All maintained schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, and to ask questions.
Bell Lane’s Governing Body is rightly proud of the achievements of the school. However, it’s drive is clear: for the school to become increasingly outstanding in more and more areas of its work, giving local children the best possible start in life.
The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Head teacher, staff and the Local Authority. Whilst the Head teacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.
Membership of the Governing Body includes parents, teaching staff and representatives from the local community and the Local Authority.
The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts. In the main, these responsibilities relate to:
- Setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement
- Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates
- Management of the school’s budget
- Ensuring that the curriculum for the school is broad and balanced
Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Behaviour, Curriculum and Performance Management.
Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others, through a Governing Body meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of committee-meetings dealing with more specific issues. Two committees of governors usually meet twice each term:
- Curriculum & Standards Committee
- Resources Committee (focusing on staffing, premises and finance).
A number of governors also have responsibilities for specific areas within the school and these are listed in the Governing Body Membership document.
Skills required of school governors
The National Governance Association (NGA) has published a list of skills required for school governance. An individual governor is not expected to have all the skills listed in the audit, but they should be covered across the governing body.
I am a member of the local community and joined the Bell Lane Governing Board at a very exciting time in the school’s history. Since joining, we have worked hard to strengthen the Board and we recruited our new Headteacher, Miss Harsha Patel, who joined the school in September 2019. I am proud to be part of a team that puts the children at the heart of every decision made and has nothing but the highest aspirations for the children and families who attend our school. I look forward to continuing to see the children of Bell Lane supported to achieve their hopes and aspirations.
Maria Florencia Bravo
My name is Maria Florencia Bravo and I have a child at Bell Lane Primary School. I am excited about the new vision that Bell Lane has for its pupils and the community and I look forward to bringing a parent’s perspective to the work of the governing body. I am very interested in being a champion for children with additional educational needs as this is an area very close to my heart. I have been a Maths volunteer in the school and I enjoy learning. I have qualifications in several areas including communications, self-expression and leadership programmes. I look forward to working with the school and the governing body so that our children have the best educational experience possible.
After a career in financial services and business change, I now run a charity which supports primary school children who are behind with maths. Through this I met Harsha and was hugely impressed at her “can do” attitude – so that when the school advertised for a governor with experience in financial management I had to say yes. I am passionate about state primary education helping all children to develop to their full potential, and I am excited about the energy and focus I have seen at Bell Lane. Although I will be putting much of my effort as a governor into overseeing controls and risk, I intend to learn quickly about all aspects of the school so that I can also contribute directly to the children’s education and development.
Although originally from Newcastle, I have lived in Hendon for over 30 years and have been a governor at Bell Lane since April 2020. I have worked with schools for many years and am very impressed by the energy and commitment of the Bell Lane staff. It is clear when visiting the school that the needs of the children inform every aspect of school life. A vibrant, positive, happy learning environment has been created and it is a pleasure to be part of it.
My name is Katie Hart and I help to strategically oversee the curriculum at Bell Lane and ensure that the standard of education throughout the school is high. I work to support the Headteacher and staff to deliver the best schooling experience for its learners. I have experience with SEND in the EYFS and Primary as well as being particularly passionate about Computing, MFL and Art.
I have been a governor at Bell Lane school for over 10 years. It has been an interesting and fun journey. There have as you would expect been many changes during my time. We now have a new head and a vastly changed governing board. Despite covid, these are exciting times for the school. The school has done incredibly well in providing great learning for children in these pandemic times. I see only good things for the school going forward. As a governor, I am committed to helping improve the outcomes for all children.
My name is Olusegun Akande. As well as being a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee, I help to ensure that People Premium and Sports Premium funds are allocated efficiently and effectively, for the sake of the children. I firmly believe that if we all live in line with the wonderful purpose we were created for, then our world will be a far better place. In this light, I am passionate about helping children succeed, and spend one day a week coaching and teaching Bell Lane’s years 5 and 6 pupils, in order for them to be the very best they can be. I’m very proud of what the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team have achieved during the past twelve months and look forward to continuing playing my part in helping them achieve a standard of excellence throughout the school.
All Governing Bodies of community schools can agree on a model for the size and membership of their Governing Body based on what best suits the circumstances of that school. The size of the Governing Body can range from a minimum of 8 to 16 maximum number.
The Governing Body of Bell Lane Primary School has the following members:
1 Chair of Governors
- Tracy Simmons (Co-opted)
2 Parent Governors
Parents (including guardians/carers) of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election for parent governorship at the school. Parent Governors are elected by other parents at the school.
- Mrs Maria Bravo-Czastka
- Mrs Nahid Haleemkhail
1 Staff Governor
Both teaching and support staff paid to work in the school are eligible for staff governorship. One Staff Governor is elected by the school staff and must be paid to work at the school; volunteers are not eligible.
The Headteacher is a member of the Governing Body by virtue of his position.
- Miss Harsha Patel
1 Local Authority (LA) Governor
The LA Governor is nominated by the Local Authority (LA). The Governing Body may agree to appoint (or not) the LA nominee, and can also submit eligibility criteria by which a nominee should be selected.
- Mrs Terri Patterson
10 Co-opted Governors
Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body often to meet the need for a specific set of skills, knowledge or experience. Co-opted Governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work or live close to the school, but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.
- Mr Roger Coral (Vice Chair)
- Mrs Katie Hart
- Mr Olusegun Akande
- Mr Bernard Manson
- Mr Ivor Tucker
- Ms Beth Yap
- Mrs Katie Hart (Chair)
- Mr Olusegun Akande
- Miss Tiah Harrison
- Miss Harsha Patel
- Ms Tracy Simmons
- Mr Bernard Manson (Chair)
- Mr Roger Coral
- Miss Harsha Patel
- Ms Terri Patterson
- Miss Tracy Simmons
- Mr Ivor Tucker
- Ms Beth Yap (Clerk)