Meetings - 2020/2021

Full governors meetings are usually held at 6pm in the Sixth Form Area.

Summer Term 2021
Tuesday  18th May Governors Budget Meeting - 8am
Monday 5th July Full Governors Meeting


We currently have a number of Parent Governor vacancies. If you are interested in becoming a Parent Governor please contact:

Name: Marc Lewis

Attendance At Meetings

Under the Education Act, the Department for Education require all schools to publish details of Governor attendance at Governor meetings on their websites. All Governors have a statutory requirement to attend Full Governing Body meetings. However, there are situations where emergency work and family demands can take precedence.

Our data can be seen here:

Governors Attendance 2020/21

Governors Attendance 2019/20

Register Of Interests

Please find below our governors Register of Interests:

Name Pecuniary Interests
Federico Baglioni  
Susan Ebanyat  
Elizabeth Fergus No return
Susan Hannigan  
Naomi Hart No return
Sarah Henderson  
Marc Lewis No return
Lucy Miles No return
Adam Nichols No return
Derin Ovonlen  
Duncan Painter No return
Annabel Roberts  
Julia Sonander  
Michele Wilson No return
Chris Wood No return

What is a Governor?

The Governors are a group of people who form part of the leadership of the school. Although not employed or based at the school, Governors play a key role in the monitoring, development and management of the school. Governors get involved in all aspects of school life – such as:

  • Finance
  • Recruitment
  • The curriculum
  • Pastoral matters
  • The school buildings and facilities

Governors receive special training to ensure that they can be effective in their role. Governors are known collectively as “The Governing Body” of the school. There are people representing different groups such as parents, teachers and members of the local community.

There can be between 9 and 21 Governors, at least a third of who must be parents of children at the school at the time they are appointed. There must also be at least 2 staff governors, including the Headteacher. Governors are normally elected or appointed for a period of 4 years, although Governing Bodies can set a shorter term of office for one or more categories of Governor.

What Governors Do?

The purpose of having a Governing Body is:

  • Strategic - to help the school to set high standards by planning for the school's future and setting targets for school improvement;
  • to support and challenge the school in maintaining focus on school improvement;
  • to be a critical friend to the school, offering the school its support and advice;
  • accountable - to help the school to be responsive to the needs of parents and the community and ensure the school is accountable to the public for what it does;
  • to work with the school on planning, developing and maintaining policies;
  • to exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the Headteacher and staff;
  • not to intervene in the day-to-day management of the school, unless there are weaknesses in the school, when they then have a duty to take action.

Types Of Governor

There are actually 6 different types of Governor at The Highfield School! Which type you are is determined by how you became a Governor. Once you become a Governor, though, it makes no difference what “type” you are – how you got there. All Governors are the same, have the same rights and role, except that staff and teacher Governors and students who are Associate Governors do not sit on the Discipline Committee. There are also some restrictions on personnel issues.

The types of Governor that we have at The Highfield School are:


Normally a parent/carer with a child at the school. Elected by the parents of children at the school. Once elected as a parent governor you may complete your term of office even if your child is no longer at the school.

Local Education Authority (LEA):

Appointed by Hertfordshire County Council. To be an LEA Governor you do not have to be a member of the council, or have any connection with a political party. The LEA has a list of people from the local community with an interest in education – essentially a list of people who have expressed an interest in becoming a Governor, but not for any specific school.


All teachers and non-teaching staff at a school are eligible for election as Staff Governors by fellow members of staff. Staff Governors contribute particular professional expertise and can make sure that all governors are aware of the views of teachers in the school. Staff Governors have a 2 year term.


Someone invited to join the Governing Body by existing governors. Generally, a member of the local community with business, financial or legal knowledge and skills that will be very useful to Governors.


Appointed by the Governing Body in recognition of substantial services or financial assistance given to the school.


Appointed to a committee to provide a particular expertise. Not a full Governor as such, but still able to attend Governing Body meetings and contribute on any decision that does not concern admissions, pupil discipline, the election or appointment of Governors or the school’s budget and finances. Pupils under 18 can be associate members.

Co-operative Trust (Foundation):

Co-Operative Trust Governors are appointed by the Co-Operative Trust Board to represent the interests of the Trust on the Governing Body of each school participating in the Co-Operative Trust. Their primary aim is to ensure that the Trust's goals and the Co-operative values are taken account of by the Governing Body and the school.


The governing body represents sections of the community which have an interest in the well-being and development of the school. The governors who serve The Highfield School are listed below.

The Governing Body

Acting Chair:
Marc Lewis

Acting Vice Chair:
Adam Nichols

Clerk to Governors:
Susan Hannigan

Parent Governors (Elected):

Naomi Hart - 2020 - 2024

Sarah Henderson - 2021 - 2025
Sarah has lived in Letchworth with her family for 20 years. She has three children; one at University, one child in Year 13 at Hitchin Boys School and one child in Year 9 at Highfield. As a governor Sarah wants to ensure all children are given all the opportunities they can at school and that they are treated fairly and with compassion. Sarah has worked in various businesses in Milton Keynes, London and Letchworth and has worked in Purchasing most of her career. Sarah still works part-time and also volunteers as a gardener for the local hospice.

