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Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Dunstable Icknield Lower School

2020-2021

About our Governing Board 

Role Name Term of office
Chair of Governors Mrs Harrison 24/01/2019 - 23/01/2023
Vice Chair  Mr Buck  24/01/2019 - 23/01/2023
Staff Governor Miss Conroy 25/09/2019 - 24/09/2023
Co-opted Governor Mrs Bench 24/01/2019 - 23/01/2023
Co-opted Governor Mrs Scott 24/01/2019 - 23/01/2023
Co-opted Governor Mr Lismanis 24/01/2019 - 23/01/2023
Co-opted Governor Ms David- Farthing  
Co-opted Governor Miss Van Nieuwenburgh  
Parent Governor Mrs Biti  
Parent Governor Miss Alston  
Headteacher Mrs Stirling  
Clerk to Governors Mrs Parkin  

Mrs Harrison

Chair of Governors (Co-opted Community Governor)

I have had a lifelong involvement with education. I gained a Bachelor of Education degree from London University in the 1970’s following which I became a Middle School teacher in schools in West London.
Later I joined Dunstable Icknield Lower School in Bedfordshire where I took on the role of assistant head teacher and gained my National Qualification for Headship. I retired from the teaching profession in 2009.
For many years I worked with two teacher training providers being privileged to support qualification of the next generation of teachers.
In 2014 I joined the governing body at Dunstable Icknield Lower School having recently been elected as vice chair. At present I chair the Standards Committee and I am the link governor for the school priority which addresses progress and attainment.
Prior to this, I gained experience of governorship in a number of schools as both a staff and a parent governor.
I do have interests outside of education. I enjoy spending time with my two granddaughters. Visits to the theatre, reading and listening to many different kinds of music provide relaxation. For eight years I was a public member of the Council of Governors at the Luton & Dunstable hospital until my term of office ended in 2014.

Mrs Conroy

Staff Governor

I was elected staff governor in November 2019. I am also working as a teacher in Year 1 and I am the subject leader for Music at DILS.  Before I got into teaching, I worked in sales for eight years and I managed teams based in UK and India.

I have a degree in Business and I did my teacher training with Institute of Education, University College London. Moreover, I am also a qualified teacher of English as a Foreign Language from Trinity College. 

I have always had an interest in how education can help narrow the social gap and how I could support young children become independent learners. This interest has led me to explore volunteering opportunities and teaching experiences in UK and in Spain. 

I consider that my teaching and non-teaching experience will enable me to help on Resources and Standards Committee at DILS.  

I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to get involved in the school’s community and to be part of a hard-working team which strives for the best possible outcome for the children.

Mrs Scott

CO OP Governor

I joined the Board of Governors at Dunstable Icknield Lower as a Co-opted Governor in January 2019. My daughter is currently a pupil at the school in year 2 and I have lived locally in Dunstable since 2011. 

Professionally, I have worked in the mental health sector for 18 years. From working in varied settings, I have experienced just how important supporting good mental health and well-being is for all learning and development. I currently work as a self- employed Psychotherapist in Private Practise with adults and children who have experienced trauma. I also do specialist pieces of work in schools for a national charity with child victims of crime.  Prior to this I was a School Counsellor in a secondary school working mostly with children at risk of exclusion and I have worked extensively across all age groups in school settings with children who have experienced domestic abuse. Before training to be a Counsellor and becoming a Mum I spent 12 years working in Substance Misuse Services supporting individuals and families. I worked in criminal justice and community settings and was involved with multiagency working with Social Care and Mental Health Teams. Away from work I enjoy exercise, yoga and meditation which I practise alone and with my daughter. I also enjoy music of all kinds, attending gigs and concerts, spending time with family and friends, walking our dog and watching comedy. I am the English and SEND Link governor and Equalities governor. I sit on the Standards committee.

Mrs Bench

CO OP Governor

I am a Teaching Assistant who has worked at Dunstable Icknield Lower School since 2004. I initially started helping out as a parent when my two children attended the school. I worked in the office for a term to cover sick leave and have worked as a TA in Nursery, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 4 where I have currently been working for the past two years. I was involved in working on the school’s Statement of Commitment which resulted in our silver Artsmark award and have completed the Arts Award training.

Prior to having children, I spent ten years working for the Crown Prosecution Service and hold a degree from Liverpool University in Medieval and Modern History.

I joined  the Governing Board in January 2019 and I am the Link Governor for Science and Design Technology. I am on both the  Standards and Resources Committees.

Outside of school, I enjoy attending music concerts with my husband and all sorts of crafts. My current favourite one is learning how to sew my own clothes. I also enjoy meeting up and socialising  with my children who now both live away from home after attending university.

