Andy Mason – Parent Governor/Chair of Governors
Hi I’m Andy Mason new to the School Governors role but looking forward to contributing to the continued progression of the school.
I have two grandchildren at Castlechurch Primary Schools, both girls in years 2 and 3, but prior to this in the mid to late 90’s my own three children attended the school, so I have a long association with Castlechurch.
I work as a professional Civil Engineer and Project Manager working for Amey in partnership with Staffordshire County Council Strategic Highways. So I bring experience in leadership, budgetary control, staff management, programming and a good knowledge of working with partners and communications. I’m also a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassador often attending events to encourage children to actively follow these subjects in the national curriculum, and a qualified swimming coach having spent many years with Stafford Apex before moving on in 2009.
I hope that I can make a useful contribution to the school and its children and look forward to working with fellow governors, the Head Teacher and other members of staff.
Vicky Bowyer, Vice-Chair and Parent Governor
I have been a Governor since 2007 and Vice Chair of Governors since 2012.
I have one child at Castlechurch currently. I work in a secondary school in Stafford where I am an `Inclusion Unit Manager`. I have worked within the SEN, Inclusion and Pastoral department for the last 12 years and have vast experience of children with Special Needs.
My role as Governor is very varied and extremely involved. I am the link governor for SEN, Maths and Pupil Premium. I work closely with the lead teachers in all these areas and have built strong relationships where we meet regularly (especially since Ofsted) discussing pupil progress, interventions and relevant issues that are important to ensuring that all pupils are meeting appropriate targets.
I spend most Friday mornings at school where I am also available to meet with any parents if they have any concerns or queries that need to be addressed.
Chris Knight, Co-opted Governor
I have been a governor at Castlechurch since 2001 (when I was a parent governor) and have fulfilled the role of both chair and vice chair for many years. Since stepping down as chair in 2012 I have continued as a community governor in order to offer my experience and ongoing support to the school.
I work as a senior manager in the Health Service and therefore have a good understanding of the public sector in both Health and Education. I have experience in leadership, strategic planning, budget control and staff management and therefore hope I can add value to the school in my role as a governor.
Like all governors I attend the full governors meetings but am particularly active in the Business Group which meets regularly and deals with finance and staffing type issues. I also chair a number of ‘as and when’ meetings, where a governor external to the school (i.e. not a staff governor or parent governor) is helpful in terms of not being directly involved, such as the complaints committee.
Keith Luscombe, LEA Governor
I have a real passion and interest in education and for ensuring all children have the best possible foundations for their future. School for me is about learning, socialising, fun and getting ready for life. I currently have an older child in Year 2 and my youngest is due to start Reception in September.
Through my professional career largely within Staffordshire County Council I bring useful experience to add to the existing skills of the Governing Body, including project management, supporting and influencing the strategic thinking and direction of an organisation along with close working with partnership organisations, all of which involves clear communication skills and working with many different people with different interests to make joint informed decisions for the good of local people.
I took on my more recent role (just over 12 months ago) as Parent Governor and it really is a rewarding way to be more involved in the education of my children and indeed the education of all children at Castlechurch School, where I really do feel we have a great little community who will and do strive for the best for all of our children together. It's also a great opportunity to further understand and represent parents’ views and ensure these are central to the future direction of the school; the parent / school partnership being critical to the success of any school.
Along with the broader responsibilities Governors share I also jointly head up the Communications work on behalf of the Governing Body and support the Parents Forum.
Richard Clark, Co-opted Governor
I have been a governor for 11 years, having started when both of my daughters were at the school. My elder daughter is now at university and the youngest is in Year 12 at King Edward VI High School and also wants to continue into higher education. I have continued as a governor as I want all the children at Castlechurch School to be given the same opportunity that my children have had to reach their full potential.
All governors have different skills and experience with which to help the school. My background is in road safety and sustainable travel education, training and publicity. I presently work in Greater Manchester helping schools and colleges to provide facilities to encourage more students to cycle. Over the years my jobs have given me an opportunity to visit many primary and secondary schools and work with teachers. I hope that this has given me a broad insight into the education system and some of the issues faced by schools. I am proud that the walking bus that I helped set up is still going strong after over nine years with the continued support of parents. I am also particularly enthusiastic about the work done to enrich the curriculum and make it stimulating and interesting for children, by using the local environment wherever possible.
