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Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Dunstable Icknield Lower School

Governors

Headteacher Mrs Stirling
Chair of Governors Mrs Harrison
Deputy Headteacher Miss Law
Co-Opted Governor Ms Norton
Co-Opted Governor Mr Lowery
LA Governor Mrs Perry
Parent Governor Mr Hose
Parent Governor Mrs Van Nieuwenburgh
Parent Governor Mrs Collinson
Parent Governor Miss Wellington
Clerk Ms 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.

Mr Hose - Parent Governor

In July 2015 my youngest daughter completed her final year at Dunstable Icknield Lower School and has now started year five at Priory Academy this September. My elder daughter has completed two very successful years at Priory Academy and has also moved school this Summer to join my son at St George’s School in Harpenden. All three have progressed from Nursery at Dunstable Icknield Lower School where they benefited from the solid educational foundations this school has provided for them.
It has been my privilege to be a parent governor at this outstanding school for the past ten years. I will continue to be part of this committed team of school governors from September 2015 as a Co-opted Governor. I greatly appreciate the opportunity this relationship has given me to employ my experience as both a private practice accountant and auditor for fourteen years, and more recently a school finance manager for the past five years. This has assisted me in my role as chair of the finance sub-committee. Other sub-committees attended are premises, teaching and learning, and staffing. I also have a responsibility as the link governor with the Literacy Strategy Co-ordinator.
As a body we have carefully steered the school strategy through some of the most turbulent times in the recent history of education within Dunstable and we are gratified that the school continues to flourish and remains in high demand with parents in the local community. We intend to complete an important phase of our constantly evolving school strategy this academic year with the addition of a new classroom block, and I look forward to developing the close relationship we have forged with Priory Academy to secure the educational pathway for all our present and future pupils.

Mrs E Van Nieuwenburgh - Parent Governor

I have a background in arts and cultural education and arts management. I have always enjoyed working in the children and young people’s sector and I believe passionately in the arts and culture as a vehicle for enhancing the lives of children both in and outside of formal education.
I feel I would make a good parent governor and would bring a range of expertise to the role, including my sound knowledge and experience of arts and culture, knowledge of community and partnership working and strong Project Management skills inducing managing budgets, facilitation and contract management. I would describe myself as a ‘strategic doer’. I would also be able to offer the perspective of a parent of the schools to the role.
I have worked in both the formal and informal education sectors with the early part of my career spent in Youth and Community settings, here I learned the importance of Youth Voice and led and developed several young leaders initiatives including working closely to support the work of the National Youth Parliament. My informal education experience gives me a good grounding in community work, working with hard to reach communities and individuals and partnership working in particular. As a Youth Worker I designed Youth Work Curriculums, developed training programmes and delivered and assessed a range of accreditations for young people.
As an Arts Manager I have worked in Theaters looking after budgets and marketing and have also worked in Economic Growth overseeing Creative Industries sector business support and as a commissioner of Public Art as part of a planning department in which I managed large budgets, commissioned high profile artists work and produced related planning policy.
I currently work for Royal Opera House Bridge as Programme Manager for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire . In this role I work strategically with partners in education, arts and culture sectors and Local Authorities to ensure children and young people have access to high quality arts and culture. I have a sound knowledge of the current arts and education landscape including related policy and work closely with cross phase schools and Further and Higher Education establishments in designing curriculum and embedding arts and culture. As part of my role as Programme Manger I am responsible for setting up and convening Cultural Education Partnerships, these are groups of strategic leaders from the arts and education sectors who come together to look at a galvanized arts and culture offer for children and young people in a locality. I currently chair two of these partnerships in Bedford and Luton. I am also on the board of both the Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Music Hubs. My role also includes a deep knowledge of Artsmark Arts Council England’s kite mark for schools and Arts Award a national arts accreditation for young people. My role also includes remits for youth voice, diversity, partnership working and funding.

Mr L Lowery - Co-Opted Governor

I became a governor in September 2016 through the Governors For Schools scheme. I have lived in Luton for 40 years and both my children have recently left home and I was looking for a way to put something back into the community.
After attending Edinburgh University, I spent 18 years working for GMAC in their New Markets and Strategic Initiatives teamworking on corporate acquisitions and opening operations in new countries and markets around the world. Currently I am the HR Manager at Transloader Services a specialist crane company in Luton. From these roles, I have an in depth knowledge of HR and Finance. Hopefully I can use the range of skills I have gained over the years to the benefit of Dunstable Icknield Lower School. 
I have also been a Scrutineer at disco and street dance competitions for the last 15 years. I started while my daughter still danced to help pay for the lessons and costumes. All these years later she has long given up and I still spend many weekends travelling to competitions across the country and Ireland.

Ms Norton - Co-Opted Governor

I have been a governor at Dunstable Icknield since 2009. Both of my children attended the school and now study at Priory, one of our partnership schools. I have lived in Dunstable since 1994 and have thorough local knowledge. Previously I worked in Housing for 8 years before leaving the workplace to raise my family, and returned to work in our own school office in 2011. I have considerable experience of education and governance and regularly attend Governor Forums to ensure my knowledge and skills around governance are up to date. I am the link governor for Pupil Premium and School Council.

Mrs Perry - LA Governor

My name is Lesley Perry and I have 3 children. All my children have attended Dunstable Icknield Lower School, the last having moved on to Priory Academy this September.
I currently work as a Learning Support Assistant in a lower school, where I support children with Special Educational Needs. I have been a Governor at the school for a number of years, initially as a Parent Governor and now as a Local Authority Governor. I am on the Curriculum, Finance and Premises committees and am the current chair of Premises. I have links with ICT and Special Educational Needs subject areas. I enjoy travelling, cooking and watching my son play football.

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.