Thank you for taking the time to read a little about me. I first moved to RAF Halton with my parents in 1998 aged 10 years old, I went to school in Halton then on to the John Colet School which shares the same campus as the John Hampden School here in Wendover. Spending my formative years in Wendover I worked at Le Bistro Restaurant and Bar eventually managing the restaurant with, my now wife, Amy up until the restaurant was sold. I was close to the community whilst at the restaurant and have missed that interaction since it changed hands. Amy and I have three girls Lilly, Roya and Nilou. who all attend the John Hampden School. I have spent the last 3 years as a manager in the NHS first in Buckinghamshire then in Hertfordshire; I made a change in the summer of 2018 to take up a more senior role within the NHS and in order to be closer to home and the school and I’m now based in Buckinghamshire but also work across Oxfordshire and Berkshire. This was to give me more time with the children in their early childhood and do some more of the things that I enjoy; exercising, cooking, gardening.
James joined the Governing Body in February 2016 as a parent Governor. James lives in Wendover and has two boys currently attending the school. Having learnt an incredible amount about the school, education and being a governor, James jumped at the chance to become Chair of Governors when the opportunity presented itself in September 2017. James currently sits on the Personnel and Pay Review and the Finance, Buildings and H&S Committees, and is currently the subject link for P4C and Science.
James’ education includes degrees in Genetics and Environmental Science. James is now a company Director for an geo-environmental consultancy in Stoke Mandeville, carrying out ground investigations and remediation services for a range of clients, including small private developers, major oil companies, local authorities and supermarkets. The skills James’ work and life experience bring to the Governing Body include: project and performance management, strategic planning and data analysis.
Peter joined the Governing Board in November 2018 to contribute to the local community and help ensure its children continue to have a happy and safe learning environment. He developed his interest in learning and education through his twenty years working in textbook publishing and now course development at the Open University. Peter is the Safeguarding Governor and Chair of the Teaching and Learning committee.
Martin joined the Governing Board in January 2020. He has lived in Wendover for over 35 years and has two daughters both of whom attended John Hampden School. The eldest is a primary school teacher herself with a son at pre-school at their local infant school as Martin joins the Governing Body at John Hampden.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and with a postgraduate qualification in Management, he is now largely retired after a long career in Human Resources and Organisation Development having worked in management board roles with a number of blue-chip corporations and as a Consultant, Coach & Mentor in support of smaller and mid-sized businesses. His working experience started in HR roles in the NHS.
With that background, Martin brings strategic planning, communication and both team & organisation development skills to his role as a governor.
Toby joined the Governing Body in September 2020. He lives in Wendover and has one child who has now left the school. Toby spent most of the last 20 years working for himself helping companies sort out IT problems that usually had a bigger impact on people than they did on technology. Before that he lived in many European cities and a couple in the USA, all of which has helped make him acutely aware of how different cultures can see the same problem very differently. Toby joined the Governors with the aim of helping the school maintain a great learning environment for our children.
Ann joined the Governing Body in September 2020. Originally from Canada, she has lived in Wendover for 7 years with her husband, Paul, and little boy, George, who attends the school.
Ann’s educational background includes Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education Degrees. She is a qualified teacher in both Canada and the UK and has been teaching for 14 years. Ann is currently a Deputy Headteacher and Early Years Phase Leader at a local primary school.
Ann joined the Governing Body to use her knowledge and skill set to support another school and to gain a different perspective.
Kirsten joined the John Hampden Governing Body in April 2021, having been a governor elsewhere previously, a few years ago. She and her husband have two daughters who joined the school in 2020, mid-pandemic. Kirsten’s background includes working with children since 1987 when she volunteered at a residential school for autistic children as part of her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. She has been a teacher since 1998, her training specialising in literacy and ages 3-8, and has since taught in a range of settings such as Early Years, large urban and small rural schools, Special Education Needs schools, as well as across England and in New Zealand. Her main passions are literacy and supporting children with special needs.
Alongside roles such as acting deputy Headteacher, literacy subject leader, Early Years Foundation Stage leader and staff governor, she was deployed by her local authority to provide outreach support to other schools and literacy leaders. She was subsequently invited to join the local authority School Improvement team permanently in 2007 as a Primary Teaching and Learning Adviser and has since been privileged to work with a vast range of settings, staff, families and agencies. This role has included coaching colleagues across around 400 primaries; training 60 literacy intervention specialist teachers to Masters level; working with DfE and Ofsted; and running many training courses, conferences and research projects, such as on subject leadership, early literacy, closing gaps in phonics and reading fluency.
