Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Governing Board at Millbrook Junior School and tell you a little about what we do.
The main role of the Governing Board is to ensure the future of the school through a continuous journey of improvement, based upon all our children achieving their potential in a safe and happy environment, and ensuring the school makes the best use of its budget.
Our ‘vision’ is central to what we do. The vision is articulated through the document called ‘The Five Hands of Millbrook Junior School’ The vision has been developed principally through consultation with our children, as well as with parents and staff. The ‘School Council’ consulted with their class members to identify what sort of school they want Millbrook Junior School to be. This vision informs our curriculum which provides both breadth and balance and enriches the learning experiences of all our children. We believe it is an excellent preparation for when our children move to their secondary school and beyond as young adults. Whenever governors make a monitoring visit to the school, we talk to the children about the ‘Five Hands’ and how they help them as learners and future adults. In our last Ofsted Inspection Report (June 2023), the inspector commented upon the importance of the ‘Five Hands’ to our school and that it was evident as she walked around the school as well as in talking to our children and staff.
Last year (2022/23), we continued to deal with some of the challenges still evident from the Covid pandemic. The senior leadership and all the staff showed enormous commitment in ensuring we continued to moved forward as a school. This was reflected in our Ofsted Inspection Report, of which we are very proud. The report is as a testimony to the dedication and hard work of all our staff and a tribute to our wonderful children.
When visiting school, governors undertake a variety of activities to gather evidence of how well the school is doing. We mainly do this through Governor Impact Visits (or GIVs). Each GIV will look at a specific aspects of school life. This is often determined by the school’s priorities for that year – as documented in the School Development Plan, which governors agree at the beginning of each school year. For each GIV, we gather evidence of the progress being made. We do this by talking to senior staff, year leaders, subject leaders and staff. We also talk to groups of children across each year group to find out their views. Governors, during the visit, will also look at the children’s books as well as teacher planning. Following each visit, the governors will produce a report for the Governing Board and the senior leadership team. The report includes findings and recommended actions to be taken.
In addition to monitoring the curriculum, we will continue to monitor and review other aspects of the school. This is undertaken by ‘lead governors’ responsible for such areas as finance, safeguarding, health and safety and the provision for vulnerable groups of children.
In 2023/24, the governors will continue to meet formally through two committees - the Governing Board and the Pay and Performance committee. The Governing Board meets at least seven times a year and the Pay and Performance normally four times a year.
Finally, working in partnership with our parents and carers is very important. We will continue to consult with our parents and carers as well as other stakeholders (children and staff) in 2023/24 to help us make Millbrook Junior School the best school it can be for all our children.
(Chair of Governors, Millbrook Junior School)
Who are the Governors?
Chair of Governors
Paul was born in Liverpool. After gaining a degree in History from the University of Manchester, he trained to become a teacher. He taught both in secondary and primary schools in Merseyside and in Arizona (USA) in the late 1970s and 1980s. He left teaching to become a local authority school adviser while working as an Ofsted Inspector for 12 years. In 1994 he joined Liverpool Hope University as a part-time senior lecturer and subsequently became Vice Dean of Education from 2002 to 2007. He left Liverpool to become the Head of Education and Associate Dean at the University of Bedfordshire and now works part-time as an Education Consultant advising on school governance and teacher training.
Paul has been a governor for over 25 years. During this time, he has been a governor of 7 schools which includes being chair of governors of 5 primary schools, Vice Chair of a Secondary School and chairing a trust of 8 schools. He is currently Chair of Governors at Lander Road Primary School (Sefton in Merseyside) and Chair of Ashby Fields Primary School in Daventry.
Paul is honoured and pleased to become a governor and chair of Millbrook Junior School governing board (from April 2019). His involvement with Millbrook Junior School began with his previous post as Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) Adviser to School Governance from 2013 to 2017. The school has made significant progress in recent years and he looks forward to making a contribution to its success.
“We all want the best for the children and to provide opportunities for every child to reach their potential and achieve.”
