Blog from the Chair of Governors
Friday 20th July 2018
Introducing the school governors
It may seem that the school governing body is a mysterious group who live in the shadows. The reality is that we are mixed group of people from different backgrounds who share one common interest, ensuring that the school is being managed in a manner that ensures the best learning environment for our students.
As you’ll see from our bios below we are a mix of parents and ex-parents of Calthorpe Park students and so all have a vested interest in ensuring that we deliver the best experience for our children.
In future blogs we’ll be telling you more about the governing body and what we do.
1] Jonathan Phillips – Chair of Governors
Jonathan has been a governor at Calthorpe Park for nearly ten years joining when his son, now 22 attended the school and thought it would be interesting to gain insight into the world of secondary education. He works for himself supporting businesses undertaking key business change/IT activities.
He is currently Chair of Governors, meeting with the Head Teachers regularly as well as providing leadership to the governor group. Jonathan is very passionate about the school and tries to attend as many events as possible whilst leading a busy business and family life too.
2] Jeff Kelsey
Jeff is currently our longest serving governor, now in his 15th year at the school, and has no intention of stopping yet. Prior to moving to Fleet, he spent 5 years as a governor at a primary school in Yorkshire. Jeff has his own consultancy business providing support to the chemical industry on product health and environmental safety and regulatory toxicology.
Jeff is currently vice chair of governors having previously served as chair for 6 years. His current areas of responsibility are Safeguarding, Health and Safety and Data Protection.
3] Rachel O’Hara
Rachel has been a governor since the autumn term of 2016. She has three children who have all flourished at Calthorpe Park with the youngest now in year 11. Rachel works part time as a GP in Aldershot and brings some of her experience in mental health, child development and safeguarding to the governing body.
She was previously a governor at All Saints junior school which prepared her to some extent for being a governor of a secondary school, despite many substantial differences. Her area of responsibility is Special Educational Needs and Disability and she visits the school regularly to review this area.
4] Adrian Jones - Co-opted Governor
Adrian is a long-term resident of Fleet with 5 children who either still attend or have been educated at Calthorpe Park School. He is an Army Officer with wide experience of Strategic and Operational planning.
5] Martin Elburn
Martin decided to become a governor to gain a better understanding of the education system and more specifically, his children’s school, and was originally elected a Parent Governor in 2010. His three children all attended Calthorpe Park with the youngest leaving in 2014.
He has the responsibility of the Development & Training Governor. In this capacity, he ensures that Governors have undertaken relevant training, and the Governing Body as a whole has sufficient knowledge in relevant areas. As a qualified accountant, Martin has always sat on the Resources/Finance committee.
6] Karin Cox-Putker (Co-opted Governor)
Karin is Dutch but has lived in England for over 35 years. She is a solicitor and has two children who both attended Calthorpe Park. She became a governor as she was not familiar with the English school system and was keen to find out more about the environment her children were in.
Initially a governor at Velmead Junior School, which her children attended, Karin then joined the Calthorpe board of governors. Karin is proud to be a governor at Calthorpe and to contribute to its development as a growing, dynamic school whose focus is squarely and unwavering on their ethos to ensure that each student counts.
7] Paul Cleal
Paul is originally from Australia and is married with 3 daughters. He has worked for most of his career in Oil and Gas projects. Paul and his family relocated to Fleet in July 2015 and is currently working on the Chevron Tengizchevroil project in Kazakhstan.
8] Justine Whitworth
Justine has been a Parent Governor since 2016 and has 3 daughters at Calthorpe Park School in Years 7, 9, and 10. There was no specific reason Justine became a governor, just a renewed interest in the education system her children were a part of.
Justine finds it incredibly rewarding to be part of the school community and contributing towards the school’s strategic direction. Her areas of responsibility are Pupil Premium and Pastoral. These areas support many different sections in school, mainly to do with the personal development and welfare of all the Students. Her favourite part of being a Governor is visiting the school and speaking to the staff and students.
9] Chris Phillips
Chris has been a governor since 2016 and currently has a daughter who has just left year 11, a step daughter soon to be in year 9 and his youngest daughter joining year 7 in September. He is a Marketing Director for a software company based in London who create tools for education.
He wanted to learn more about the running of the school and the issues that impacted his and other children. Becoming a governor seemed the best way to do this and also a chance to give something back to the community. He’s proud to be a member of the governing body and to contribute where he can.
