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The Federation of Farnham and Rickling Primary Schools

Through faith and nurture, we thrive. ‘Life in all its fullness.’ JOHN 10:10

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Our Governing Body

Helen Christensen: Chair of Governors

I have been on the governing body team since October 2020 and became chair in September 2021. I have two children at Rickling school. Maggie is in Maple class in year 5 and Oscar is in Beech in year 4. In addition to the half termly visits we make to the school as governors to see the implementation of the School Development Plan in action, all of us also take responsibility for monitoring a key area or subject – and mine is the Special Educational Needs Department which Emma Woods leads. I also catch up regularly with Mrs Bratley to discuss her plans for the school and what is going on week to week.

Away from Farnham & Rickling my husband Soren and I have a busy family life with Maggie & Oscar and our two dogs Daisy & Gizmo; we can often be found out walking in the fields around Quendon & Rickling. And somehow I also fit in a full time job where I work as a Performance & Development coach in a Management Consultancy called Liqueo.

 

Carol Bishop: Vice Chair of Governors

 

Rev. Colin Fairweather

 

I was born in Sidcup, Kent and concluded my education with a PhD on Elizabethan love poetry at the University of Cambridge.  Following this, I was an English teacher for eleven years at a sixth form college in the East End of London.  Towards the end of this time, I received a call to ordained ministry and subsequently went back to Cambridge to study, this time as an ordinand.  I was ordained in June 2016, and served out my curacy in Braintree.  In April 2021, I was licensed as priest-in-charge of the five churches of Stansted, Birchanger, Farnham, Takeley and Little Canfield.  I am an ex officio governor, and also visit Farnham school regulary for assemblies and other special events.

 

Kathryn Mayle

I joined the governing body in March 2023 as the PCC Governor. I work in education, as a senior leader at another local primary school. I have grown up around Rickling and am keen to be part of supporting and growing the provision we offer at Rickling and Farnham. I have two young children, one of whom attends Rickling school. I am passionate about active, play-led outdoor learning. 

Outside of work and playing with my kids, I love being in the garden, walking our dog or chatting to our chickens! I also love going to the theatre, particularly to the West end to see a musical. 

 

Zoe Burrows

As a Federation which is close to my heart, I want to continue to contribute to the schools' improvement and development plan and to ensure that all children’s experiences are as happy, fulfilled and enriched as they can possibly be. I am passionately committed to this and to improving the outcomes for children at this stage.

I continue to work in the education sector as a member of the Senior Leadership Team at my current school, and an Early Year Lead Practitioner for Cambridgeshire local authority. I mentor ITT students and hold a NPQ in Senior Leadership. My desire is to use the skills I’ve obtained to support the Federation to continue to provide an excellent education.

 

Liz Spearpoint

 

Paul Burt

I have a daughter at Rickling school and joined the governing body in March 2023 as a parent governor. I work as a self employed commercial photographer and drone pilot. I grew up in Bishop’s Stortford and have lived locally much of my life.  I‘ve travelled extensively and have a positive outlook to life. I’m an ardent supporter of knowledge acquisition; especially in maths and science. In my spare time I enjoy walking our 2 dogs, relish experiences and doing activities with my family, am involved in a local tennis club and help run a scale motorsport venue and race rc cars.

 

Dasha Bannerman

 

Richard Ward

I have been a Governor since March 2022 and my subject focus within this role is Science. I am a parent of 2 children at Rickling school - Austen in year 5 and Lauren in year 2.   My background is in science and photography, and for work I travel around the world to major sporting events as a picture editor.

As well as being on the governing board I also work with the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as the Race Director for the Quendon & Rickling RunFest which we organise every year to raise money for Rickling school.

 

Charlotte Williams

 

Emily Chamberlain

 

Attendance

Attendance Record at Full Governor Body meeting over the academic year 2021-2022. 