Vice Chair of Governors
Adrian was elected onto MJS Governing Board in October 2013 and he is currently the longest serving member. He has two daughters. He too attended both Millbrook Infant School and Millbrook Junior School in the 1970s, having lived in Kettering since birth, so he has a long-standing affiliation with and affection for our school. Career wise, he is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and for the past twenty years has held senior positions within Automotive & Aerospace companies managing Quality Assurance & Compliance functions. Adrian applied to become a Governor, because he wanted to give something back to the school that gave him so many happy memories as a child and also because he wanted to use the skills, knowledge and experience he had gained in his work life, to assist the school in achieving the best possible; education, experiences & chances in life for the children in his local community. As Safeguarding Lead, he regularly attends relevant training to keep apace with the ever changing regulations & social influences. Currently he is also the Vice Chair. He is a very keen sportsman, having played Rugby at Kettering for over twenty years, and now plays Badminton. You may even catch him pounding the local pavements as he also regularly runs, just in case he gets a chance to play rugby again! In the small amount of spare time he has, as well as enjoying life with his family, his interests include: supporting Kettering Rugby Club and reading Sci Fi novels.
Danielle’s early career began in various schools in Somerset where she taught across the primary phase and gained experience of leading Science and PE.
Following a year spent learning about people, places and herself, travelling the world, she returned to her passion of teaching and learning.
For the next few years Danielle taught in Leicestershire schools, gaining valuable skills and becoming an Assistant then Deputy Head.
More recently, Danielle was the Head of a large (400+) primary school in Northamptonshire, leading it through significant changes. These included a building extension, conversion to Academy status and improving the school from Inadequate to Good.
In addition to a teaching degree, Danielle’s qualifications include NPQH (National Qualification for Headship) and a Masters in School Effectiveness and Improvement. This enabled her to study the theory of leadership whilst further developing practical teaching and learning skills.
Danielle believes her qualities and strengths are that she is passionate about teaching and learning, she is a people person and she is enthusiastic. Personally, she is committed to life-long learning.
Outside of school life, Danielle is married, lives in Market Harborough and has two girls (aged 9 and 11). She loves being outside, gardening, adventures and enjoying family time.
While leading at Millbrook Junior School, significant improvements have been in made in pupil outcomes and the school achieved a ‘Good’ from Ofsted in December 2017.
Jos’s career as clerk to the Governing Body, started in 2012 at a school in Thrapston and she has expanded her experiences over several schools in the County. In October 2016 she was contacted by Northamptonshire County Council to minute a meeting at Millbrook Junior School and she has stayed with the school since.
Jos’s career in her full time jobs, span from PA, Office Manager to Procurement, Finance and HR, when moving to the UK in March 2002.
Her spare time interests include volunteering at a local Scout Group, an animal sanctuary and in the PTA of her son’s school. When she has spare time left, she enjoys reading and watching movies.
Lorraine has lived and taught locally for her whole life. She has a vast experience of school life at every level, to include primary, middle and secondary education, senior and middle management and as a hard-working, committed and dedicated class teacher. She has a wealth of experience in and out of the classroom and throughout her career, she has taken a full and active part in every aspect of school life. Her professional interests include teaching and learning, the pastoral care and academic progress of pupils and the development of positive working relationships with all school stakeholders. Her experience and skills can be of value to the Governing Body and she looks forward to playing an active role.
Lorraine’s interests outside school include cookery, reading, visiting new places and learning new skills! She is married with one grown up son.
This is the first time that Lorraine has been a school governor. She has embraced this special opportunity to represent the staff and children on the Governing Body as Millbrook Junior School continues its exciting journey towards sustained improvement, maintaining its commitment to provide high quality, memorable and enriching learning experiences for its pupils.
Justin is married with a daughter who currently attends Millbrook Junior School. He is a director of his own property maintenance business, built up over 12 years and lives in Kettering.
He is proud to be chosen to be a school governor, to allow him to support the school to achieve the best for the children, now and for the future. He prefers to use life’s curve balls and challenges as opportunities to better himself, to succeed and to learn.
Justin has qualifications in photography, which is one of his outside interests, and enjoys gardening, music and spending time with his family.
Tracey was born in South Africa and lived there until she relocated with her husband and three children to the UK in 2006. She qualified to teach in South Africa and once in the UK, had to overcome many hurdles to obain her Qualified Teacher Status to continue to teach. During the time she was unable to teach in England, Tracey got her first permanent post working at Millbrook Junior School as their first Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Because Millbrook Junior were so supportive to her, she feels it a great privilige to be serving her first time as a governor on their governing body. She hopes to use her experience in education to contribute to the school preparing children to be the best they can be and laying a pivotal foundation for tomorrow’s happy, succesful adults.
Outside of work, Tracey’s time is divided between being the best grandma she can be to her first grandchild and enjoying the simple things in life with her family and friends.
