Our Governing Body

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 Kate Armstrong and Victoria Downie, 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.

Contact Us

If you would like to contact the governors or know more about being a Governor of Danesfield School, please contact our Chair of Governors office@danesfieldschool.co.uk.

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 and Maths

Kate has two children at the school and has 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, Equality and Training lead

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 Austin-Smith- Chair of Education and English, History and Geography lead

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, RSE, PHSE and MFL lead

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.

Robert Colley - Headteacher

Responsibilities – Headteacher

Charlotte Pashley- Deputy Headteacher

Deputy Headteacher

Jenny Hickey - Deputy Headteacher

Responsibilities – Deputy Headteacher

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.

Neal Henley - Service Children Link Governor


Adam Bone - Pupil Premium

Responsibility - Pupil Premium 

Ben McGinnes - Staff Governor

Responsibilities - Staff Governor

John Futcher - Lead of Estates, Eco and EYFS

Lead of Estates and English: Writing, Sports 

Rebecca Scrace - EYFS and Pre-school

Responsibilities - EYFS and Pre School

Jamie Harris - Science



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