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Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Dunstable Icknield Lower School



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
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 Ms David- Farthing 26/03/2020 – 25/03/2024
Co-opted Governor Miss Charlotte Lea-Robbins 25/11/2021 - 24/11/2025
Co-opted Governor Mr Musengeyi 24/03/2022 - 23/03/2026
Parent Governor Mrs Lloyd 02/07/2021 – 01/07/2025
Parent Governor Miss Alston 09/10/2020 – 08/10/2024
Staff Governor Miss Strickler 06/05/2022 - 05/05/2026
Headteacher Mrs Stirling 01/09/2017
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 1970s 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 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.

Mr Buck

Vice Chair of Governors (Co-opted Community Governor)

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. 

Mrs Bench

(Co-opted Community 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.

Mrs Scott

(Co-opted Community 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 4, and I have lived locally in Dunstable since 2011. 

Professionally, I have worked in the mental health sector for 20 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 multi-agency 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.

Ms David-Farthing

(Co-opted Community Governor)

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 realised the importance of education, the desire to establish a better life for my family was of the 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 utilise 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 Icknield Lower School are upheld.

Miss Lea-Robbins

(Co-opted Community Governor)

 I joined the Board of Governors at Dunstable Icknield Lower School as a Co-opted Governor in November 2021. I have lived in Dunstable for over three years after relocating from north London where I grew up. 

 Professionally, I work as Assistant Headteacher in a primary school in Brent, London. I have worked in education for over 9 years and have led a range of subjects during this time including Science and Literacy. My areas of leadership currently are for Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, School Curriculum and routes to teaching including trainees and Early Career Teachers. I also currently work for Roehampton University as a Professional Placement Mentor for their students who are on course to gain their Qualified Teacher Status.  I am passionate about education and wanted to put my experience to good use by joining and supporting a school that serves my local community. 

 Away from education, I spend my time on the netball court on evenings and at weekends and, when possible, love to travel.

 I am the Health and Safety Link governor and sit on the Resources committee.


Mrs Lloyd

(Parent Governor)

I am the Artistic Director and Co-founder of Next Generation Youth Theatre CIC (NGYT) in Luton, a dance and theatre company that has been running for 10 years. I have three children attending Dunstable Icknield Lower School, one in EYFS, one in KS1 and another in KS2.

I was excited to be elected as parent governor in July 2021 as I really believe in supporting my community; I feel the role of governor will allow me to do this in a forward focused and aspirational way that supports the school and the young people within it.

Through my work as a dance/drama specialist I have had the privilege to work with the young people at DILS which has given me a real insight into school life as well as the opportunity to meet lots of the amazing children and staff at the school.

Throughout my career (spanning nearly 20 years) I have worked in numerous educational settings, with children as young as 6 months up to young adults starting out on their careers in the arts, university or moving into the world of work. Furthermore, I work closely alongside my husband who is Head of Arts in a local SEN school; This also enables me to reflect and consider the needs of all learners and the many ways learning can and should be differentiated in order to facilitate a fully inclusive learning environment.

I am committed to enriching the lives of young people through all areas of my life and believe in creating safe spaces for young people to be themselves, be heard and valued.

The wellbeing and mental health of young people is hugely important to me and I have recently become a qualified yoga and mindfulness teacher for children.

I am a champion of the Black Lives Matter movement and an advocate for creating equity to ensure ALL children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Miss Alston

(Parent Governor)

I joined the board of Governors at Dunstable Icknield Lower School in October 2020.

I have worked in law for numerous years. As someone continuing post-graduate University studies, I am fully aware of the importance of education. I am keen to demonstrate the importance of continuous improvement and provide both myself and my daughter the best platform for a better quality of life. Therefore, it is not just a case of teaching what you need to know, but teaching how to find the answers for yourself.

I become a governor to use the skills and experiences that I have gained in my personal and professional life, to support both the staff, governors and children with a view to ensuring that both the ambition and values of the school are achieved, allowing the pupils’ aspirations to be realised.

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.

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.