Welcome to the Governors’ section of the Layston Church of England First School website. Here we would like to welcome you and tell you a little more about the role of Governors, the kind of people we are and how we support the Headteacher and the school community.
The Role of the Governing Body
As Governors we are responsible for the strategic vision of the school and for supporting the Headteacher and her staff in achieving that vision. We are responsible for setting policy, agreeing and monitoring the school development plan and setting and managing the school’s budget; all in the interest of raising standards of achievement for every pupil. In addition, Governors do a wide variety of other things, either through formal committee activity or through personal involvement with the day-to-day life of the school The role of our Governing Body is not to manage the school on a day-to-day basis; that is the role of the Headteacher, Mrs McMurrough, along with the staff team. Layston Church of England First School is a supportive, caring and successful school and it is our role and responsibility as a Governing Body to support the school and help to maintain and grow this success.
Governing Body Meetings
Our Full Governing Body (FGB) meets seven times each year. At our meetings a wide range of topics are discussed including a Head Teacher’s report, feedback on teaching and learning and the approval of policies to support the effective running of the school. We alternate the focus of our meetings between ‘Finance & Resources’ and ‘Curriculum & Standards’ so equal scrutiny can be applied to these important areas throughout the year. Each of our governors has a primary interest in one of these areas and we come together in aligned working parties outside the FGB meetings when required.
In addition to committee membership, many governors have additional responsibilities for specific school subjects or areas, for example Child Protection, Safeguarding or Data Protection.
Our Governing Body consists of up to 14 governors including the Head Teacher and Staff Governor. We can also appoint a number of Associate Governors who have no formal role but are typically former governors who can no longer commit the necessary time to be a full governor but still wish to support the school.
Currently there are 10 governors. There are several different types of governor; this is determined by how you became a governor rather than the type of responsibility you have. All governors have the same status.
- Parent governors are parents or carers of children enrolled at the school at the time of their appointment. We have up to 5 elected parent governors (currently 4). Should their child/ren leave Layston School during their term of office, they may continue on the Governing Body until the end of their four year term.
- Foundation governors reflect our status as a church school. They have a duty to preserve and develop the Christian character of the school and to ensure that the work of the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed. We have 3 foundation governors, one appointed by the Diocese of St Albans, one by St Peter’s PCC and one ex officio as the current vicar of Buntingford.
- Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority in order to maintain liaison with the authority and maintained schools in the area. Our LA governor post is currently vacant.
- Staff governors are dictated by the Instrument of Government which limits the number of elected Staff Governors to one.
- Co-opted governors are individuals from the community who have the skills and experience which the board requires and are appointed by the board. We currently have 1 co-opted governor and can have up to 3.
The role of Governor is a voluntary position and we are fortunate to have volunteers with a wide range of professional and personal experience. Our governors are:
CHAIR: Colin Wilson – Foundation governor
Term of Office – Jan 2020 – Jan 2024
I moved to Buntingford in February 2019 to be nearer my children in advance of my retirement from the Civil Service. I am an actuary by training and have served a term as President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. I attend St Mary’s Church, Westmill. Before becoming Chair in May 2022 I was the lead governor for Finance and Resources.
VICE-CHAIR: Catherine Morris – Parent governor
Term of Office – November 2021 – November 2025
Hello, my name is Cat Morris and I’m mum to three attending Layston School. I have 15+ years’ experience delivering service, application management and technology change in the financial sector.
Learning agility is key in all walks of life; being able to think critically, have self-awareness to help us handle tough situations, accept uncertainty and a desire and determination to push forwards. For our children learning agility gives us the opportunity to empower our children on their learning journey and promote a growth mindset. I’m passionate about the culture of learning and our Buntingford community and bringing my experience to the Governing Body at Layston School.
Emma Hampton – Parent governor
Term of Office – October 2019 – October 2023
I have lived in Buntingford since 2011 and have two children, one of whom is still at Layston. I am a Parent Governor with special focus on Curriculum and Standards and am the Safeguarding and SEND lead governor. I am also the training lead. I have spent my career working for Hertfordshire Children’s Services working with children, young people and their families. This includes working within Social Care and The Youth Offending Team. I believe that the skills I have are useful in supporting the school and in ensuring that the children are at the centre of everything we do.
Samantha Woolford – Staff governor
Term of Office: November 2020 – November 2024
I joined Layston in 2016 as a SEN TA and then moved on to admin assistant in the school office. I have two young girls and lead a busy life juggling my responsibilities as a working parent. However, I am super organised and enjoy being busy. I love the interactions I have with parents and pupils and my favourite part of the job is figuring out ways to help them. My responsibilities on the governing body include Curriculum & Standards.
Rebecca Madin – Parent governor
Term of Office – September 2021 – September 2025
I moved to Buntingford from Ware in 2015 with my partner and eldest child, because it looked like a lovely town with a great community feel to bring up our young family, and we were not disappointed! My two children are currently at Layston.
I have a professional background in Project Management and Operations and I am currently Head of Operational Governance at a Technology Services firm, so bring with me strong organisational skills, experience in establishing robust frameworks, processes, and process improvements which I hope I will be able to use to support the team at Layston.
Bryan Mason – Co-opted governor
Term of Office – October 2022 – October 2026
I have worked in Secondary Schools for thirty six years, twenty of them as a member of a school leadership team. I am now semi-retired and hope to be able to use some of my experience in the role of School Governor. I see the role of Governor as someone who can support the school in developing a vision and a strategy to achieve that vision. By working closely with the school a Governor can become a critical friend in scrutinising educational outcomes whilst ensuring that money is spent wisely and prudently.
Bernadette Owen – Foundation governor
Term of Office – October 2022 – October 2026
I have spent 30 years as a teacher. As part of the Senior Management Team in my last school I helped to achieve an Outstanding grade from Ofsted. My classroom years allow me to empathize with teachers knowing how challenging but rewarding the work is. Most of my teaching life was in faith schools and I value the Christian ethos which underpins the curriculum.
Camilla Arecco – Parent governor
Term of Office – November 2022 – November 2026
I moved to Buntingford in 2018 with my family and I have three children attending Layston School. We have settled well and enjoy interacting within the community and the services that it provides, from exploring new reading opportunities in the library, practising ballet and joining Beavers on Saturdays.
As the daughter of a teacher, I am extremely keen to be part of the learning journey of my children. The position of parent governor allows an even more hands on and direct input into Layston First School. In terms of my skills and background, I have more than 20 years’ experience in Pharma in Finance and transformational digital programs and I’m passionate about putting these skills at the service of the school.
Adele McMurrough – ex officio, Head Teacher
Kirsty Wainwright – ex officio, Vicar
Michelle Sleath – Associate (former LEA governor)
Margaret Lawrence – Associate (former Foundation governor)
Elizabeth Salter – Associate (former Parent governor)