Message to Parents
Dear Parents and Carers,
We know that Mrs Wicks has been writing to you regularly, but as Governors we also wanted to contact you with a short message.
Firstly, we hope you and your families are managing to stay safe and well during these unprecedented times. Life has changed for all of us and we are facing different, and sometimes difficult, challenges.
As you probably know, schools were given fewer than 48 hours’ notice of the emergency closures on 20th March. What you may not know is that schools were in no way consulted on the decision and were informed just as you all heard the news. The Department for Education has given schools very little guidance as to the level of education they should be providing to children. Without knowing the duration of the closures, we have tried to plan strategically as best we can. During the last two weeks of term, school sent home learning packs to cover a great deal of the usual curriculum. Now it’s clear that schools will be closed for an extended period of time, the staff team have worked really hard to produce the new online Seesaw learning platform, which we hope you are finding constructive.
We know that helping children with their school work and activities while juggling working from home yourselves and taking care of your family, loved ones, friends and neighbours, is challenging and tiring. During this time we certainly don’t want to contribute to anyone feeling overwhelmed so please just encourage your children to do the best they – and you – can.
Throughout this period of lock down, we have kept our doors open every day for our most vulnerable children and those of Key workers and we are, of course, really proud to support our children, the NHS and other vital industries, particularly at the moment.
During this difficult time, many of us are thinking about our relationships and we are reminded that our staff also have family and loved ones to think about. Small schools such as ours thrive on our close community feel – as Governors we definitely miss being in school and seeing the children, staff, our colleagues and the rest of our school community. Many of our team members are self-isolating, have family members who are unwell or they are ill themselves. We are really grateful to our wonderful staff for their hard work in such tricky circumstances and we’re sure you will join us in thanking them for their efforts as Key workers themselves.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any inside track on when schools will re-open. We will, of course, be in touch again once we know more. In the meantime, please keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as we can.
What is a Governor?
If you would like to speak with a Governor, please leave your details at the school office.
Governors are unpaid volunteers nominated and appointed for four-year terms by the school staff, parents, local authority or fellow governors.
The governing body’s main role is to establish a strategic framework for the school and to regularly review the progress made. Governors act as a ‘Critical Friend’ to the school, working in partnership with the head, senior leadership team and other school stakeholders to help provide the best possible education for all our pupils, including those with special educational needs. This is achieved by:
- Determining the school’s values, ethos and strategic aims
- Agreeing plans and policies
- Holding senior leaders to account by monitoring relevant data and feedback on the school’s performance, acting as a critical friend to support and challenge.
- Reviewing and monitoring the curriculum
- Approving and monitoring the school’s budget, including the expenditure of the pupil premium funding, ensuring that resources are used effectively and provide impact
- Maintaining the fabric of the school
- Appointing staff and agreeing pay recommendations
- You can find out more about the role of a Governor by reading the Governors’ letter to parents.
Categories of Governor
- Local Authority (LA) Governor – nominated by the LA and appointed by the Governing Body.
- Parent Governors – elected by and from the parents.
- Staff Governor – elected by staff.
- Co-opted Governors – appointed by the governing body. These are people from the school community who, in the opinion of the governing body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
The responsibilities of the Governing body are shared between two committees, each with a specific responsibility:
- School Improvement – dealing with curriculum and standards
- Resources – dealing with finance, personnel and premises.
In addition, sub committees meet as and when the need arises:
- Head’s Performance Review
- Exclusions and Complaints.
All committees report back to the main Governing body, which usually meets twice a term, preceded by meetings of each of the committees.
Each Governor is assigned a link role which focusses on a specific areas of the curriculum or school life. The role of the Link Governor is to:
- Take an interest in and gain a more detailed knowledge of their appointed area
- Know what is contained in the School Improvement Plan (SIP) for their subject
- Be involved in the review of the SIP for their area and to be part of the planning process
- Aid the governing body in its critical friend role by asking questions about progress and challenging appropriately about attainment in their area
- Report back at agreed intervals, either to the appropriate committee or the full governing body
- Work in full partnership with the headteacher and senior leadership team to achieve results.
