The St Lawrence local governing body is responsible for working with the Head of School, Executive Head and other school staff to promote high standards of educational achievement. The local governing body at St Lawrence is accountable to the Board of Trustees to The Howard Partnership Trust. The role of school governance is to:
ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent
Running the school day-to-day is the job of the Head of School and all the professional staff at school. The role of the local governing body is to make sure that everything is in place to make the school as successful as possible. We do this by setting the strategic direction for the school, agreeing the School Development Plan and then reviewing all aspects of school life (including achievement, teaching, learning, safeguarding, behaviour, leadership, staffing, premises and finance) to ensure that the school is on track to meet its objectives and is compliant with statutory requirements (for example having the right policies and processes in place).
Our role is to support the school in its ongoing success as well as to continue to challenge how things could be done better for the benefit of all the children at our school.
Governors meet at least once a term and the minutes of these meetings are available at the school. Parents are welcome to observe these meetings by prior arrangement with the Clerk to the Governors.
Are you interested in becoming a governor?
You don't need to have a child at school to become a school governor - enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are the most important qualities. We need people who would like to make a difference to our school and help us drive improvement through constantly raising standards of educational achievement. The role of a school governor is to bring the experience, life skills and ordinary commonsense of non-experts, to the expert task of running a school. There are 4 full governing body meetings per year and 2 or 3 governor committee meetings per term (no governor is required or expected to attend all committee meetings!). Any new governor also needs to have some time to dedicate to the role, a passion for improving children’s education and a desire to contribute to our school community.
The following people are members of our local governing body:
Chair of Governors, Parent Governor
I have been a Parent Governor since November 2012 and became Chair of Governors in January 2015. I have 3 young children who will all attend St Lawrence. I work as a Director at Hanover Communications, specialising in the provision of senior strategic communications advice, including public relations, issues management and media training.
In addition to chairing the meetings of the full governing body, I meet regularly with the Head and take a lead role in challenging our governing body to be as effective as possible, by taking every opportunity to network with other chairs and educational experts to seek out best practice and continually review how we do things at St Lawrence. Our key aim as a local governing body is to ensure that St Lawrence is a successful school that provides children with an excellent start to their education and supports their wellbeing in a safe environment. We have an important role in driving school improvement, not only by setting the strategic direction, but also by assuring that the school is completing the actions set out in the school development plan. The level of support and challenge we provide helps drive the momentum for positive change in our school. The governing body and the school's Senior Leadership Team have high expectations for every member of our learning community and our goal is for St Lawrence to be recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding school.
Vice Chair of Governors, Trust Appointed Governor
I joined St Lawrence as a Community Governor in July 2013 and became a Trust Appointed Governor when St Lawrence joined The Howard Partnership Trust. I am currently a full-time mum and engaged in home study. My background is in education and I continue to be interested in developments in education. My career roles included Deputy Head, Advanced Skills Teacher for Literacy and Special Educational Needs (S.E.N.) (Essex), classroom teacher for KS1 & 2 in mainstream and S.E.N. schools as well as a British Council / Fulbright Scholarship exchange teacher. As well as being Vice Chair of the Governing Body I am the Vice Chair of the Children and Learning committee and the nominated governor for Special Educational Needs.
I joined the governing body in February 2011 and am a member of the Resources committee. I have 2 daughters, one at St Lawrence and the other at The Howard. I have worked in retail throughout my career and have been Buying Director for two high street chains.
Dr Christine Harper
Trust Appointed Governor
I have been a member of the governing body since January 2009 and am Chair of the Children and Learning Committee. I have one child at St Lawrence and another two who have now moved on to The Howard. Although once a physicist, my career has followed an IT systems engineering path, most recently for the public sector.
Trust Appointed Governor
I joined the governing body in 2006 as a Parent Governor and currently chair the Resources Committee. My daughter Lauren attended St Lawrence before moving to secondary school and we live locally in Effingham. I have spent my career in finance and currently work for a large UK bank.
I am the Director of Primary Education for The Howard Partnership Trust and the Executive Head for St Lawrence and I'm also a practising Ofsted Inspector. Previously I was a Senior Consultant specialising in school improvement with the Local Authority and I started my career as a primary teacher. As Executive Head I am a member of the governing body and also both committees.
I have been a Parent Governor since March 2015 and currently sit on the Children and Learning committee. I have 4 young children who will all attend St Lawrence. I originally trained as a secondary maths teacher and have taught at the Howard of Effingham since September 2002. Since 2008, I have been part of the senior leadership team at the Howard leading on various areas in that time. Currently, I am Deputy Head, with my main role leading on student and school performance.
Head of School
I joined St Lawrence as Head of School in September 2014. Previously I was Deputy Head at Stanley Primary School in Teddington. As Head of School I am a member of the governing body and both committees.
Trust Appointed Governor