Message From the Chair of Governors

Welcome to the Commonswood School Governors’ page.  As Chair of Governors I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about the Governing body and it’s work at Commonswood School and to let you know how you can contact us should you need to.


What is the Purpose of the Governing Body?

The purpose of our governing body is to:

  • help the school to set high standards by planning for the school’s future and setting targets for school improvement
  • keep up the pressure for school improvement
  • be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
  • help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
  • make the school accountable to the public for what it does
  • work with the school on planning and developing policies and keeping these under review
  • oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent
  • exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the Headteacher and staff
  • not intervene in the day-to-day management of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when it then has a duty to take action.

Some of these purposes are set in law.

A school’s governing body is a corporate body. This means it has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members. As long as governors have acted honestly, without ulterior motive, and reasonably, within the law and regulations, the governing body cannot be held to account as individuals for any liabilities incurred by the governing



How do Governors fulfil these purposes?

We exercise our duties in a number of ways:

  • We usually have six full governing body meetings each year, roughly two per term.  In between these meetings we have working party meetings that deal with the detail that underpins the reports the full governing body receives.
  • Governors are encouraged to attend school activities and events to take encouragement from the achievements of the pupils and the staff that teach and inspire them.
  • Our function at meetings is to review, question and challenge the Head teacher and staff to ensure that we deliver the highest standards and most effective use of resources.
  • Many of us take a particular interest in a specific area of the curriculum, e.g. Maths, English or the provision for children with Special Educational Needs or Disability. Others focus on wider issues such as Health and Safety or Finance. Governors also have responsibility for monitoring the school’s progress against plans and use of the Pupil Premium and Sports Premium funding.
  • We seek and welcome the help and support of the Local Authority and receive reports and advice from them.
  • We do not deal with individual worries about the day to day running of the school as that is the job of the school’s leadership team. If they cannot successfully resolve concerns then these may later come before the governors through the application of appropriate policies, for example the complaints procedure.

How do we communicate with Parents and Staff and each other between meetings?

We maintain email communication with each other, and the Chair and Clerk seek to keep Governors as well informed as possible in between meetings.

The minutes of Governing Body meetings are available for Parents to view in school, on request. Confidential matters involving, for example, named staff or pupils will not be included in these minutes.


Contacting Governors

Contact with governors should be made via the Chair of Governors through the school office. Emails should be sent to Alternatively, you can write and either post or hand in the letter to the school office, who will forward it to me. I will try to respond as soon as possible.


Governor Vacancies

We currently have vacancies for 2 Co-Opted Governors, 1 LA Governor.  To understand the role of a Governor download the following document for full detail:

The role of a governor

Governing Body Meeting Attendance Academic Year 2018/19

Attendance Document
LA Governors
Co-Opted Governors
Julie Noakes (Chair of Governors) Michaela Johnson
** Vacancy ** Chris Harrington (Vice Chair)
** Vacancy **  
Parent Governors
Fiona Corcoran Darren Cooper
  Lucy Winston
Gill Seymour (Headteacher) Maxine Fryer-Kelsey
John Conlon

About us

Julie Noakes: Chair of Governors. Julie was appointed by the governing body as a co-opted governor on the 22/02/2018 and serves until 28/02/2022.  Julie is a member of various working parties. Julie serves as governor who oversees the Staff Appraisal Procedure, and the lead governor on the Parent Complaints committee. Julie has no business interests with the school.


Chris Harrington: Vice Chair.  Chris was appointed by the governing body as a co-opted governor on the 23/01/2020 and serves until 22/01/2024. He is a member of the Pay committee, Head Teachers Appraisal panel and lead governor in overseeing financial related matters.  Chris is also a member on various panels and working parties.  Chris has no business interests at the school.


Maxine Fryer-Kelsey: Maxine was elected by staff  on 01/05/2016 as staff governor and serves until 30/04/2020. She is the Development governor, sharing the role of Safeguarding governor with Jenny and shares the role of governor for Children in Looked After with Chris Riley. Maxine is also a member on various working parties and panels. Maxine has no business interests at the school.


Gill Seymour: Gill is the Head Teacher and serves on the governing body. Gill meets regularly with members of the governing body in school outside set governor meetings. Gill has no business interests at the school.


Lucy Winston: Lucy was elected by parents as parent governor on the 20/04/2018 and serves until 19/04/2022.  Lucy is the governor with responsibility for Young Carers.  Lucy is also the Governor Data Protection Officer (GDPO) and shares the role of governor with responsibility for Wellbeing with Jenny.  Lucy is also  a member on various working parties and panels.  Lucy has no business interests with the school.


Fiona Corcoran: Fiona was elected by parents as Parent Governor on the 05/07/2019 and serves until 04/07/2023. Fiona is a member of various working parties. Fiona has no business interests at the school.


Michaela Johnson: Michaela was elected by the Governing Body as a Co-opted Governor on the 23/05/2019 and serves until 22/05/2023. Michaela is a member of various working parties. Michaela has no business interests at the school.


Darren Cooper: Darren was elected by parents as Parent Governor on the 23/01/2020 and serves until 22/01/2024.  Darren has no business interests at the school.


Contact with Governors can be made through the school office.