A message from the Chair of Governors
Welcome to the Woodchurch Governors’ Page. Here you will find information on who we are, what we do and why it matters and how you can become a member of the Governing Body.
All the Governors here at Woodchurch CE Primary are extremely passionate about the children in our school and the education they receive. We want to ensure the best teaching, the best opportunities and the best experiences to enable each child to become an independent and collaborative learner and a participating member of our community. We work extremely closely with the staff and the leadership of the school in order to support them to deliver an education second to none. We regularly challenge and question to ensure that the school is moving forward in the right direction for all its children and staff.
Who we are:
As Governors, we come from all walks of life, each bringing different experiences and skills to ensure we have a balanced and capable team, working for and supporting each child and member of staff.
Meet the Governors
Sarita Goacher is Chair of the governing body. Sarita lives in Shadoxhurst with her husband, Jeff and has three children – Katie, at Highworth Grammar School, Dora and Jack, both at Woodchurch School. Sarita has a passion for children and education: as a mother, she home-educated her eldest daughter for 6 years and as a Montessori teacher, doula and childbirth consultant, she is dedicated to ensuring children get the best start in life. She is also an active member at Ashford Baptist Church working with children of all ages.
Ben Hebblethwaite is the Vice Chair of Governors. Ben lives in Woodchurch with his wife Clara and their son. Ben is an architect practising from home as well as occasionally in his London based studio. He is a keen runner all year round and enjoys cycling and boating in the summer. He is passionate about helping the school provide the best possible outcome for all its children. Ben’s governor role is to oversee Health and Safety, the school premises and also the delivery of Physical Education within the school.
Alan Baker lives in Woodchurch . He retired from a career in teaching and education services in 2014. He has four children and three grandchildren . Alan’s career saw him start life as a PE teacher in Folkestone. He moved into Special Education after four years and worked predominantly with young people experiencing emotional trauma that resulted in behavioural difficulties. Alan finished his career in the role of Vice Principal at an independent special school meeting the needs of young people with a wide range of special educational needs including autism and communication difficulties.
Victoria Crawley has been working in Further Education (post 16) for the last 16 years and has a passion for supporting young people in preparation for their next steps and supporting the skills shortage within the technical industries. She has previously taught Sport, Enterprise and coached staff to develop their practices in teaching and now mentor senior leaders new to their posts. She is now currently Principal of Folkestone College, part of EKC Group and with her experience will support Woodchurch CE Primary School and the Senior Leadership Team in continuing to move the school forward and support the local community as Parent Governor.
Anna Haasjes lives in Woodchurch. Her career as a primary school teacher, which began locally, has given her the opportunity to travel and teach in a number of international schools. After moving back to the area, she worked as a supply teacher which brought with it a wealth of new experience. With a real interest in education, she is now looking forward to supporting the school as a co-opted governor and utilising her experience to ensure the best outcome for all pupils.
Clare Silcock lives in Woodchurch with her family and has taken a recent sabbatical from her career in the pharmaceutical industry to focus on family life. As a member of the Woodchurch Parish Council and Secretary for the Woodchurch Hub board, she has used her time away from the office to support the various initiatives aimed at making Woodchurch a vibrant place to live. Clare has also been Chair of FOWSA (school PTA) which, in the last 12 months, has raised over £12,000 for the school. With two young sons, both Woodchurch pupils, she is passionate about the difference a thriving village school makes to its pupils and its community and is delighted to bring her experience, enthusiasm and drive to the Woodchurch Governing board.
Chris Davies grew up in Ashford and now lives in Hamstreet with his wife Charlotte and two young children. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 12 years experience in audit and risk management across a number of industries. He currently works in finance for a large national retailer based in London. Chris is keen to utilise this expertise in supporting the school to achieve it’s strategic objectives. Outside of work he enjoys playing golf and reading history.
All of our governors sign a Declaration of Business Interests to disclose any information which may conflict with school business. A register of attendance is also kept for each meeting. You can download the report for 2018- 2019 here: Governor Business Interest and Attendance.
What we do:
The primary role of a school Governing Body is to ensure the quality of education provision and to act as the accountable body for the school.
As part of our statutory responsibilities:
- We ensure the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school.
- We hold the school leaders to account for the educational performance and progress of the school and its pupils and the performance management of its staff.
- We oversee the financial management of the school ensuring that the money is well spent.
- We adhere to and model all aspects of the school’s values, safeguarding and behaviour policies.
How we do it:
The Governing Body meets once a term to discuss, challenge and question how the school is performing against the school plan and its priorities. We receive regular attainment and progress reports, review resourcing and agree policies and procedures. Our role is not a ‘doing’ role but a ‘thinking’ one, and as such our meetings are more about making sure that the right support systems and strategies are in place for the job at hand. It is the Senior Leadership Team’s role to implement those systems and strategies and report back on their progress.
Each Governor is responsible for one aspect of the curriculum or school life. This allows us, as a whole team, to have a circular vision of how the school is performing. Once a term, Governors carry out learning walks and monitoring visits. This is the most rewarding part of our role as we often join the classes during the school day and get to converse with the children and staff about all areas of their learning and their environment. We work alongside subject leaders to conduct book scrutinies or observe learning environments and how they are used. In this way, we have first hand evidence of how the school is implementing its vision, ethos and strategy and can experience how the children are living out our school values.
The Governing Body also has an outward-facing role, helping to create, improve and support links between the school, the parents and the community at large. As a result, you will always see Governors at the school gates, helping at school events, even wearing aprons with BBQ tools in hand as a means to getting to know the whole community. We pride ourselves on being approachable at any time and welcome opportunities to meet with parents and others.
As school governors we also regularly attend training in order to be kept up to date with recent changes to statutory requirements, to upskill ourselves as a Governing Body who can meet the challenges and requirements of the modern education system and to meet and network with other school Governors in order to take advantage of best practice.
Every member of the Governing Body considers it a privilege to serve our school community. It is an extremely rewarding role to play in the life of the school, especially when we see every child nurtured and flourish as a result of attending Woodchurch Primary School. From time to time, we have vacancies on the Governing Body, which we would encourage you to apply for should you wish to make a strong contribution to the school. Please feel free to contact the school office for more details.