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Governors

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 Victoria Sullivan at chair@newport.essex.sch.uk

Meet the team

 

 

Victoria Sullivan

Chair of Governors

My name is Victoria, and I am your Chair of Governors. I joined the Governing Body as a parent governor in March 2019 after being the Secretary of the Friends fundraising committee since 2015. My daughter is in Fox class (year 4) and my son in Year 8 at JFAN. As the Chair of Governors I am responsible for making sure the whole governing body is effective and we have great relationships with the school and all our stakeholders. I am also the lead governor for safeguarding and SEND at our school. I run my own HR consultancy business and am passionate about the impact strategy and leadership can have on organisations, including schools.  In my spare time I love baking cakes and brownies, and dancing to a good disco tune. I'm known to like a glass of wine or cider too!

 

Gemma Sowter
Local Authority Governor 

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 who has recently completed his time at Newport and Parker who is in Badger Class. I have a business degree from the University of Leeds and an employment background in procurement and executive management.

 

 

Lorna Rutter
Parent Governor and Vice Chair of Governors

My name is Lorna Rutter and I have been Governor at NPS since 2017.

I am currently Co-Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Standards committee and also have a specific focus on Pupil Premium Strategy, and am a member of the Pay committee. My son Charlie attends NPS and just like any parent, I want the very best educational setting for my son, where he can be happy, confident and develop skills to navigate through life. I am focused on this being the experience for all pupils at the school. I work as an Operations Director for a recruitment company with responsibility for company financials, HR, training and setting company objectives for future growth and development, a range of skills that the school makes good use of to support the pupil’s educational environment and continue to develop on the school’s vision and strategy.

 

Rebecca Pine
Headteacher (ex-officio Governor)

I'm Rebecca and I joined Newport Primary in September 2018, as headteacher. I am hugely passionate about every child receiving outstanding teaching and learning and about inclusivity. I believe that by working with families, we can achieve the very best outcomes for children, and I welcome discussions with people within the community. My dog, Fergie, come with me to school to ensure that all children at Newport get enhanced nurture and learning opportunities, especially with reading. I live in Great Chishill with my husband, Tom, and our two children, Freddie and Olivia. Together, we enjoy exploring the outdoors and are keen on cycling, walking the school dog and being in the countryside. I am also vice chair of Great Chishill Parish Council and like to get involved in village life.

 

Mark Johnson

Co-opted Governor 

Mark grew up around Saffron Walden, went to university in York and then lived in Somerset before returning to Essex. He has worked in local government since 2008 and is a chartered public finance accountant. Mark became a governor at Newport in 2016 and was previously Chair of the Resources Committee; he is also a governor of a church school in Bishop’s Stortford. Mark lives with his wife and their young son near Newport. Having enjoyed his time at school, Mark is keen to play his part in enabling children at Newport to get the best out of their time at school.

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Cockerill
Co-opted Governor 

After university in Durham, my teaching career has taken me from Hampstead to Birmingham and Nottingham and now to Cambridge, where I am Head of Philosophy, Ethics and Religion at a large independent school. I have held roles in special educational needs and safeguarding and feel that nothing is more crucial than providing a safe and productive environment for all of our young people to grow and learn. This is why I have taken on the role of well-being governor at Newport Primary School.

 

 

Keeley Chandler

Associate governor and Deputy Headteacher

I joined Newport School in September 2018 as Deputy Headteacher, having previously taught for 20 years in Hertfordshire, building my role from class teacher to senior leader and then acting Deputy Headteacher. Over the years, I have taught classes from Reception to Year 6 and have enjoyed them all. Every class brings its challenges, their unique style and their different skillsets but the one constant is that children are children and whatever their age, they have the right to the best education. I believe in Newport being the best inclusive school, where the children enjoy learning and teachers enjoy teaching and I have loved teaching in Year 4, Year 2/3, Year 2 and now in Year 1. Outside of school, my passions lie in dancing, music, crafting, theatre, cinema trips and socialising with friends and I love to incorporate these skills within school wherever possible.

 

James Phillips

Co-opted Governor

My name is James, and I am your Co-Vice Chair of Governors. I have been part of the governing body since May 2021 and moved to Great Chesterford in August 2019. I have always had a passion for volunteering and supporting in the local community, with previous volunteering experience with RFU (England Rugby), Eastern Counties RFU, Eastern Counties Referee Society and Hertfordshire Referee Society. I work in London for Lloyds Banking Group, where I look after multiple Savings Products. I got married to my wife, Elle, in July 2022 who is a Deputy Head at in independent school in Essex. I also have 2 Miniature Schnauzers, Fergus and Margaux as well as a cat, Rufus. In my spare time, I am usually found watching rugby, stood next to a BBQ or enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Allen Takawira

Co-opted Governor

Moving to Bishops Stortford in 2018, I saw the opportunity to become a governor as a great way to integrate myself into the local community and give back to the educational system I benefitted from. I am an Accountant by profession, currently working for a manufacturing company in the Utilities sector. In my spare time I’m a keen distance runner, and regularly compete in various races throughout the country.

 

 

 

Hannah Parker

Parent Governor

Hannah joined the Governing Body as a parent governor after relocating with her family from London to the village of Widdington in April 2021 and has two children at Newport Primary School. Hannah is currently the Head of Human Resources for a Private Equity company where she oversees people strategy and operations for the European business. She has developed particular passion and expertise in talent management, performance management and organisation culture topics and hopes to be able to bring some of her expertise to support the team at Newport Primary School. Hannah holds a BA hons in History and a MSC in Human Resources Management. When not working, Hannah enjoys spending precious time with family exploring the delights of the North Essex countryside (still a novelty and joy after 20 years in London!).

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