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Fryerning Lane, Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 0DF Tel. 01277 352 803 / Fax. 01277 356 397


What Does a School Governor do?

Governors have three main roles:

  • To provide strategic direction for the school
  • To act as a critical friend to the headteacher
  • To ensure accountability

They also carry out a number of other important duties, which include:

  • Determining how the school's budget is spent
  • The appointing and dismissing of staff
  • Hearing appeals and grievances
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship
  • Setting standards for pupils' behaviour and discipline
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe
  • Setting and monitoring the school's aims and policies  

We meet as a full governing body 4 times a year to ensure all decisions made are as up to date as possible to continue the “outstanding” standards at the school.

Attendance log 

Who Are Our School Governors?

Mr. Darren Cooper – Chair of Governors

I was looking to support the local community when the opportunity to be a parent governor arose.  Being the current Chair enables me to see most aspects of the school and the challenges that face the staff, pupils and further members of our community.  Specifically I support the Head Teacher, make myself available to everyone as a point of contact and keep an eye on the Budget to ensure we make the most of our resources.  Always keen to develop the school with new technology and staff with the latest teaching techniques

It’s a privilege to work with the school and though my daughter has now left, I hope to continue supporting & encouraging others.  I only wish I had more time.

Mrs Alice Thorogood – SEN and Parent Governor

I thoroughly enjoy my role as parent governor. All three of my children have been educated at the school and it a pleasure to be on the other side of the school door, helping maintain the high standards set by our teachers.

Being dyslexic myself and also mum to a dyslexic son I bring my first-hand experience of the Special Educational Needs system to the roll of SEND governor.  I am proud of how inclusive our school is; each child is an individual with individual needs and our teachers strive to bring out the best in all of them. It is wonderful to have (a small) roll in enabling this.

Running my own business means that I am available for monitoring visits and attending school assemblies on a termly basis, helping me keep in touch with the day to day running of the school.

Mrs Emma Burroughs – Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Parent Governor

Ingatestone Infant school is very much a community school; it has been a privilege to be a parent governor there for 4 years. All 3 of my children attended the school and have moved onto their following schools having gained a thoroughly broad education at the infants.

As a teacher myself I see the school through the eyes of parent, governor and teacher. I am the safe guarding governor and attend interviews for new staff members as well as being part of the premises committee and also the health and safety governor. I work hard to ensure the environment the children are learning in and the staff are working in is as conducive to receiving as much of an all-round education as possible. 

Mrs. Patricia Whiteley - Vice Chair and Local Authority Governor

I have been a Governor for several years and I immensely enjoy my role as Vice Chair. My responsibilities are for early years, computing and supporting the Head Teacher and staff. Children’s education, well-being and development to great adults is very important to me. Two of my children are in secondary school and my eldest is a teacher, which gives me a range of perspectives to bring to the governing body. When I am not being a parent, I run my own development training and executive coaching business and raise money as vice chair of the PTA at New Hall School.

Mrs Marisa Read - Staff Governor

Content to follow

Mr Sebastian Burrows - Co-Opted Governor

I have been a Governor at our wonderful school since 2015. I bring to the Governing Board my experience as a practising family lawyer at a leading regional firm and my experience as a father of three. Two of our children have been pupils at the school. 

As a Family Law solicitor, my work involves all aspects of major challenges that families face. Core to the legal principles in this professional field is that children come first. Their emotional, educational and physical needs are paramount. As a father this is particularly relevant and as a Governor, I am able to apply this focus directly and actively. 

Ingatestone Infants School is exceptionally fortunate to have a staff of formidably dedicated and talented teaching and support staff. It is plain to see the direct effect of their energy and sensitivity in all the pupils, without exception. 

To be able to contribute to the performance of the school via the governing body is very rewarding indeed not least when all the governors share a passion for the school and the ever growing success and achievements of its pupils. 

The huge political and fiscal pressures on small schools are plain to see nationally. Ingatestone Infant School carves a path through the Educational World, constantly maintaining its outstanding Ofsted ranking, by developing and perfecting teaching methods to ensure that the children thrive. The solid foundations to their whole education, given to the children at Ingatestone Infants School, is obvious while they are pupils but also clear as they progress to Junior School and beyond. 

Mrs Sarah McArthur - Parent Governor

I was elected as parent governor in 2015 and currently have one son in Year 1. My eldest son having started his education journey here 8 years ago.  

I fully recognise the importance in which education and the environment in which it takes place has on the successful development of children. Being part of the small dedicated team of governors we are able to oversee and support everything that is done within this outstanding school.

Through seeing the excellent efforts of the staff at the school to maximise the quality of the school experience, both academic and social, I feel all parents owe a debt to the school and its staff.  For this reason I have volunteered my time and skills as a parent governor.

I have been an active member of the League of Friends and continue to work voluntarily within our village providing an annual summer show for all families to attend, and our school to open with its wonderful country dancing.

When not involved in village life, I work as Cabin Crew for British Airways and can be found in many long haul destinations. The experience this have given me over the 19 years, along with living in East Africa for 7 years has provided me with an invaluable wealth of knowledge in cultural awareness and the challenges faced today within the world we live. I am highly qualified in first aid and survival techniques and speak 3 foreign languages. 

Mrs Joanna England - Parent Governor 

I was elected as parent governor in 2017 and currently have one son at this school in Year 1. My oldest son is at the Junior School and my daughter is still at home.

I feel passionately about primary school education, wanting to help the school maintain it's high standards and meet future challenges. I feel I understand the requirements of the role, and, as I am at the school gates daily, know I am approachable and accessible to other parents. 

I have always worked within nursing, this job means that I have always worked directly with people. I've learnt the value of being kind and direct, being held accountable for my decision making, challenging respectfully and clearly. Always ensuring  to work as part of a team and help maintain the dignity  of others. 

Like all parents I want the best for my children and I believe that we need to support the school, but at times we also need to question the way things are done. As a governor, I hope to develop an understanding of how things works and have the opportunity to make a difference. 

How to get in touch

If you would like to talk to anyone regarding the role of the governing body please contact the school office.

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