I enjoy working with staff in my role as link governor for English. The role of governor is never boring and I continue to learn something new every time I visit the school.
In my last job I occasionally I had to visit the school in my professional capacity as part of a team delivering Bikeability cyclist training. During this time I was always encouraged by the positive view held of the school by my colleagues and this makes me proud to be part of the school community where everyone is working hard together to achieve the best.
Sarah Forrest, Parent governor
I have been a governor for 5 years at Castlechurch. I have two children at the school and I joined to support the school and to ensure the teaching and learning environment in the school is the best it can be. I work in a local school office which has strengthened my knowledge and understanding of how schools operate.
My role as governor is varied. I am a member of the business committee and assist with a number of responsibilities such as setting the school budget and ensuring best value is achieved. I am also the sports governor, pupil premium governor and work closely with school council.
Being a governor enables us to make decisions which are in the best interests of the children. Fulfilling the role of a school governor is therefore both a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding.
Roy Illsley, Parent governor and Chair of Business Committee
I have been a Parent governor for the last 6 years and have been Chair of Business committee for four years.
I have two grandchildren at Castlechurch currently. I work as an Industry Analyst holding the position of Principal Analyst working on business strategy and data centre technologies with large clients globally. Until recently I was also a Foster Carer for Staffordshire County Council providing task-based foster care to children 0-8 years old.
My role as Governor is focused on a few key areas. I am the looked after children and safeguarding link governor, as well as being the IT link governor, both of which fit with my life and work experience. However, the bulk of my time is spent on the school’s financial position and working with the bursar to ensure the school’s budget is set and balanced every year and the school’s financial value statement (SFVS) documentation is maintained. As Chair of the Business committee I also get involved in staff wellbeing and general staffing matters.
James Wildman, Parent Governor
I am a journalist and communications professional with over 20 years’ experience.
I currently work as a Communications Officer for Stafford Borough Council where I assist in protecting and enhancing the reputation of the local authority, providing information for the community and other stakeholders. Up until last year I was Chief News Editor at the Shropshire Star where I oversaw production of the newspaper, website content and managed staff. Prior to that, I was based at the Express & Star. Working in communications revolves around building relationships based on trust and I have built up extensive contacts with key partners across a range of organisations. I also appreciate the need to handle sensitive information properly and the principle of confidentiality.
I have two boys at Castlechurch Primary School in Years 3 and 5. I joined the parents’ forum at the school when it was established and have seen first-hand how much progress the school has made.
As a parent governor I obviously have a vested interest in the future of the school but I have an interest in education in general and am familiar with ongoing developments in the education sector nationally. I put together the governors’ newsletter and will be looking closely at how the school communicates with parents.
Above all, I am a passionate believer in the principle that all children deserve a decent education in order to make the most of their lives.
Penny Gilbert, Parent Governor
As a parent of a year 5 child, I have been part of the school for several years and share a keen interest in how the school can continually strive to improve outcomes for our pupils.
I am currently working as an early year’s consultant for entrust supporting childcare settings and schools to raise the quality of early years provision and promote excellence in learning, the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, leadership, management and Governance. I have had a long childcare career and have been in my current role for 15 years.
Early years is my passion and I truly believe that if we give children the best start in life, they will become happy, healthy adults
I have many interests including cooking, walking and cycling. As a parent governor, I hope to be able to support Castlechurch to the best of my abilities and represent the views of our parents.
Richard Smith - Co-opted Governor
Previously a Design and Technology teacher specialising in resistant materials and Technical Drawing I am currently delivering lessons in ICT and Technology. I graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 1996 with a 1st Degree honours before starting my teaching career in Wolverhampton. After my first year of teaching I was promoted to Head of Technology. I was soon promoted to the leadership team where my main focus was the technological developments and virtual learning environments available to staff and students. I became the deputy headteacher at King Edward VI in 2011. I am passionate about school improvement and affording all the students in my care the best educational advantages they can get.