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The Croft Preparatory School

Dulce et Forte


Due to the current situation we have decided to cancel the Open Mornings on Saturday 21 March and Tuesday 24 March. Please call Admissions to make an appointment to view the school.

Governing Committee

Governance at The Croft


The Directors and the governors work closely together. The Directors have the ultimate legal responsibility, so they are the Board, who are supported by a Governing Committee.  A member of the governing committee attends the Board meetings. The governors make recommendations to the Board, and question/ challenge their approach, examples of which include teachers pension/ IAPS membership and SATs tests.


The governing Committee operates using the AGBIS (Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools) and NGA (National Governance Association)


What do Governors do?


The purpose of governing bodies is to help raise standards within the school and ensure they are maintained. This will help provide the best possible education for all pupils within the school. 


To be effective governors require a strategic understanding of their function and have clear arrangements in place for monitoring progress against targets. Governors need to be prepared to challenge the Headteacher and staff, as well as providing them with advice and support.


In practice this means:


The Role of a governor is largely a thinking and questioning role and not a doing role.


Governors are members of a board/committee and no one, not even the Chairman (except in emergencies) can act alone or make decisions.


With these in mind governors do not get involved in the day to day running of any part of the school, and schools do not ask individuals to sort out concerns that should be taken to the school leadership teams.


Strategic view


Governors help to decide the school's strategy for improvement so that its pupils learn most effectively and achieve the highest standards.


The governing body helps set, and keep under review, the broad framework within which the school operates. Governors are involved in formulating and reviewing policies and drawing up the school development plan.


Supportive Challenge


This challenge comes from monitoring and evaluating the schools effectiveness.

This can be:

  • Formal Learning Walks
  • Looking at data
  • Attending events
  • Talking to staff and pupils
  • Receiving reports from the Headteacher and other leaders at governors meetings.


Honest impartial feedback from governors can be really helpful for the Headteacher and staff. The governors are a diverse group of individuals with years of collective experience from a wide range of backgrounds. This outside knowledge and expertise can be invaluable in providing the Headteacher and staff with advice, information and occasionally a fresh perspective. 




Governors are responsible for ensuring the highest quality education throughout the school. To do this they have the right and responsibility to discuss, question and refine proposals, while always respecting the professional roles of the Headteacher and other staff. 


The governing body is in turn accountable to parents and the wider community for its actions and the school’s overall performance.


Chair of Governors

Vanessa Aris is a retired Science Teacher with over 30 years’ experience and is Chair of Governors at two Primary Schools in Gloucestershire. In all, Vanessa has been a Governor in 8 schools (repeatedly as Chair or Vice Chair) and has worked with Local Authorities on issues of Governance. She was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to Education. Vanessa is Chairman of the Governing Committee.


Vice Chair of Governors

Rachel Bolger is a Company Director with a varied background covering geological sciences, minerals, industry journalism, project management and, more recently, voluntary work for Citizens Advice and the ME Association.  She is the parent of two former Croft pupils.

John Badham is a retired Prep School Headteacher. He is a councillor on Tewkesbury town council and has been Governor of a number of schools over the past 20 years.


John Whitting QC is a highly respected barrister with a wealth of experience of independent education. His youngest daughter was a recent pupil at The Croft, whilst his older children attended four different Prep schools. As a QC, John is well qualified to ask difficult questions if required.


Mark Holden is a Chartered Surveyor and local businessman who runs a niche consultancy business in Birmingham. He is a parent of former pupils of the Croft.


Howard Lucas is a Designer Craftsman, Director of a specialist bespoke joinery, soft fitting and management consultancy and also the Director of a small art gallery.  He is also the parent of two former pupils of The Croft.



Amy Brann is a Director, Author and Public Speaker.  She helps organisations understand more about how their people's brains work, and is passionate about all sciences, especially neuroscience. 


Sam Thornton is the representative of the Board of Directors.


  Marcus Cook, Headmaster, ex-officio member of the Governing Committee. 


The Governors may be contacted via the Clerk on: