Meetings - 2020/2021

All advisory group meetings are held at 6pm in the Conference Room unless otherwise advised on the Agenda. Full governors meetings are held at 6pm in the Sixth Form Area.

Autumn Term 2020
Monday 21st September Curriculum Advisory Group
Monday 5th October Personnel Advisory Group
Monday 19th October Student Care and Support Advisory Group
Monday 16th November Curriculum Advisory Group
Monday 30th November  Policy and Resources Advisory Group
Monday 14th December Full Governors Meeting


Spring Term 2021
Monday 11th January Personnel Advisory Group
Monday 25th January  Curriculum Advisory Group
Monday 8th February Student Care and Support Advisory Group
Monday 8th March  Policy and Resources Advisory Group
Monday 22nd March Full Governors Meeting


Summer Term 2021
Monday 19th April Personnel Advisory Group
Monday 10th May Curriculum Advisory Group
Tuesday  18th May Governors Budget Meeting - 8am
Monday 24th  May Student Care and Support Advisory Group
Monday 21st June Policy and Resources Advisory Group
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: Natalie Rotherham

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 2020:

Name Pecuniary Interests
Federico Baglioni  
Anna Beresford No return
Jennie Clift No return
Susan Ebanyat  
Andrew Fennemore Parent Governor at William Ransom Primary School
Elizabeth Fergus No return
Jo Garthwaite No return
Susan Hannigan  
Naomi Hart No return
Sarah Henderson  
Marc Lewis No return
Caitlin Macrae No return
Lucy Miles No return
Adam Nichols No return
Derin Ovonlen  
Duncan Painter No return
Annabel Roberts  
Julia Sonander  
Sarah Waseem No return
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


Chair to be confirmed

Clerk to Governors:

Susan Hannigan

Parent Governors (Elected):

Anna Beresford - 2018 - 2022
Anna Beresford is Deputy Head of a local Junior school and has two children at The Highfield School. Prior to teaching she worked in the publishing industry. She has a deep knowledge of the KS2 curriculum and working practices within the Primary sector. She believes in promoting the chances of all students, regardless of background, to ensure they reach their full potential.

Naomi Hart - 2020 - 2024

Sarah Henderson - 2021 - 2025

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

LEA Governors (Appointed):

Susan Ebanyat - 2021 - 2025

Co-opted Governors:

Andrew Fennemore - 2019 - 2023
Andrew grew up in Essex now lives locally and is a father of two young children. Andrew is passionate about learning & education and is also a Parent Governor at a primary school in Hitchin. He works as an HR Manager for the County Council and has experience in both the public sector and the media.

Elizabeth Fergus - 2020 - 2024

Derin Ovonlen - 2021 - 2025

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:

Amelia Burdett
Grace Burdett
Mia Jaszewska
Kirsty Weller
Erin Whitelock

How The Governing Body Works

Our Chair of Governors is Natalie Rotherham.

Within The Highfield School Governing Body, there are a number of Advisory Groups that focus on specific areas of school life. Each Advisory Group has 5-10 members and meets once or twice per term. Each group has a Chair, and the Chair reports back to the Full Governing Body on the outcomes of the Advisory Group meetings. The Advisory Groups are also responsible for setting and reviewing the policy documents that dictate how the school functions.

Curriculum (CAG)

  • Chair - Anna Beresford
  • Other members - Michele Wilson
  • Associate Governors - Erin Whitelock, Amelia Burdett, Kirsty Weller
  • Staff Link - Charlotte Norwood, Jo Garthwaite

Student Care and Support (SCSAG)

  • Chair - Duncan Painter
  • Other members -  Philip Hobbs
  • Associate Governors - Mia Jaszewska, Grace Burdett
  • Staff Link - Jennie Clift

Personnel (PAG)

  • Chair – Andrew Fennemore
  • Other members -  Adam Nichols, Marc Lewis
  • Staff Link – Tracy King, Caitlin Macrae, Sarah Waseem

Policy and Resources (PRAG)

  • Chair - Chris Wood
  • Other members - Natalie Rotherham, Andrew Fennemore, Anna Beresford
  • Staff Link - Caitlin Macrae, Tracy King

Staffing Committee

The staffing committee is agreed annually by the Full Govering Body and is to comprise of:

  • Chair of Governors
  • Chair of Personnel
  • Chair of Policy and Resources
  • Headteacher
  • School Business Manager

The activities of the Advisory Groups are fed back to the all Governors in two ways:

  • through the publication and circulation of Minutes to all Governors (all Advisory Group meetings are minuted).
  • through reports back to the Full Governors Meeting by the Chair of each Advisory Group

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

each Advisory Group has an assigned Staff Link. These members of staff are NOT Governors, but they will work with the Chair of each Advisory Group as an “expert” that the Chair can draw on in meetings, and also to answer Governor questions that come up in meetings. 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 an owning Advisory Group. 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: Natalie Rotherham

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 Linda Kerr (Clerk to the Governors) at the school.