10] Karen Kite
Karen has been a co-opted governor at Calthorpe Park School for 2 years. Before joining she was a governor at Heatherside Junior School for 11 years. Karen has lived in Fleet since 1986 and all 3 of her sons attended Calthorpe Park.
Karen has always been a stay at home mum which enables her to spend her time volunteering, either at schools, church or more recently national athletic sporting events which she also loves to spectate at. She enjoys carrying out her strategic role within our Governing Body, as well all the times she meets with pupils and staff to celebrate the many successes.
Wednesday 1st November 2017
Back to school again
The first half term at Calthorpe Park has been and gone and the school is in full swing. Our Year 11s are getting ready for their GCSE mock exams and while they maybe aren’t looking forward to these, they are looking forward to the future. Our new Year 7s have got to grips with new buildings, new teachers and have been busy making new friends. For our teaching staff too, it is an extremely busy time, still adjusting to new faces, having new grading structures to learn are just some of the challenges they face.
For the governing body, back to school has meant getting back into the swing of meetings, sub committees and training, all of which go to ensure that we can fulfil our role to the best of our ability.
Last year was extremely busy for the governing body, but also interesting and exciting. We discussed and debated subjects ranging from school budgets to safeguarding along with wider topics relating to the future of the school such as academisation.
Part of the role of a governor is to visit the school and experience it in action. During the last academic year, the governors visited on many occasions to view and review classes, interview teachers and students and experience the school as it happens in daily life. Already in this new year governors have visited the school to learn more about how the school communicates progress to the students, get a greater understanding of how the school handles teaching students with special educational needs and disabilities, and have attended several open morning events.
Another area covered by the governing body is reviewing and agreeing the vast number of policies and statutory documents that the school must maintain and comply with. These policies and procedures cover every aspect of the running of the school and are hugely important to the running of the school. In this first half term alone we have eight policies to review and agree.
One of the key challenges facing the school this year is integrating and understanding the new grading structures that have come into effect. These structures are designed to provide a measure not only of attainment, but also of progress of both the students, and the school. This is a transitional year for grading with further changes being introduced next year. As you can imagine this has a huge impact on the school, students and their parents. Part of our role as governors is to ensure that we too understand these structures to make sure decisions made by the school are correct and are in the best interests of the students.
This next half term in the run up to Christmas will be as busy and challenging as the last for the governing body, staff and students alike. We will be meeting regularly as a team during the coming months and will also hopefully continue to meet with all members of the school community to get valuable feedback that helps us do the best we can for the future of the school.
Governor, Calthorpe Park School
8 February 2017
Hello, my name is Jonathan Phillips, I am Chair of Governing Body at CPS and I work with my fellow governors helping and supporting the vision and direction of CPS. We are a group of 16 people who come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, covering business, professional practices, education and other government sectors. We are all volunteers and give our time freely. But above all, we are passionate about delivering the best quality education to our students.
We meet formally about 10 times each year to consider the key strategic issues of the school and make important decisions impacting on its future. We each visit school on a regular basis too. Our key focus is on ensuring every individual student gets the best education that CPS can provide and therefore ensure each can maximise their own potential.
As many of you will know, education is a regular topic in politics and sometimes can feel the victim of a political football played out in Westminster. As a consequence the Governors, the Head Teachers and all the staff are regularly faced with a changing educational landscape. Many of you will be seeing the changes in GCSE grading and standards and are probably trying to get your head around what all this means for your own children. It can be a real challenge.
Our role as the Governing Body is primarily around three key areas, these are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the Headteachers to account for the educational performance of the school and its students, and the performance management of staff.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
One of our ambitions this academic year is to reach out more often to parents, who make a valuable contribution to the success of the school. This is the first of a number of ‘blogs’, plus we would like to canvass your opinion on a few things so please look out for this over the coming months.
We will communicate on a number of important issues facing the school, such as possible Academy status, the future of the Sports Centre on the site, growth in student numbers as we start to fill the great new spaces we have following the extension, and many more.
We are also very happy to receive any feedback you may have that you feel the governing body members should hear, but please not individual child issues as these are the responsibility of the school management – please feel free to reply to the email address below or drop a note into reception – addressed to the Governing Body.
Chair of Governors