Adam Nichols - 2018 - 2022
Adam is the Founder and CEO of Schole, a chain of 11 schools in Kenya and Uganda which blend UK educational best practice with traditional African approaches. Previously he spent 8 years as CEO of youth leadership charity Changemakers where he helped to deliver citizenship and enterprise education programmes to hundreds of schools across the country. Adam founded one of the UK’s first free schools, served as a council member of the General Teaching Council of England and advised Prime Ministers Brown and Cameron on education and youth policy. He sits on conduct and capability panels for the government’s Teaching Regulation Agency, which regulates the teaching profession in England. Adam’s daughter is in Year 8 at The Highfield School.

Duncan Painter - 2018 - 2022
Duncan has two children who attend The Highfield School. He has worked in corporate organisations throughout his career across legal, commercial and leadership roles. As a governor Duncan is focussed on making sure the school is a safe, friendly and successful place for young Letchworth people to get the best education they can; to their personal abilities and without bias or prejudice.

Annabel Roberts - 2021 - 2025

Julia Sonander - 2021 - 2025
Julia has two children at The Highfield School. The career experience she brings to the role is in the areas of risk, safety and performance management. As a governor, Julia is interested in how the school provides a safe, nurturing environment and how it delivers a curriculum that allows all children to reach their potential. Julia has run, and volunteered on a number of community projects to tackle climate change and is interested in school carbon reduction projects through which students can channel their concerns about climate change.  

LEA Governors (Appointed):

Susan Ebanyat - 2021 - 2025

Co-opted Governors:

Federico Baglioni - 2021 - 2025
Federico is currently a paralegal from the dispute resolution and dispute team at Tees Law. Federico also has experience working in the Education law sector.

Elizabeth Fergus - 2020 - 2024
Liz has lived and worked in Hertfordshire all her life and wants it to be a place where all its citizens thrive and prosper. Liz believes education can be a way of helping young people learn skills and knowledge they will be able to use in later life. Liz stepped forward to be a school governor because she believes education can be a way to provide young people with opportunity, while they are in the supportive school environment and outside of school. She wanted to support a school community in a voluntary capacity.

Liz is a project manager, used to working with senior leaders and stakeholders and running successful projects. While she is willing to question the status quo she works effectively with others and achieve outcomes. Liz will use these qualities in fulfilling her role as a governor of The Highfield School.

Derin Ovonlen - 2021 - 2025
There is an adage that says, “it takes a whole village to raise a child”, Derin is quite taken by this proverb as it entrusts a sense of responsibility to every individual member of the community hence, the reason Derin is serving as a governor.  

Derin received a legal education and has built a diversified skill set and experience ranging from supplier relationship management, negotiation, contract management, risk management, sustainable procurement, project management, policies, and change management.  Derin's aim is to add value, serve, give back, support, help care for the wellbeing and success of the school in raising world class citizens. 

Michele Wilson - 2019 - 2023

Sponsor Governor (Appointed)


Co-operative Trust (Foundation) Governors:

Marc Lewis - 2018 - 2022
Marc is the Finance Director at an Academy in North London. In addition he his a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE). He lives locally and has one daughter

Chris Wood - 2018 - 2022
Chris is a qualified accountant and internal auditor, working as the Head of Audit at the County Council. He passionately promotes robust governance, risk management and control as a sound basis for effective service delivery. He lives locally and has one son attending primary school.

Staff Governors:

The Headteacher, Ms Lucy Miles, also serves on the governing body

Associate Governors:

Simran Chahal
Ellie-Jade Glasgow
Emily Leach
Finlay Manning

Working With The School

There is structured two-way communication between the school and the Governing Body. This happens in a number of ways:

Staff Governors

teaching and non-teaching school staff are direct members of the Governing Body – this ensures that the views of staff are represented directly on the Governing Body.

Staff Links

staff link members of staff are NOT Governors, but they will work with the Governing body and act as an “expert” in the field. Staff link members of staff may be asked to attend meetings to answer Governor questions that arise. The role of Staff Link is extremely important.

Link Governors

most Governors have specific areas of interest and expertise that can help support and challenge the school. Link Governors will focus on a specific subject or area, and generally work closely with an identified member of school staff involved in the same area. There is a standing agenda item at Full Governor meetings where Link Governors report to all Governors on their activities.

School Policies

The Governors are responsible for maintaining and reviewing the Policy documents that determine how the school runs and operates in many areas. These Policies will generally be written in the first instance by a subject-matter expert within the school. Alternatively, there are sometimes “standard templates” made available by the County Council or DfE that schools can adopt or adapt and adopt. Once written, Policies are reviewed and updated either annually or every 2 years. Policy documents are generally reviewed and updated by a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Governors. The Clerk to the Governing Body will then circulate the updated Policy document to all Governors and it will be ratified at the next Full Governing Body meeting.

Policies cover a wide range of subjects that form part of school life – examples are Health & Safety, Child Protection, Behaviour and Financial Delegation.

Contacting The Governing Body

If you have a question about the work of Governors, or you are interested in becoming a Governor on The Highfield School Governing Body, then you can contact…

Name: Marc Lewis

Governors do not get involved in the day-to-day running of the school, and the work carried out by teachers and other staff. If a parent or student has a question, concern or complaint about the school, then the first and best thing to do is to telephone, meet with, or write to the student’s TUTOR. The Tutor will take ownership of the issue and ensure that it is dealt with. If this does not lead to a timely outcome, then you should follow the contact sequence below.

The last recourse is the Headteacher and if you are still not satisfied then the Chair of Governors can be contacted via Susan Hannigan (Clerk to the Governors) at the school.