Welcome to our Governors’ section.
Here you will find information about the role of the governing body, details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.
The Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body
Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school. They are also a key part of the overall system for school accountability. Governing bodies have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education.
In all schools, governing bodies have three core strategic functions:
a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools that came into force in September 2013 and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.
In practice, governors are a group of volunteers who include parents, staff and members of the local community who act collectively to make decisions that matter to the school and are motivated to do the best for the children of the school.
Governing bodies help set the school’s aims and values. They also make decisions on matters such as performance targets, school policies, and the school’s single plan. They oversee the use of the school’s budget and have responsibility to obtain value for money for that budget. They are responsible for the appointment of the headteacher. In addition, governors monitor, support and challenge the headteacher and staff on how well those policies and targets are followed through. They do this by visiting the school, getting to know its strengths and weaknesses, and asking useful questions that foster an ethos of continuous improvement.
When to contact the Governors?
Should there ever be things you’d like to raise, please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to receive your comments and feedback. Many of us are regularly in and around the school, and several of us are often in the playground at drop-off and pick-up times. Alternatively, please feel free to leave a message with the office.
If you have any concerns that you have raised with the school and you do not feel they have been dealt with accordingly then please contact Gemma Sowter at email@example.com
Meet the team
Local Authority Governor and Chair of Governors
My name is Gemma and I am your Chair of Governors. I have been on the governing body since 2015 and an active part of the school community since we moved to Newport in 2014. I have a passion for education and see it as a privilege to contribute to the development of the school in any way I can. We have two boys, Hayden in Falcon class and Parker who will join the school in 2020. I have a business degree from the University of Leeds and an employment background in procurement and executive management.
Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair of Governors
My name is Lorna Rutter and I have a son, Charlie in Badger class. I have been a Co-Opted Governor since March 2017 with a specific focus on SEND, PPG and I sit on the standards committee. Just like any parent, I want the very best educational setting for my son, where he can be happy, confident and become the very best he can be and I am keen this is the experience for all pupils at the school. I work as an Operations Director for a recruitment company with responsibility for company financials, team development and setting company objectives for future growth and development, a range of skills that the school can make good use of to support the pupil’s educational environment and continue to develop on the school’s vision.
Headteacher (ex-officio Governor)
Rebecca joined Newport Primary in September 2018 as headteacher. Rebecca is hugely passionate about every child receiving outstanding teaching and learning and about inclusivity. She believes in working with families to achieve the very best outcomes for their children and welcomes discussions with people within the community. Rebecca brings her dog, Fergie, with her to school to ensure that all children at Newport get enhanced learning opportunities within the school, especially with reading. Rebecca lives in Great Chishill with her husband, Tom, and their two children, Freddie and Olivia. Rebecca and her family enjoy exploring the outdoors and are keen on cycling, walking the school dog and being in the countryside. She is vice chair of Great Chishill Parish Council and likes to get involved in village life.
Co-opted Governor and Chair of the Finance and Premises Committee
Mark grew up around Saffron Walden before studying at university in York and then lived in Somerset for seven years. He recently returned to Essex and lives near Newport. He works for local government on funding and finance policy issues and is a chartered public finance accountant. Mark became a governor in 2016 and chairs the Finance, Premises & Personnel Committee. Outside of work he enjoys walking, reading and following cricket. In the past he has volunteered as a treasurer of a credit union and debt adviser and has worked with young people in a church children’s group and as a Scout leader.
Co-opted Governor and Chair of the Pay & Personnel Committee
I am a Co-opted governor with a current focus on Standards. I have a background in Industrial Design & Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University and a PGCE from Cambridge University. Having grown up locally, Wendens Ambo, I now live in Newport. For the last decade of my career, I taught as an Assistant Headteacher in West London, in a large aspiring comprehensive school, where exacting high standards through well-executed plans were the only benchmark. In my next challenge, I now work with my talented brother running an exciting professional chocolatier business in Saffron Walden. I have two sons, Oliver in Badger class and Henry at Oliver’s Lodge. I love high-quality coffee and enjoy being a part of a local CrossFit community, keeping active.
Simon grew up in the area and attended Newport Primary himself before moving on to Newport Free Grammar School. He then moved to London where he enjoyed a successful career in the City for over 25 years, rising to be a director responsible for trading and risk management but also has experience of being a non-executive director, having held that role on both public and private companies. He moved back to the area with his wife in 2006 and moved to Newport in 2015. He is now a stay-at-home Dad to two young boys; one in Dragonfly class and one in Badger class.
Teachers have a unique opportunity to provide children with memorable experiences from which they will develop not only Literacy and Numeracy, but also their own values and virtues that will ultimately shape their character. It really is the best job in the world. In an increasingly challenging educational climate, close collaboration between staff and governors is essential for the continued development of Newport Primary School. I look forward to contributing to this as I continue my role as staff governor. I have been at the school since April 2018. My previous 7 years have been spent in secondary education in roles including; head of house; head of year and head of department. My specialism at the time was Physical Education and I am the current lead for Healthy Schools and Sport here at Newport. I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge and learning involved in adapting to a primary school setting.
My name is Victoria Sullivan and I have 2 children at Newport Primary School; my daughter is in Hedgehog class and my son in Falcon class. I joined the Governing Body as a parent governor in March 2019 after being the Secretary of the Friends fundraising committee since 2015. I run my own HR consultancy business and am passionate about the impact strategy and leadership can have on organisations, including schools. My governor responsibilities are focussed on overseeing policies and GDPR - most people won't find these particularly exciting, but they are important parts of the infrastructure of the school. I also sit on the Resources committee, ensuring that our premises, budgets and finances are well managed for the benefit of all the children at the school. I believe it is a great time to be contributing to the strategic direction of the school and would encourage all parents to get involved in any way they can.
Géraldine Baekelandt is in her final few months of her PhD in Nanoscience at the University of Cambridge, where she is on a full scholarship from AstraZeneca, working on the interface between therapeutic drugs and surfaces at the nanoscale. She has always been passionate about education, especially on issues such as inequality in the UK education system. She has taught privately, for not for profits such as The Brilliant Club, and lectured undergraduates at the University. As much as she loves teaching when she’s not in the lab, she wanted to do more work tackling problems in education from behind the scenes, specifically through governance. Through the Inspiring the Future programme, which Géraldine has been a member of for three years, she found Newport School!
Géraldine is originally from Belgium, has lived in 6 different countries and is currently living in Cambridge. She is a large advocate of women in STEM, and is a member of The Stemettes, an organization that puts on free educational days and mentoring programs to get more girls into the Engineering and Science related sectors. When not in the lab, Géraldine can either be found at an inspiring girl’s event or running!
Associate governor and Deputy Headteacher
I joined Newport school in September (2018) as Deputy Head teacher, having previously taught for 20 years in Hertfordshire, building my role from class teacher top senior leader and acting Deputy Head teacher. Over the years, I have taught classes from Reception up to year 6 and enjoy them all! They all bring their challenges, their unique styles and their different skillsets but one thing that remains is that children are children, whatever the age, and have the right to the best education. I believe in Newport being the best inclusive school, where children enjoy learning and teachers enjoy teaching. Outside of school, my passions lie in dancing, music, sewing, theatre and cinema trips and socialising with friends; I love to incorporate these skills within school, wherever possible.