 

Full Name,  

Category of Governor  

 Full Governing Body meetings 

 

 20.9.21 

6.12.2128.3.2211.7.22

% attendance 

Hannah Wheatcroft

Headteacher

✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

✓ 

100% 

Charlotte Williams 

Foundation PCC

✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

✓ 

100% 

Robert Hitchman

Parent

✓ 

 ✓ 

✓  

✓ 

100% 

Rev Colin Fairweather

Ex-Officio

✓ 

 ✓ 

✓  

✓ 

100% 

Sara Haughey

Co-Opted

✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓

100% 

Tessa Derizoitis

PCC

✓ 

✓  

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

100%

Emily Chamberlain

Foundation PCC

✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

100%

Helen Christensen  

Parent (Chair of Governors)

✓ 

 ✓ 

 ✓ 

100% 

Elizabeth Spearpoint

Local Authority

100%

Carol Bishop

Foundation DBE (Vice Chair)

100%

Dasha Bannerman

Staff

100%

Gail Stanley

Foundation PCC

   25%

What do we do?

A governing body works with the headteacher and the staff at the school to make sure the school provides a good quality education for all its pupils.

Governors do not need specialist skills, just an ability to listen, think through new ideas and decide what is best for the school strategically as part of a team. Governors are not expected to make day to day decisions about how the school is run, this is the job of the headteacher.

The key roles of a governing body are to:

  • Provide strategic leadership for the school, setting the vision, ethos and strategy
  • Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupil and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure that its money is well spent
     

The aim of the governing body is to help The Federation of Farnham and Rickling Primary Schools to provide the best possible education for its pupils and working environment for its staff. The governing body of The Federation of Farnham and Rickling Primary Schools is composed of:

 

  • The Headteacher,
  • 3 Parent Governors (elected by the parents) on a 3 years term,
  • 2 Foundation Governors (appointed by Ely Diocese) on a 4 years term,
  • 1 Local Education Authority Governor (appointed by the LEA) on a 4 years term,
  • 1 Staff Governor (elected by the school staff) on a 3 years term, and,
  • 5 Co-opted Governors appointed due to their specialised skills and expertise on a 3 years term. 

 

The organisation of our Governing Body

The Governing Board has two committees -

- Personnel and Resources which meets 3x per year

- Resources which meets 2x per year

- 4 full governing body meetings and a planning meeting for the year

 

Additional committees are established when needed.

These committees include :

  • Headteacher’s Performance Management – meet at least twice a year
  • Staff Appeals (meets when needed)
  • Pupil Disciplinary (meets when needed)
  • Staff Disciplinary (meets when needed)
  • Pay Committee – meets at least once a year
  • Budget Committee - meets at least once a year

 

Working Parties

When a specific (usually time limited, or time critical) project is identified a working party can be formed.  These will consist of governors and representatives of other relevant stakeholders.  Terms of reference, based on the purpose of the working party are drawn up and progress reports are provided to the FGB.

 

Governor Activities

Governors also organise specific monitoring activities linked to the School Improvement Plan and will visit the school throughout each term to look at progress in these areas. These visits include a variety of activities, according to the area being monitored. They could include; talking to pupils or staff, looking at pupils work and displays or meeting with subject leaders.

Every Governor is part of the Full Governing Body, is actively involved in monitoring activities every term and may be part of any working parties or other committees as needed. The Governing Body work hard to ensure that through their meetings and visits to school they know the school very well.

Formal records of all Governing Body meetings and committee meetings are taken and filed by the Clerk. Once agreed, minutes are then available to view. Should you wish to read any of the Governors' minutes please make a request via the school office.

Essex County Council provides training for new governors as well as specific refresher courses and in house training at Governing Body meetings. 

Further information on becoming a School Governor can be found on the department for education website.

Please direct any additional questions related to School Governance to our Chair of Governors, Helen Christensen at hchristensen@rickling.essex.sch.uk 

An interview with our Chair of Governors

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Pupils from Horse Chestnut class (year 6) at Farnham Primary School asked our chair of governors - Helen Christensen - some rather tricky questions!

A message from our Governor - Liz Spearpoint

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