Welcome from the Chair of Governors
Welcome to the Governors’ area of our school website. Here you can find out more about the Governing Body, who we are and what we do, as well as how to get in touch.
Governance is about overseeing the success of the school, agreeing priorities and monitoring progress towards them. It is not about the day-to day running or management of the school; we leave that to our Headteacher and leadership team. As Governors we must keep our distance from the day-to-day operations so that we can see the ‘big picture’.
The Governing Body has three specific, statutory roles:
- To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- To hold the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective performance management of staff
- To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.
Below you will find a link to a short video by the National Governance Association on the role of governors.
Our work includes attending regular meetings of the full governing body during which we receive updates from the headteacher on progress being make towards targets in the School Development Plan, review the impact of policies, analyse data on attainment and progress and monitor spending. A crucial part of our work is to listen to our staff, pupils and parents which we do through annual surveys. As well as being privileged to attend special occasions at school, we also undertake visits to help us gain first hand experience of the impact of our strategic decisions and to get a feel for the dynamics of the school.
The Governing Body is made up of representatives from the Local Authority, the Diocese (Foundation Governors), the headteacher, staff and parents. Governors work as a team, sharing a collective responsibility for the school’s long-term success. Whilst we all have different skills and experience, and may differ in our personal opinions, we are united in our commitment to St Michael’s. Our focus is always on making objective decisions that are in the best interests of the school and our vision underpins all that we do. As Governors our ambition is to ensure that St Michael’s will provide the best possible outcomes and opportunities for all its pupils. To achieve this we must work in partnership with the headteacher, staff and parents.
If you need to get in touch with the Governing Body, please email email@example.com.
Chair of Governors
Meet Some of the Governors
Louise Hodkinson has been a governor in Bracknell Forest for 14 years and joined the governing body of St Michael’s Easthampstead in 2021 becoming Chair of Governors in 2022. She is married and has 3 adult children. A former primary school teacher, she currently works as a part-time gymnastics coach. She is an active member of a local Church of England congregation. Louise is also a trustee of the Ranelagh Church of England Foundation.
Anne Andrews is a PCC governor at St Michael’s. She works as RE adviser to the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education, supporting and training teachers across the 282 church schools. She is advisor to three SACREs (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education), including Bracknell Forest. Before starting this role, she was on the teaching staff at St Michael’s, with responsibility for RE and Primary Language Learning. Her first teaching roles were in secondary schools, where her speciality was French and German. She has two adult children, both of whom attended St Michael’s and she is an active member of a local Church of England congregation.
Kathryn Dewey has been a foundation Governor at St Michael’s Easthampstead since April 2021. Kathryn has been a teacher since 2000 and has worked in schools in Surrey, London and Wokingham, initially as a class teacher and then as a full time SENCO, a position she holds in her current school. She has 2 children who both attend St Michael’s and is a member of the St Michael and Mary Magdalen Church community.
Sam Leach has been a Governor at St Michael's since 2018. She has been involved in various projects during her time as a governor including the admissions committee and the vision working party. Sam brings with her experience as an Assistant Head Teacher at a Surrey Special School where she has responsibility for Early Years and Primary Department. She is also a lay-leader at Mosaic Church Bracknell and a parent to three school aged children. Sam is excited at the new energy and momentum at St Michael's and looking forward to working with our new Head Teacher.
Charlotte Cowdell has been a member of staff at St Michael’s for over 7 years, teaching across the school. She joined the Governing Body of St Michael’s as the staff governor in December 2021.
Tony White has been a Governor at the school since 2021. He started as a co-opted governor and was appointed as the Local Authority governor in July 2022. After retiring from a business career of over 40 years Tony was keen to help children flourish and obtain the best education possible. Tony was aware that the role of school management and governance had changed quite significantly, and that schools were becoming increasingly quasi-independent requiring support and assistance, from governors with more than just education background, to meet the growing regulatory and statutory requirements placed upon them. Tony works closely with the School Business Manager overseeing the financial performance of the school, using the expertise and knowledge he had gained during his working life. In addition to being a governor at St Michael’s Easthampstead, Tony keeps himself busy by being the Chair of Governors at another local primary school, helps to run the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in Wokingham, is an Executive in Residence at Sheffield Hallam University and, in his spare time, thrashes his way around the golf course.