Welcome from the Governing Body of Smeeth Community Primary School.
The role of the governing body is a strategic one. Its key functions are to:
- set the aims and objectives for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher
The roles and responsibilities of School Governors are broad-reaching and an overview can be found on the link below:
Governing Body Meetings Attendance Register
The Smeeth Governing Body meets once a term. Training for governors is generally attached to a meeting or can sometimes be a whole day of training, although dates are always given well in advance. All governors receive full induction training into the role along with a governor mentor/buddy to support them within the role.
To find out the role of a governor, please see the attached document at the bottom of this page.
The Smeeth Governing Body is a dedicated, enthusiastic and positive group of volunteers who work hard to fulfil their role. We strive to stimulate, support, develop and safeguard the children in our care, managing the school finances, driving development and improvement, monitoring progress and supporting and challenging the staff in their work of delivering “Small School, Big Dreams”.
The Governing Body of Smeeth Community Primary School is comprised of 8 members:
- 2 Parent Governors - elected by parents
- 1 Local Authority Governor - nominated by the Local Authority and appointed by the Governing Body
- 1 Staff Governor - elected by the School Staff
- The Head Teacher - an ex officio Governor
- 1 Co-opted Governor - appointed by the Governing Body
- 2 Foundation Governors.
Our current Governing Body is made up as follows:
L.A. Governors appointed by Kent Education Committee
Linda Dodds (Appointed November 2019)
Responsibilities - Resources Committee, Quality of Education Lead & Head Teacher Performance Management
I have lived in Brabourne Lees for over 30 years. Our children grew up in the village and benefitted hugely from their time at Smeeth School in the 1990's. I was a member of the PTA and still see friends I made at the school gate, some of whose grandchildren now attend Smeeth School!
In 2017 I retired from my career as a pharmacist, having worked primarily across the NHS in the South East to develop pharmacy services but also as a lecturer and researcher at Medway School of Pharmacy. My experience as an educator, albeit to postgraduates, has convinced me that a child's life chances are very much bound up in what happens at their primary school. If a child cannot read fluently, and understand what they are reading, life will be very hard at secondary school and beyond, and they may soon give up to struggle to learn. However, life skills are just as important and can be nurtured in a supportive primary school environment, enabling a child to move confidently from a small school to a much larger one and thrive.
When I first retired I volunteered to listen to readers in Eagle Class, which I enjoyed very much! Now I hope that taking on the role of a School Governor will allow me to make a greater contribution to support the staff and children at this vibrant school.
Chair of Governors - Mr James Dearden (Appointed January 2018)
Responsibilities - Resources Committee & Head Teacher Performance Management
I have been a Governor at Smeeth Primary School for close to 7 years, starting out as a Parent Governor and now as Chair of Governors. I joined the governing body when my daughters were at Smeeth because I wanted to be involved in their education and to help support the school. My daughters have both moved onto secondary education but having found the experience of being a governor enormously rewarding I am keen to continue.
My professional career of over 20 years has been as a technology consultant working with large organisations to deliver business and technology change; This involves project management, financial control, stakeholder management and the definition of technology and corporate strategy. On a more practical level this means reviewing data, making decisions, resolving conflict, and communicating complex issues in a clear and concise manner on a daily basis.
I very much enjoy being a Governor and have used my professional skills to support the school and ensure that it has a long-term vision which meets the needs of the children, staff, and the local community. I live in Ashford but have many friends in the village and enjoy spending my time there.
Mr Graham Bush (Appointed September 2021)
Responsibilities - Health & Safety
I have lived in Smeeth for 17 years and have heard many good things about the school. I was previously a senior officer in the London Fire Brigade and a Fire Safety Consultant. I have two grandchildren of primary school age who go to a very good school. The improvement in their confidence, vocabulary and sporting achievement is self-evident. A rounded education at an early age is so important.
I was approached to consider becoming a Governor, so I visited the school and met the Chair of Governors and the Head Teacher who gave me a full tour and encouraged me to consider the role. I was very impressed with the school, its facilities and the staff I met. I have spent many years sitting on committees and attending meetings on various issues. I also have a practical approach to the enforcement of health and safety and fire safety. I hope I can be useful!
Mr Tristan Hardiman (Appointed May 2022)
Responsibilities - Safeguarding, Child Protection Officer & Resources Committee
My name is Tristan Hardiman, I am a Parent Governor and I live in Brabourne Lees and have done so for over ten years. I have two children who both attend the school. I have worked in the criminal justice system since 2000 in Surrey, Sussex, South London and most recently Kent. In 2011 I specialised in the area of public protection, focusing on child protection and working in partnership with Social Services, Health and Education. I believe that all children deserve to grow up and thrive in every area of their lives. As parents, carers and professionals, we have a responsibility to do all we can to make their welfare and development our paramount concern. This is the reason that I was motivated to join the team of governors at the school.
Ms Jennifer Payne - Head Teacher (Appointed April 2019)
Responsibilities - Resources Committee
Miss Kate Gourlay - Assistant Head Teacher (Appointed March 2023)
Responsibilities - Staff Governor
Ms Alex Senior (Appointed September 2023)
I am thrilled to be a parent governor for Smeeth School. I have one daughter at Smeeth and another who has been through Smeeth and is now at Senior School. I have always been keen to take an active role in my children’s education and I look forward to working with the governors at the school.
I currently work in Early Years and have just embarked on a new course to gain my Early Years Teacher Status. Early Years is my passion and striving to ensure children have the best and brightest start to their education is paramount. I am also lucky enough to work for Kent County Council as a celebratory officer, meaning I register and conduct wedding ceremonies across Kent at licensed venues. This job has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience and is something I thoroughly enjoy.
With my passion for early years and importance of education, I hope I am able to make valid and valuable contributions to the governing body and I am thoroughly looking forward to the role.
Ms Faye Bennett (Appointed September 2023)
Vice Chair - Mrs Sam Hunt (Appointed June 2019)
Responsibilities - SEND
Clerk to the Governors
Nicki Cox (Appointed September 2022)
Register of Business Interests
Please see attached table for business interests, terms of office, roles and responsibilities;
Policies and Procedures
In order to ensure the School operates efficiently and to comply with legal obligations, a number of policies and procedures have been put in place. The impact of these policies is monitored and they are reviewed regularly.
The Policies currently in place are:
Pay and Rewards Policy
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
Looked After Children Policy
Leave of Absence (Staff) Policy
Behaviour Management Policy
Managing Sickness Absence Policy
School Medication Policy
Accidents and Illness Procedures Policy
Capability Procedure and Physical Intervention Policy
Staff Disciplinary Code Policy
Grievance Procedure Policy
Sex and Relationships Education Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Charging and Remissions Policy
FoI and Data Protection Policy
Some Policies are available to view on the School website (as required by law). Requests to view copies of other Policies will be given consideration.
Minutes of the Governor Meetings can be requested through an email request to the headteacher.
All of our Governors attend Full Governing Body meetings which take place seven times a year. In addition to this Governors have a link to individual classes and subject or project development.
Some of our Governors have specific responsibilities for statutory duties such as Safeguarding, SEND and Health and Safety.
If you are interested in becoming a School Governor, please speak to one of the exising Governors or get in contact with the School.