The Directors and Governors of The Croft work closely together; the Board of Directors, which has the ultimate legal responsibility, are supported by our Governing Committee, and one member of the Governing Committee attends the Board meetings.
The Croft Governing Committee is a member of both 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 schools and to ensure they are maintained, thereby providing the best possible education for all pupils in the school.
To be effective, governors require a strategic understanding of their function and have clear arrangements in place for monitoring progress against targets. They must also be prepared to challenge the Headteacher and staff, as well as provide 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 this in mind, governors are not 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.
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.
This challenge comes from monitoring and evaluating the schools’ effectiveness. This can be achieved by:
- 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, whilst 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.
The Governors may be contacted via the Clerk on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Members of the Governing Committee
Vanessa Aris MBE
CHAIRMAN OF CROFT GOVERNING COMMITTEE
Vanessa Aris is a former Science Teacher with over 40 years’ experience, she still tutors students for GCSE and A'Levels and beyond. Vanessa has been a Governor for nearly 20 years and has governed in 14 schools (repeatedly as Chair or Vice-Chair) and has worked with Local Authorities on issues of Governance and as advisor to Headteachers. She was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to Education.
VICE CHAIR OF CROFT GOVERNING COMMITTEE
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.
David is a parent of two former Croft pupils. His working life has included starting and growing a business, general management and marketing within the computer systems sector.
He is also a qualified teacher and has experience across the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
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.
Tim Kenny is Head of Marketing at SCC, Europe’s largest privately owned technology provider based in Birmingham and owned by the Rigby Group, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. He also supports a number of Corporate Social Responsibility activities within SCC as part of its philanthropic approach to helping unleash the potential in our communities.
Gemma Marchington worked at The Croft School for 12 years, in teaching and management positions, specialising in the Early Years. She has a passion for teaching and contributing to each child’s development, with the aim of them reaching their full potential.
Gemma played a big part in setting up our successful Forest School and becoming a fully qualified Forest School teacher. She has three young children, two of whom attend The Croft School.
Jessica May is Head of Learning at Longborough Festival Opera and Head of Education at Campden Music Festival, as well as a regular performer, adjudicator and teacher. She is a Trustee of the charity, Music and Theatre for All. Her two sons are former pupils of the Croft.
John Whitting QC
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.