List of Governors
|Member||Committee||Term of office starts years
|FGB meetings attendance
|Local Authority Appointee:|
|Clare Turner (Chair)||SIC
|Catherine Large||Resources|| 4 years
|Mr Andy Crump||Resources|| 4 years
|100%||Resources: 4 of 5|
|Mr Joseph Guy||Resources||4 yrs
|100%||Resources: 3 of 5
|Mrs Katharine Robertson||SIC||4 yrs
|Graham Moles||Resources||4 yrs
|100%||Resources:2 of 5|
|Mrs Louise Best||SIC||4 yrs
|100%||SIC: 3 of 4|
|Mr Jeff Hollis||Resources||4 yrs
|Mrs Libby Montgomery (Chair)||SIC
Resources: 1 of 5
|Mr Jeff Phillips (Vice Chair)||Resources||4 yrs
|1 of 4||Resources: 100%|
|Elected staff governor|
|Mr Nick Yeldham||SIC||4 yrs
|100%||SIC: 3 of 4|
|Mrs Claire Wicks||SIC
Resources: 3 of 5
|Mrs Eleanor Waller (on maternity leave)||SIC||1 year
SIC – School Improvement Committee
Res – Resources Committee
|Member||Register of Interests (including business/financial interests)||Responsibility|
|Mrs Louise Best||Member of staff and daughter’s babysit pupils.|
|Mr Andy Crump||Married to a member of staff||Safeguarding and LAC|
|Mr Joe Guy||Parent of pupils and married to chair of Time Out.||DPO|
|Mr Jeff Hollis||None||H & S|
|Miss Catherine Large||Parent of pupil and works at OFQUAL.|
|Mr Graham Moles||None|
|Mrs Libby Montgomery (Chair)||Governor at Sir John Lawes and magistrate|
|Mr Jeff Phillips (Vice Chair)||None|
|Mrs Katharine Robertson||Parent of pupils||Inclusion & Pupil Premium|
|Mrs Clare Turner (Chair)||Son babysits pupils||Sports Premium|
|Mrs Eleanor Waller (on maternity leave)||Deputy Headteacher||Deputy DPO|
|Mrs Claire Wicks||Headteacher|
|Mr Nick Yeldham||Assistant Deputy Headteacher|
Clerk – Miss Cally Arbury
Clare Turner – Joint Chair
I was appointed as a parent governor in 2011 and became an LA governor in 2018 having had two sons previously attend the school. I have enjoyed helping the school in various ways since my older son joined the school in 2006: on the HSA (including HSA Chair 2008 – 2010), as a parent volunteer in school, as Treasurer for the first Festival on the Field in 2012, and as a governor since 2011. I have an engineering degree and an MBA, and have spent most of my career in strategy consulting, in the USA and later in London. I now work part-time in management consulting.
Libby Montgomery – Joint Chair
I am a Parent Governor, however both of my children have now left Manland. I have volunteered in the school for a while and am looking forward to being involved as a Governor. I previously worked for a real estate investment manager in London. My previous experience as Chair of Governors at Batford Early Years Centre in Harpenden has equipped me with skills and experience which will be valuable as I take on the role of Chair at Manland.
I am a Teaching Assistant at Manland, have worked at the school since 2011 and have recently joined the Governing Body in 2015 as a co-opted governor. I have lived in Harpenden for 14 years, I have three daughters two at University and one at St George’s. I have been on various Parent Staff Associations over the years and look forward to supporting the school and the children in the future.
I have lived and worked in Harpenden for over 25 years for a local building group. I have been involved in the local community for many years and when approached to join the governors as a co-opted governor I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to such a well-run and successful school. I am married with a teenage son.
I have been a teacher since 2005, working in Harrow and Hillingdon in various different roles. I became the headteacher at Manland in April 2017; I am excited to be leading the way on the next step of the schools journey to success. I consider myself very fortunate to have a highly experienced and dedicated team of staff who care deeply about nurturing and encouraging Manland children to achieve their very best.
Jeff Phillips – Vice Chair
I have lived in Harpenden for over 30 years and am a co-opted governor at Manland. I take a particular interest in humanities subjects and am chair of the Resources Committee. In addition I am a member of Herts County Council Education Department’s Schools Appeals Panel.
After a first career in media rights management and litigation I followed my wife into the teaching profession. I have subsequently worked with the Teaching Development Agency and a number of educational research centres, as well as teaching at a number of schools in the St Albans area. I currently teach in Year 6, having taught classes across Key Stages 1 and 2.
I have worked at Manland since 2013 across the Early Years and Key Stage 1. I am part of the School Leadership Team, in the role of Deputy Head and have since become an Associate Member. Over my teaching career, I have worked across all of the Primary Key Stages and enjoy supporting and celebrating each child as an individual learner.
I have been a parent at Manland school since 2012 and continue to serve on the Governing Body despite my child moving on to secondary school. I think Manland is at its best when it is nurturing and building the confidence of our children. I have been a Civil Servant in Whitehall for nearly twenty years (which makes me feel very old), and over that time have developed an understanding of public sector finance and process, as well as how policy making in central Government can be felt locally. I am a member of the Manland Resources Committee, as well as the Full Governing Body, to seek to apply that experience to supporting the school.
I am a parent governor, with one child in year 2 and another in year1. I have a background in education; I started my career teaching in secondary schools, and taught in primary as I moved into museum and archive education. I really enjoy drawing on this experience in my work as a governor, and as a member of the school improvement committee.
I am a parent governor with two children at Manland. I have a background in HR and enjoy using my experience in my work as a governor and as a member of the Resources committee.
I am a parent governor with a son in reception. My background is in education policy, specifically vocational and technical education. I am currently a civil servant working for Ofqual, the qualifications regulator. Prior to this I worked for a Sector Skills Council promoting Apprenticeships. I am also a governor at a Further Education College in Essex. I am looking forward to bringing my experiences in this wider context to Manland.
I have recently moved to Harpenden and have two young children. I was delighted to be accepted as a co-opted Governor as I hope that I can bring some of the experience and strategic thinking that I have gained from work in a leadership position in the asset management industry for more than ten years. I am looking forward, in my own small way, to helping Manland continue to flourish.