The Governing Body
Who is the governing body?
There are 13 individuals who make up the governing body, including one member of staff, who is appointed by the staff, currently Jane Raymont, and Mrs Anderson the headteacher. Our clerk is Mr Andrew Welsh and our Chair of Governors is Rachel Hartley. We have two parent governors, who are parents of children at the school at the time of their appointment and who are elected by parents. The remaining members are co-opted governors, who have been appointed by the governing body. At present, they have all been or still are parents of children at the school, although this is not a requirement.
Currently, in addition to the governors mentioned above, we have Tracey D’Alessandro Rixon and Helen Fogerty (parent governors), Paula Burlison, Lucy-Ann Kirkham, Richard Chambers, Emma Tanner, Alison Port, Tom Garland and Claire Nelson-Boden. Tom Garland and Alison Port are the joint Vice-Chairs of the governing body. Information about all the governors, and photographs of us all, can be found below.
We recruit when vacancies arise, according to the skills we require in order to carry out our roles effectively. It is a really rewarding and challenging role. Governors are appointed for a four-year term. We are all volunteers.
What does the governing body do?
As an academy within Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust, our local governing body has been delegated certain powers by the Trust to work with Mrs Anderson and her staff team to ensure the success of the school. We report to the Board of Directors of the Trust.
The job of the governing body is to make sure all pupils in the school achieve high standards by:
- Ensuring clarity of the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and the performance management of its staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The role of the governing body is best described as a critical friend; providing support and challenge. Unlike Mrs Anderson and her team, who are in school with your children every day, the role of the governors is much more about thinking and questioning. We do however all visit school regularly, to make sure we know the school and also to monitor how the school is performing against the strategic targets we have set. The Chair usually meets with Mrs Anderson every week. The governing body meets as a whole every half term and there are also committee meetings looking at resources (for example, equipment, staffing, finance) and teaching and learning (the curriculum and the progress of the children). We have to read quite a lot of paperwork – both about the school and also to keep up to date with what is happening more generally in education across the country. We act in the interests of all children at the school and always in strictest confidence.
The governing body is separate from the PTA, and is not responsible for fundraising for the school. However, we do have close links with the PTA and liaise regularly with the Chair of the PTA.
The role of a governor is really interesting and provides a rewarding challenge. If you are interested in becoming a governor, have any questions, or would like to find out a little bit more about who we are and what we do, please get in touch via the office, and one of the governors will contact you.
Our Chair of Governors sends out a letter to all parents each term. A copy of this years academic letters are below.
To read the schools vision and strategy please click the following link. Vision and Strategy
Our Scheme of Delegation can be found by following this link. Scheme of Delegation 1 August 2016
Chair & Co-opted Governor
I was co-opted as a governor in June 2015 and, having served as joint vice-chair for a year, I was appointed as Chair of Governors in September 2016. This is a challenging but exciting role and I really enjoy working to help our wonderful school go from strength to strength. I am also lucky to have a fantastic team of staff and governors to work with. Oatlands Infant School is a really special place and we are all passionate about providing our children with the very best start on their learning journey. The Chair of Governors acts as a “critical friend” to the Headteacher and as such I work closely with Mrs Anderson, the governors and staff, dealing with strategy, finances and the attainment and progress of pupils. Staff, parents and carers are also an important part of the picture, and through our Staff and Parent Forums and surveys the governors seek and listen to their views.
Outside of school, I am currently a stay at home mum, with 2 children, one of whom is in Year 4. My eldest is currently studying for his A levels. In my previous life, I was a lawyer in the City, acting for large multinational corporations on various contentious matters. I love reading, playing tennis and running and spend much of my free time trying to train a wilful Labrador called Poppy.
I have been a governor at the school since 2008 and I chair the resources committee, where we discuss finance, premises and personnel issues. In this role I work closely with Mr Gill, the school business manager. Also, I am the governor representative on the Eco Committee, which I am enjoying being involved in with Mrs Barker. I am married with two children. I first became a governor when they were at Oatlands Infant School, but they are both now at high school.
My children have attended (and loved) Oatlands Infant School between 2008 and 2015, and I became a governor in 2010. It has been fascinating to work as part of a school of this calibre. Having spent 18 years working life as a lawyer, it has been a privilege to work within the Governing Body to help develop and implement the school’s long and short term plans for teaching and growth. We have a wonderful and very talented and committed Teaching staff, to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. In addition to full time working, parenting, and being a general taxi service, I enjoy singing in my church choir, dog walking, and I am a volunteer for the Compassion Child Sponsorship program.
I have been a governor for just over a year now and I also sit on the resources committee. I am a qualified accountant with over 25 years’ experience in industry. Being a governor has given me the opportunity to be part of something which is not totally commercially driven. I have 3 grown up children, 1 little one (who has just left Oatlands Infant School to go to the Junior School) and 1 grandson who goes to school in Knaresborough. I spend a lot of my spare time with them and we are all football fans with season tickets at Leeds United!
Picture to follow.
I joined the Governing board in July 2017, and I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee with responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Safeguarding. My eldest son left the school in July 2017 and my youngest son will hopefully attend from September 2018, so I was keen to remain close to the school and support them to give other children the great start in education my eldest son has had. In my working life I am a Buyer for a Transport company in Leeds, and in my spare time I like to relax and socialise with friends and family.
Alison Port – Joint Vice Chair
I became a governor in 2017 and have taken on responsibility for Data and Assessment. Both my children came to Oatlands Infant school and I am a strong advocate for the school, its ethos and achievements. I originally trained as an accountant and now work as Director of Strategy at a Building Society. I am looking forward to putting my Strategy skills to good use to help the School remain a great place for children to start their educational journey.
Tom Garland – Joint Vice Chair
Picture to follow.
I work as an Occupational Psychologist for a small local consultancy based near the school. This is great as it means I get the chance to do a number of the drop offs and pick ups for my daughter who has just started in Reception class this year. My wife and I have another younger daughter and live in the local area. Both of us have moved to Harrogate from different parts of the Country but feel this is very much our ‘home’ now.
Picture to follow.
Picture to follow.
I have a daughter, Olivia, currently in Year 1 (plus two other children: one at OJS and one at the Grammar). In my working life, I was manager of an international membership organisation which ran various educational schemes e.g. Diplomas and accreditation schemes and also held various conferences worldwide. Formerly as part of the pre-school committee I have assisted in grant applications and finances as well as day to day issues.
See staff pages for picture and information on Mrs Anderson.
See staff pages for picture and information on Miss Raymont.
Please see below for a list of the LGB Meetings at Oatlands Infant School.
Register of Business Interests, Term of Office and Governance Structure
Please click on the document below for details.