Grayrigg Church of England Voluntary Aided School Governing Body
Welcome to the Governors page of the website where you will find an overview of our governing body structure and core functions.
The Department for Education has high expectations of governing bodies. They are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. The role of the governing body is a strategic one, its core functions are to:
Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
Hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils,
and the performance management of staff
Oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.
Our constitution requires that the governing body has 12 governors in total. Of these, 2 are elected parent governors, 1 LA governor appointed by the Local Authority, 1 elected staff governor, the Headteacher and 7 foundation governors appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education. Governors are voluntary and unpaid.
Each individual governor is a member of the governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.
Governors appoint the headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.
The full governing body meets at least four times a year. We also have two sub committees, each meets six times a year and reports to the full governing body meetings. They are the Finance, Staffing and Premises Committee and the Teaching & Learning Committee.
A little about each of our governors:
Craig Butterworth - appointed 22.09.2015 for a term of 4 years
Parent Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
Kirsty and her team have been invaluable support for my son and I during his time with the school. They work hard and are dedicated to offering pupils the best education and experience possible.
For me it was important to offer something in return and help where possible. Over time, I have been able to recognise the kind of role parents can offer - from general support, help with fundraising and drawing on knowledge gained from our professional lives. I am a strong supporter of the school ethos and principles: inclusivity; every child can achieve their best; inspiring; unique. All in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Work-wise, my background is in design and branding. I have been lucky enough to have gained a broad understanding of business strategy and implementation of standardised processes along with development of people and teams. I’m proud of Grayrigg School and want to help it achieve it’s goals.
Kirsty Cooper - appointed 01.01.2015 (ex officio)
Headteacher - Teaching & Learning Committee - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
As headteacher I have the pleasure of being part of all governor committees. Whilst more can be read about me on the staff page and in my BLOGs, the dedication and support provided by the governors never fails to astound me. They have a huge range of skills and are more than willing to give extra support. They hold myself and school leaders accountable - often governors meetings can be quite challenging as they quiz me about latest developments, but these meetings are always exciting, as together we look for ways to keep moving and improving for the children. They are part of the fabric of the school, intrinsically involved in school developments. They are an amazing team of volunteers who genuinely get pleasure from seeing the school continue to grow and develop,
Nigel Davies - appointed 23.11.2011 (ex officio)
Foundation Governor - Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee
With over 25 years of experience as a Governor and with previous experience as a teacher in another life, I am committed to excellence in education through a child centred approach, enabling children to thrive and develop to the best of their ability. Data, whilst important, is not the be all and end all of education, just one measurement of pupils’ attainment. Children need to develop ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills in order to become fully rounded human beings.
Grayrigg C of E Primary School exemplifies this approach to education, which is why I am proud to be a small part of such an inspirational team of ‘professionals’.
Richard Eastwood- appointed 02.05.2018 for a term of 4 years
LA Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
I became a Governor to support the local school my children attended, this was because I passionately believed, and still do, that community is important and our village school is right at the heart of my community.
The people management skills acquired at work and the ability to ask challenging questions means that I can help ensure that the leadership of our school is designed to meet the needs of both children and teaching team.
Lastly, my personal values are to be supportive, transparent and to find the fun in all I do.
Fiona Forrest - appointed 12.07.2018 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee
I have been a foundation governor for our fabulous school since 2013 and also have 3 children in school.
I have been a vet for 10 years, and have recently bought my own practice in sunny Blackpool.
As a vet, my education was very important, and I wanted to ensure my children have the same opportunity as I did, to progress and be the best they can be in life. I have a strong belief that this will only be achieved by getting the best foundations, by being exposed to an amazing education during the most important yearsâ€¦.the primary years. I have been fortunate enough to become a governor and to see first-hand the procedures put in place at Grayrigg to ensure every child reaches their full potential. Grayrigg is a unique school and every child is treated as an individual with individual targets and lesson plans. Throughout my life I have been heavily influenced by my mother who was a senior teacher at several schools and also held a master’s degree in special needs education, and, as a part of the teaching and learning committee, together with the many hours I have spent in schools with my mother, I can honestly say the teaching at Grayrigg is second to none, and delivered in fun and imaginative ways.
I have been both a tutor and a clinical mentor for maths, science and veterinary medicine, teaching primary, secondary and university students during my life and am honoured to have some responsibility for the delivery of the science curriculum at Grayrigg, it is such a pleasure to work with the fantastic team of staff and motivated children who are always so excited to learn.