Mr Buck

I joined the Board of Governors in January 2019 as a co-opted governor, and am currently Vice Chair , Chair of the Resources Committee and Link Governor for Pupil premium and PE/Outdoor Learning and Resources . 

After graduating in Economics , I worked for thirty four years in financial services , carrying out a range of roles in bond trading , and risk and valuation control . Through my company's Corporate Social Responsibility programme I supported the work of two charities in the education sector , providing mentoring to members of the management team of three London state secondary schools and mentoring for IntoUniversity ,which aims to help  young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration.

After retiring in 2016, I was a co-opted governor at the Stockwood Park academy for three and a half years  , holding various positions including pupil premium governor, safeguarding governor and latterly Chair .

I see the governor role as an ideal opportunity to apply my skills and experience to the benefit of the school and the community it serves. 

 

Mr Lismanis

Co-opted Governor

I’ve been on Dunstable Icknield Lower School Governing Board since January 2019. I currently sit on both Standards and Resources Committees, hold the office of ICT Governor, look after Health & Safety concerns from the Board perspective and act as a Link Governor for RE.

I joined DILS as a governor as wanted to give something back to the local community. As a parent of two school age children and a keen life-long learner myself I appreciate the importance inspiring learning and giving our next generations the skills and confidence to be effective self-learners. I’m committed to supporting staff, Governors and children at school and to champion school’s vision.

Professionally I work in Technology sector and currently lead a distributed team of technical experts responsible for building and maintaining data, analytics and reporting platforms for a global automotive services provider. I hope my expertise of using data to drive business process improvements can be applied to the educational setting and benefit both the governing board and the school.

Outside work I enjoy spending time with my kids and progressing our ‘Veg In One Bed All Year Round’ project. When I’m not gardening you are likely to find me learning to play a guitar, trying to make that perfect cup of coffee or experimenting with smoking food on a BBQ.

Ms David-Farthing

I joined the board of governor at Dunstable Icknield Lower School in January 2020.

I have worked in debit management for nearly 15 years, when I became a parent I realized the importance of education, the desire to establish a better life for my family was of greatest priority. I achieved my degree in accounting and finance, together with the final stages of achieving my masters in financial risk.

I become a governor to unitize the skills that I have gained in my professional life in conjunction with supporting both the staff governors and children alike to ensure that both the value and aims of Dunstable Ickneild Lower School are upheld.

The Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body

Governing bodies make key strategic decisions within schools. It is their role to set the school's strategic framework and to ensure that all statutory duties are met. They work with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to set the school's vision, values and aims. They also play a key part in ensuring that resources are used appropriately to provide the children with the best possible opportunities to learn and be educated, school’s performance standards are included in this.

Governors make decisions about school policies, school priorities and performance targets. They oversee the school's budget making sure that the school obtains value for money. The Governors support and challenge the Headteacher and staff on how well the school performs. They do this by visiting the school regularly, getting to know its strengths and areas for development. These areas become the school priorities which are a standing item on the full governing body's agenda. Governors are required to meet once a term. At Dunstable Icknield Lower we meet more frequently.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the head teacher and senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools that came into force in September 2013 and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.
See: gov.uk/government/publications/governors-handbook

In practice, governors are a group of volunteers who include parents, staff and members of the local community who act collectively to make decisions that matter to the school, and are motivated to do the best for the children of the school.

Governance at Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Dunstable Icknield Lower School Full Governing Body (FGB) is currently constituted of 12 members. The FGB operates under the leadership of a chair, vice-chair and with the help of a professional clerk. The FGB meets once a term, and additionally operates with three committees, each of which meets at least half-termly. These are: Standards and Resources, Resources includes matters relating to Finance and Premises. The Personnel Committee meets as necessary and is responsible for appointments and advising the FGB about Pay and Performance. Dunstable Icknield Lower School governors come from a range of backgrounds: parents, staff, the local authority and the wider community. We aim to fill our vacancies with people who have a range of relevant skills and most importantly are committed to acting in the best interests of the children and their learning.

How to Become a Governor at Dunstable Icknield Lower School

A good school governor is someone who cares about children’s education, enjoys working as part of a team, likes to discuss and shares ideas and of course is able to give time. If you are interested in becoming a governor at Dunstable Icknield Lower School, please contact the Clerk via the school office. All governor appointments are subject to an enhanced disclosure check by the Disclosure and Barring Service.  

How to contact Dunstable Icknield Lower School's Governors

If you have a concern that touches on the day-to-day life of the school, or an issue that is affecting your child, you should speak to your child’s teacher. Alternatively you can speak to the deputy head or the Headteacher.

Should you wish to contact the Governors you may write to them via the school office.