assists on the Resources Committee in relation to GDPR and Safeguarding, on the Education Committee in relation to Maths, and on the Admissions Committee.
Mel Stone - Finance
Mel is the finance governor and has 2 children at the school. Her background as a Management Accountant, with an emphasis on charitable institutions, allows her to ensure the school is making strong, fiscally sound decisions that support the success and wellbeing of the staff and children.
Elliot Jardine - Lead for Wellbeing, Outdoor Education, Governor Training, Service Children Link Governor
Elliot is a parent and has been a governor since 2017. He is a serving Officer in the Royal Air Force with a background in flying instruction, training and assurance. With nearly thirty years of Command and Leadership experience, Elliot brings to the role a passion for getting the best out of people and aims to assist and support the school in fulfilling its potential whilst maintaining and developing the excellent learning environment enjoyed by all at the Danesfield School.
Sean Collins- Pupil Premium
Sean has been a Governor since 2012 and is a National Leader of Governance. He brings strategic leadership and finance experience to the role alongside a passion for education and improving the life opportunities of children.
Charlotte Pashley- Deputy Headteacher
Jenny Reid - Deputy Headteacher
Responsibilities – Deputy Headteacher
Toya Willmot - Deputy Headteacher
Responsibilities- Deputy Headteacher
Rob Colley - Deputy Headteacher
Responsibilities- Deputy Headteacher
Tristan Honeywill- Lead of Estates and English: Writing, Sports
Lead of Estates and English: Writing, Sports
James Stewart - Equality lead