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Meet the Governors

A Warm Welcome to the Governor’s Page 

Karl Simpson, Chair of Governors

Thank you for clicking on this page to see what the governing body does to help your children get the best start in life.

As governors, our Abbeyhillians are at the heart of everything we do. It’s our job to make sure they get the best education possible and that school is a safe, secure and well-run place for everyone.

Governors help to agree what will be in the school improvement plan and what it is most important for the school to focus on each year. We also shape school policies and check the school is on track to achieve the actions in the improvement plan. We do this by visiting school, talking to teachers about the subjects they lead, monitoring the milestones in the improvement plan and through the head teacher’s report each term. We ask challenging questions at governor meetings to make sure we hold the school to account.

As governors we must declare any business or financial interests we have in relation to this role. We do this by signing a form of our interests every year and also by stating when we have an interest in a particular agenda item at meetings.

Currently no governors have declared any financial or business interests in the school. No governors have any roles at any other schools or colleges and no governors are related to any members of staff.

We hold up to three full governing body meetings each term which are attended by all governors. Before these meetings Ms Chambers, the head teacher, gives us information about what the school has done to move forward and improve. We then send any questions we have to Ms Chambers who answers them at the meeting. We discuss many things in the life of the school including the school improvement plan, school finances, resources and staffing. We check the money the school receives is spent wisely and on the best things to support children. We also take part in interviewing and choosing new staff.

We help to keep your children safe through our responsibilities for safeguarding, including health & safety, site security and child protection.

We also check staff workload is not too demanding and support staff in any way we can to make our school a great place to work.

Where we are able to, we volunteer our time to help in school e.g. hearing children read, helping on school visits or at school clubs. We come from all different walks of life and have a wide range of experiences and skills to draw on to make a well-rounded governing board. Our governors are truly part of the Abbeyhillian community.

We are also here to listen to your views and concerns and if you see us around school feel free to say hello. We are always happy to hear your feedback.

On a personal note I believe that being a governor is a privilege and I find it a very rewarding experience. I have learnt a lot about the many different things involved in managing a school and giving children the best possible opportunities in life. It is more than worth the time it takes knowing that we are helping to make a difference to children’s education and lives.

Thank you for the ways in which you all support our school – I believe that if we all work together as parents, governors and staff we can offer the best possible start in life for our Abbeyhillians.

Abbey Hill Governing Body Information  

All governors at Abbey Hill are volunteers. The governing body is made up of Local Authority governors, parent governors and staff governors. We also have people from the local community called co-opted governors.  Each member brings their own viewpoint, ideas and skills to the governing body.

Governors must focus on three main areas to make sure the school keeps on getting better and better. They are:

  1. Making sure the school has a clear vision and plan for how it will keep on improving
  2. Holding the head teacher to account for how well children learn and the standards they achieve, and how well staff achieve the targets set for them
  3. Overseeing how well the school manages its budget and making sure money is well spent.

Governors are responsible for making sure the school is run well and they work closely with the head teacher, who is responsible for the school’s day-to-day management. Governors work hard to make sure every child gets the best possible life chances while they are at our school. This includes making sure the school budget is spent in the best way and that learning and behaviour are of a high standard.

One of the most important jobs of the governing body is to hold the school to account. Governors do this by supporting the head teacher in making plans for the school. They act as critical friends by asking questions and finding out about the work of the school for themselves on governor visits.

Governors attend three governing body meetings each term. These meetings focus on key areas of school life such as school improvement plans, standards, pupils’ well-being, safeguarding, finance and staffing including staff well-being and workload. Governors also take part in training sessions to help them make the best possible decisions about the school. As we move towards academisation with Transform Trust, much of this training is delivered by the trust.

Governors make sure the school has done everything it must do legally e.g. health & safety, safeguarding and child protection, agreeing school policies and delivering tests to pupils. Governors also spend time in school, talking to children and staff, seeing the work of the school first hand and joining in school trips and events.

Governors can be contacted through the school office, the head teacher or any member of staff.

Our governing body is made up of 9 people:

  • 2 parent governors who are elected by parents and carers of children at the school
  • 4 co-opted governors who are chosen by the governing body based on their skills and experience
  • 1 Local Authority governor who is nominated by the Local Authority and chosen by the governing body based on skills and experience
  • 1 staff governor who is elected by staff at the school
  • The head teacher who is a permanent member of the governing body

Governors are helped and advised by a clerk to governors who also takes minutes of governors’ meetings. Our clerk is Joanne Garbett.

The tables below show who our governors are and how often they have attended meetings this academic year.

Governing Body Membership and Responsibilities

Governor Attendance 2022 – 23


Type of Governor

Start Date

End Date

Business or Pecuniary Interests

Governor Link Area

Helen Chambers Head Teacher n/a n/a None Day to day management of the school

Karl Simpson

Chair of Governors

Local Authority 30.4.2018 29.4.2022 None Safeguarding, IT, P.E. and Sports Premium,Staff Wellbeing, Complaints, Anti-bullying, Safer recruitment, Head Teacher Appraisal

Zoe Godfrey

Vice chair

Parent 25.11.2019 24.11.2023 None Maths, SEND, Head Teacher Appraisal
Clare Bodell Co-opted
Emma Ashley Co-opted (Staff) 14.03.2023 14.03.2027 None Health and Safety
Miss Louise Allsop Co-opted 12.11.2018 11.11.2022 None R.E. and SMSC, Governor training coordinator, EYFS, Appraisal (QA)
Vacancy 1 Parent
Vacancy 2 Co-opted Literacy
Abbey Hill Primary and Nursery School