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 5 times each year.  At our meetings a wide range of topics are discussed including a Head Teacher’s report, reports from sub-committees and the approval of policies to support the effective running of the school.

More detailed discussions are held in sub committees which report back to the Full Governing Body.  We have 2 additional committees; the Finance and Resources Committee and the School Improvement Committee.  We hold a minimum of 3 of these each year and all our Governors are a member of at least one of these committees. 

In addition to committee membership many governors have additional responsibilities for specific school topics or activities, for example Child Protection, Safeguarding or Data Protection

Our 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.

Our Governing Body consists of 11 governors including the Head Teacher and Staff Governor. 

  • Parent governors are parents or carers of children enrolled at the school at the time of their appointment. We have 5 parent governors. 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.
  • Foundations governors are appointed by the Diocese of St Albans and, 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.
  • Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority in order to maintain liaison with the authority and maintained schools in the area. We have 1 LA governor.
  • Staff governors are dictated by the Instrument of Government which limits the number of elected Staff Governors to one. 

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:

Maggie McGarry
Parent Governor
Term of office – November 2018 – November 2022
I moved back to Buntingford in 2015 having originally grown up in the town and lived here until I left to attend University.  The primary reason for returning was so my son could attend the great schools we are so lucky to have.  I have spent my career working in Human Resources which has given me transferable skills which are I believe are useful to support the school, in particular coaching and organisation development.  I am the current Chair of Governors, I sit on our Finance and Resources Committee and our School Improvement Committee and I have additional responsibility for Staff Pay and Performance, Head’s Performance Management and Exclusions.

Catherine Tallis
Local Authority Governor
Term of office – 2013-Present
I have been a Governor at Layston for the last seven years and have enjoyed combining my professional expertise and experience with my passion for the incredible local community Layston serves.  In my professional capacity I am the Director of Business Services at Herts for Learning overseeing Governance, Financial Services, HR Services, Business Management Services, Technology in Schools and Data Management Services. Prior to my role at Herts for Learning I worked with the County Council leading a range of educational transformation projects. Personally, I live locally, and both my children have attended the school.   I am the current Vice Chair of Governors, I sit on our School Improvement Committee and I have additional responsibility for Staff Pay and Performance, Head’s Performance Management and Exclusions.

Emma Hampton
Parent Governor
Term of office – October 2019 – October 2023
I have lived in Buntingford since 2011 and have two children at Layston. I am a Parent Governor and am part of the School Improvement Committee.  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. 

Margaret Lawrence
Foundation Governor
Term of Office – February 2016 – February 2024
I moved to Buntingford in 2015 from North London. I became a Diocesan Foundation Governor in February 2016, when my term ended in Feb 2020 it was renewed for another four years. 
I am a retired teacher.  I taught Biology in a Girl’s Independent School at secondary level and was also responsible for curriculum and delivery of PHSE throughout the school. 
As a governor I am a member of the School Improvement Committee and have added responsibility for SEND, mental health, PHSRE and Exclusions.
I am an active member of St. Peter’s Church.

Mary Powell
Staff Governor
Term of office – October 2016- October 2020
I have lived in Buntingford since 1984. My four children have been through the 3 tier school system here, all attended Layston and my youngest has just left Freman College. I joined the school office in September 2008 to help with the collection and banking of money coming into the school and have since been trained to look after the monthly accounts. 3 years ago, I was promoted to School Business Officer. Since my strengths lie in finance I sit on the Finance and Resources Committee. 

Liz Salter
Parent Governor
Term of Office – May 2018 – May 2022
I have lived in Buntingford since 2002 and have seen it grow over the years yet still retain a tight community vibe.  In 2017, I became involved in supporting Layston School initially as a member of FOLS and then also as a parent governor on the Finance and Resources Committee.  My working background is in Human Resources and I’m a member of a local church where I assist in running the Sunday School.  I have worked within various sectors of child services, giving me additional insight and experience in safeguarding and health & wellbeing, which support the core values of looking after our children at Layston which I believe are key to our children’s happiness at school.

Colin Wilson
Foundation Governor
Term of Office – Jan 2020 – Jan 2024
I moved to Buntingford in February 2019 to be nearer my children in anticipation of my retirement from the Civil Service, where I currently work 3 days a week. 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, and as a governor I am a member of the Finance and Resources Committee.

Michelle Sleath
Parent Governor
Term of Office – March 2018 – March 2022
I have been a Governor at Layston for the last three years and have been committed to working with the school to ensure we are providing a lifelong education for our children.  I am a parent of two children who have been fortunate enough to attend Layston First School and who have moved on successfully to Middle School.  The role of governor has enabled me to combine my experience in a number of fields.  Having been a teacher for 15 years, I also have qualifications in special educational needs and have been an advisor in this field.  More recently, I united my educational experience with my accountancy qualification whilst serving as Head of Business Services for Herts for Learning.  I am currently serving as the chair of the Finance and Resources committee, as well as the School Improvement Committee.

Kelly McKean
Parent Governor
Term of Office – November 2019 – November 2023

Ian Hill
Foundation Governor
Ex Officio

Please see this table for more information about our Governors, including Committees, Meeting attendance, Declaration of Business Interest and Governance Roles in Other Schools.