The skills she brings to the Governing Body include: coaching, project management, communication, teamwork and a deep understanding of teaching and learning. She holds a BA (QTS) in English with Teaching (Primary) and an MA in Literacy Learning and Literacy Difficulties, and sits on both the full governing body and the Teaching and Learning Committee.
Rachel joined the Governing Body in October 2022 as a parent governor. She has lived in Wendover since 2017 and both her children have been at John Hampden, with the younger currently in Reception. She worked previously in the charity sector, and now works as a civil servant at the Ministry of Justice. As a governor, Rachel is on the Teaching and Learning Committee and is the nominated governor lead for History and Geography.
Melanie joined the Governing Body in January 2023 as a Parent Governor. She moved to Wendover in 2017 with her husband and, at present, is a stay at home mum to her daughter who is currently in Year 2 at the school.
Melanie is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and spent the majority of her career working in internal audit for a number of large, well known companies. Through her roles, Melanie was fortunate enough to travel within Europe and Asia and very much enjoyed the cultural nuances and challenges that this provided to her role. In her early career, Melanie spent four and a half years living and working in France and was able to continue to use her language skills in her later internal audit roles.
As a Governor, Melanie is on both the Teaching & Learning and the Personnel and Pay Review Committees.
Matt joined the governing body in March 2023 as the Local Education Authority Governor, having been a governor at an independent school previously. He has one grown-up daughter and has lived in this area of Buckinghamshire for roughly 20 years. His background includes the provision of logistical and other support functions, as well as recruitment, and infrastructure and HR management. He is a certified BSI auditor and currently heads-up a team that audits training establishments nationwide and which works with Ofsted during their inspections of those schools. Matt joined the governors with the aim of contributing to the local community and helping to improve the education of children.
The governing board of The John Hampden School Wendover is absolutely key to the effectiveness of the school. Governors have a term of office which lasts for four years. Governing board decisions are taken at a strategic level by governors who know our school well, see the wider picture and work in effective partnership with the school leadership team and all its stakeholders.
Its key functions are to:
- Set the school’s visions and strategic aims - agreeing plans and policies and making creative use of resources;
- Set the policies for achieving those aims;
- Set targets for achieving those aims;
- Monitor and evaluate the progress that the school is making towards achievement of its aims, objectives and targets;
- Be a source of support and challenge to the headteacher (i.e. a ‘critical friend’);
- Ensure that the school is accountable to the pupils and parents in the community it serves, to its local community and to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs.
The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework which is established by the governing board.
Statutory Duties of The Governing Board
Governors understand and meet their statutory duty to ensure that the school is financially stable .The clerk to the governors assists in ensuring that other statutory duties are met, meetings are well organised and governors receive the information they need in good time. Governors ensure that the procedures for safeguarding pupils and staff are robust and have regard for pupil and staff well-being.
Operating as an Effective Governing Board
The governing board of The John Hampden School Wendover has clear structures and processes in place to carry out its functions effectively. The different roles and responsibilities of the headteacher and the governors are clear and underpin the effectiveness of the governance of our school. Protocols, specific duties and terms of reference are made explicit in written documents. The governing board plans its work across the year ahead, dovetailing into the school annual cycles e.g. school improvement planning, budget setting, performance management and target setting. There is an open and trusting relationship between governors and the senior leadership of the school.
Governors take their individual responsibilities seriously by preparing well for and contributing to meetings with pertinent questions. There is a code of conduct that all governors sign up to. There is a clear induction procedure for new governors and individual governors continue to take their own training needs seriously. Our Strategic Leadership involves thinking ahead about succession planning, both for the school and for the governing board itself.
The Governing Board is always willing to listen to parental queries and to explain in more detail what the Governing Board does. They do realise, however, that it may not always be appropriate to speak to them at the school gate so please feel free to email the Chair of Governors, Ben Gattlin, Chair@johnhampdenwendover.co.uk if you would like to raise a matter for discussion. If you are interested in becoming a governor at the school please approach Mr Gattlin or Mrs Barnes who can provide further information.