What is a Governing Body?
The government requires that each school has a management team made up of the various stakeholders that the school serves, parents, local authority, staff, community and diocese. This is the Governing Body and governors are elected or appointed to work in partnership with the headteacher to raise standards of achievement in the school. The main functions of a governing body are to provide a strategic view, to act as a critical friend and to ensure accountability.
How do our Governors work?
Full Governing Body meetings are held four times each year. There are two Governors’ committees which each meet once a term and report to the Full Governing Body:
Finance and Resources (FR): looks at buildings, the School’s budget, staffing resources, health and safety etc.
Learning and Teaching (LT): focuses on the children’s progress and attainment in learning (including those with special educational needs), the quality of teaching and the curriculum.
Governors also have a monitoring role and will visit school and may talk to different members of staff, visit classrooms, talk to children and look at their work in order to gauge how well things are going. They may also attend school events such as assemblies and fund raising and be involved in staff recruitment.
To be able to carry out their roles effectively Governors undertake regular training, either as a whole group or individually.
Where non-attendance at meetings is recorded below, apologies and reasons for absence have been accepted by those governors present and all the meetings have been quorate.
Who are our Governors?
We have a friendly and supportive governing body that takes its responsibilities seriously and enjoys being actively involved in the life of the school.
Patricia Ann Hand (Pat), appointed by St Michael’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). Chair of Governors: sits on Learning and Teaching and Finance and Resources Committees; Responsible Governor for Training. Register of interests: none relevant. 4 year term ends: November 2020. I became a Governor in November 2012 and was recruited through the website School Governors One Stop Shop. I moved to Dorking when our children were small and am now a grandparent with a keen interest in education. I have professional qualifications in education and management, and extensive experience of learning and development in a range of organisations.
Paula Bliss, Executive Head, Ex-officio Govenor
Patrick Francis Benjamin Tatham (Ben), Local Authority Governor (nominated by Surrey County Council and appointed by the Governing Body). Sits on Finance and Resources Committee; Lead Governor for Premises, Health and Safety. Register of interests: Trustee of Mickleham Village Hall Charity. 4 year term ends: September 2020. I have been a Local Authority appointed Governor for many years. I was Chairman of Governors from 2002 to 2013 and I am now the Lead Governor on buildings and maintenance.
Reverend Canon John Harkin, Ex-officio Foundation Governor. Appointed by the Diocese of Guildford. Register of Interests – none relevant. Appointed as Parish Priest in April 2018. Current commitments with the Henry Smith Charity and the Mickleham Almshouses. Before ordination I was in business for 17 years. Previous governor at St. Michael’s School 1993 – 1998, also whilst Parish Priest. Chaplain at Box Hill School 1993 – 1998. Experience as school governor at two Church of England Schools from 2010 – 2018.
Tour Fereydoun Ala, appointed by St Michael’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee. Register of interests: none relevant. 4 year term ends: September 2019. I am a Foundation Governor at St. Michael’s, chair the Curriculum Committee and I live in Westhumble. Both my daughters started their school life at St.Michael’s.
Karina Ellen Thomas, appointed by St Michael’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). Sits on Learning and Teaching Committee; Lead Governor for Special Educational Needs, Looked After Children and Pupil Premium. Register of interests: none relevant. 4 year term ends: November 2020. I am a Foundation Governor at St Michael’s and part of the Learning and Teaching Committee. I am the Governor responsible for the Early Years Faculty and SEN. I live in Mickleham with my husband Richard and our three children. Our children enjoyed a wonderful start to school life at St. Michael’s.
Linda Joan Packman. It is a privilege to work as part of the team of Governors at St Michael’s which I joined in January 2016. I have lived in the area for many years but only moved locally two years ago. I have nothing to declare with regard to the Register of Interests. Initially my appointment was with a Finance and Resource responsibility and then in May as a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee with a special interest in promoting the Early Years. My experience in schools, spanning a long career and my continuing interest in all things educational enables me to use that to benefit others and to encourage future success by visiting the school to liase with staff. Now retired at home in Westhumble I serve on the Resident’s Maintenance committee and volunteer at Polesden Lacey each week.
Marisa Serafina Piggott, Staff Governor. Sits on Learning and Teaching Committees; (Jointly) responsible for Admissions to the School. Register of interests: Member of Support Staff. 4 year term ends: September 2019. I have worked at St Michael’s since 2001 as School Secretary. I am part of the Health and Safety Committee.
Micheline Smith, Parent Governor. I am a recent addition to the governors (parent governor 2017) and I am also part of the ‘Friends’. I live in Betchworth with my husband Cilliers and two gorgeous girls. One of whom is currently attending St Michael’s and the baby will most certainly join in 2021! I have such a passion for the school and am very proud to call myself a St Michael’s Mum. I joined the governors as I love the idea of being part of the continued growth of the school.
Simon Ward, I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2018, live in Mickleham and am also a parent of children at St Michael’s. I am the Head of the Field Studies Council East Region and oversee Juniper Hall, having worked in the education/charity sector since 2003. I am a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Biology. I am also a governor at Therfield Secondary School.
Christine Smyth I became a foundation governor in January 2019 and I have been bringing my therapy dog Trumpers to read with the children every week since February 2018. In my career I was a primary school headteacher and a Church Schools inspector. I spent twenty three years as the headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Surrey and began my second career as a part-time Adviser for the Diocese of Southwark, in the Autumn 2013, using my experience as an inspector and headteacher. I have also been a governor of an outstanding Catholic Secondary school.
GOVERNORS’ REGISTER OF ATTENDANCE 2018/19
Number on Governing Body – 12
(Quorum for GB – At least half, rounded up to a whole number, of the governing body, excluding vacancies)
John Martin Banfield resigned as Foundation Governor 31 August 2019.
Jeremy Michael Smith resigned as Headteacher in August 2017. Meeting attendance 2015/16: Full Governing Body – 6/7; Learning and Teaching – 3/3; Finance and Resources – 3/3; School Community and Communications – 3/3
Jane Meredith Bass resigned as Parent Governor December 2017.
Meeting attendance 2016/17: Full Governing Body – 6/7; School Community and Communications – 3/3.
Duncan Campbell Irvine resigned as Foundation Governor December 2017. Meeting attendance 2016/17: Full Governing Body – 4/7.
Sue Tanton resigned as Clerk to the Governors December 2017.
Becoming a Parent Governor
A vacancy for a parent governor will become available when a term of office expires after four years or if a parent governor resigns. At this point the school will write to parents and carers explaining the role and the skills ideally required, and asking for nominations. If there are more nominations than posts, then an election is held. Candidates are asked to write a short supporting statement and parents and carers are able to vote for the candidate they prefer.