Caroline Kennedy - appointed 24.09.2018 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Chair of Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
I receive immense enjoyment and satisfaction from being actively involved in such a wonderful school. I am very proud to say my eldest daughter attended Grayrigg and my youngest is still here.
As I am a finance manager for a northern charity, I took the role as chair of the finance committee. Each governor adds strength to the governing body and I am pleased that my financial experience and expertise also further strengthens the governing body.
Emma Littlewood - appointed 22.05.2018 for a term of 4 years
Staff Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee
I am one of the newest members of the governing body and I am the current staff governor. I have worked at Grayrigg since September 2016 in the Early Years which is where I feel most at home with teaching. Last year I also took on the role of SENCO which I am incredibly passionate about and being on the governing body means I can have a bigger impact on developing our ethos.
Jon Bushell - appointed 04.10.2018 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
I am a chartered quantity surveyor and spend my working life managing the finances and organisation of construction projects. I pride myself on my professionalism and integrity, and this has stood me in good stead allowing me to grow a successful business. I believe I have the skills and knowledge to be an asset to the governing body, not only with any future building projects but also with general financial, management and administrative matters.
My involvement with Grayrigg School began with a very last minute decision to send our eldest child to the school as we are out of catchment. We believed that Grayrigg’s size and teaching philosophy would suit his particular needs. This was the best decision we could have made, we now have two very happy children at the school and cannot thank the teaching staff enough. I hope that my role as a governor will help ensure the school’s future success.
Joe Parkins - appointed 01.12.2015 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
My work on the Governing Body includes responsibility for buildings and premises matters.
Both my son and daughter attended Grayrigg for their primary education before moving on to Queen Katherine School. I also went to Grayrigg in the 1970’s, so I have a very long and happy association with the school.
I am a Director of a Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers, which employs 35 people, so I have a lots of experience looking after and constructing buildings, dealing with H&S and HR issues, I try to help and advise Mrs Cooper when building works and repairs need to be done.
In my spare time I love to go fell running.
Pauline Robson - appointed 30.10.2017 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee
I started my teaching career in 1974 in a Cumbrian school similar to Grayrigg. I took a break when my children came along, then returned first as a teaching assistant to a special needs child before a spell of a supply teaching at several local schools of varying sizes. I went on to teach KS1, Reception and Nursery classes, then for several years I was teacher in charge of the Southern Mobile Nursery Unit. After twelve years teaching the Nursery class at St,Mary’s School, Kirkby Lonsdale, I retired to care for my grandchildren.
I have been associated with Grayrigg School for almost 30 years, as a parent, friend and governor as well as running the nursery there 20 years ago! My children all had a happy and successful start to their school lives at Grayrigg and I want the same for all children who attend, including my grandchildren who now attend there. It is important that we have a good school at the heart of our community.
I am interested in all aspects of our school, particularly the Early Years and the links with our Church. I have seen many changes over time and look forward to being part of an exciting future.
Sally Seddon - appointed 25.09.2018 for a term of 4 years
Parent Governor - Teaching & Learning Committee
I love that Grayrigg School, with its inspirational motto, helps each child to realise their personal potential, treats every child as an individual, and fosters a family environment of care and kindness to everyone. It is an ethos which is incredibly important to me. As a secondary school teacher for the past 15 years, mainly teaching Life Skills, among other subjects, I will hopefully bring some useful ideas to the Teaching and Learning Committee.
In my professional life I have gained experience in a range of areas: curriculum development, staff mentoring, liaising with external bodies; and received extensive training in relevant areas such as Personal, Moral, Social, Health Education, Safeguarding, Teaching & Learning, and others.
Tony Womack - appointed 07.10.2015 for a term of 4 years
Foundation Governor - Chair of Governing Body
I was a member of the armed forces from 1976 till 2000 and moved to Grayrigg in 2002. I am married with two children; both attended Grayrigg School before moving on to secondary school.
I have been actively involved with the school over a number of years, as a parent, past Chair of FOGS and now as a Governor. I also enjoy helping with the forest school sessions, whole school swimming tuition and being part of the adventure that is Grayrigg Primary School.
During my time in the Royal Navy I instructed health and safety risk assessments and risk management and this experience has been useful in my work on the Governing Body.
I have been a member of Kendal mountain rescue team since 2008.
Clerk to Governors - Associate Member of Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee
A Governing body is only as good as its clerk - and we are fortunate to have an excellent clerk who has great attention to the finest of details. She keeps the whole governing body on our toes and is a regular name in all our in-boxes.
Further details on governor attendance, terms of office, business and pecuniary interests for the 2017-18 academic year can be found here: Governor attendance 17-18