Justin is married with two daughters that currently attend the Millbrook Junior and Infant schools. He has lived in Kettering for over 10 years, and is eager to support the school in achieving its goals of providing the best for all of our children.
He is keen on STEM and its applications to the "real world", and works as a Software Engineer for a technology company in Cambridge.
Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, playing with the kids, and taking the dog for a walk.
Colette Kearns Cooke
Colette was born in Kettering and has lived here her whole life. She is married with three children, two girls aged 14 and 16 along with her son aged 4. Her two nephews attended Millbrook Infants and Juniors.
Colette has worked in Finance since leaving school at 16 to start her audit and accountancy apprenticeship. Following this, she worked in the Finance Department in a private secondary school for 7 years. She is now working as a Finance Manager responsible for all financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting for European division of a global manufacturing company.
Outside of work, Colette enjoys various types of music, films, building Lego and spending time at home with her family and two Dalmatians. She is thrilled to be joining the Governing Board at Millbrook Junior to support the school and children in the years to come.
Abeera was born and bred in Pakistan and moved to the UK in 2018. Different aspects of her personality include having a background in medicine, being a mother, and having a consistent urge to gain knowledge, improve and pass it on to help others. She believes in opting for a balanced approach in all matters of life. She is particularly keen on promoting physical health among children and holds a future interest in sports medicine. She has also worked as a professional photographer taking up part-time projects for ten years, serving as fuel to her creative side.
How do we organise ourselves?
The Governing Body meet during the year and minutes are recorded.
Supporting information is offered at the side of the page.
Membership of Governing Board
Chair: Paul Davies
Vice Chair: Adrian North, Jud Purdy
Headteacher: Danielle Warren
Co-Opted Governors: Adrian North, Leigh Cooper, Jud Purdy and Tracey Adam
LA Governor: Vacancy
Staff Governor: Lorraine Sinclair
Parent Governors: Abeera Amin and Justin Skists
Associate Members: Karen Harrison (appointed September 2015), Rachel Gibbs (appointed September 2021) & Jenny Green (appointed September 2022)
Clerk to the Governors: Jos Reid-Anderson
Information about length and terms of office can be found by clicking here.
Pay and Performaance
Danielle Warren, Adrian North, Paul, Jud Purdy, Abeera Amin and Colette Kearns Cooke
Lead Governors 2022/23
Safeguarding: Adrian North
Vulnerable Groups (including SEND/Pupil Premium/LAC): Abeera Amin, Tracey Adam and Paul Davies
Health and Safety: Jud Purdy
Finance: Justin Skists, Paul Davies and Colette Cooke
Governor training and development: Paul Davies
Website compliance and development: Lorraine Sinclair
Governor working parties
Parent and Community Engagement to meet as required: Membership tbc
Academy working party: All governors invited
What are our priorities for 2022/2023?
Governor Improvement Plan (GIP) 2022/23
The GIP is based upon the evaluation of governor strengths and weaknesses undertaken at the annual review meeting in July 2022. Progress against GIP priorities in 2021/22 was again but to a lesser extent than previous years hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, some of the priorities from 2021/22 will inform the priorities for 2022/23 eg engagement with parents
The Governor Impact Visits (GIVs) will continue to focus on monitoring and evaluating the school’s priorities as identified in the School Development Plan (SDP) while continuing the governor focus from 2019/20 on the school’s curriculum – focusing upon breadth, balance, continuity and progression and in response to the Ofsted framework focus on ‘Intent’, ‘Implementation’ and ‘Impact’.
Monitoring and evaluation will also continue through the deployment of ‘lead governors’. There have been some changes in lead governors for 2022/23 so ensuring effective transition will be important (see list of Lead Governors below).
The Governing Board (GB) and Pay and Performance Committee terms of reference (ToR) have been revised and agreed for 2022/23. These committees are crucial in receiving reports from the lead governors and GIVs and thereby enabling the governors to have an overview of the school’s progress across the school year.
Finally, the DfE White Paper (2022) sets out the government’s intention to academisation or be in the process of academizing all LA maintained schools by 2030. Therefore, the GB have agreed to establish a working party to address this issue and to both develop a criteria to be used to assess potential MAT partners and explore local and regional opportunities. Any decision will be undertaken through the GB and in consultation with parents/carers, the staff and children and take account of the local context.
Chair of Governors
Priority 1: To develop more effective communication between the governors and the parents/carers including the review of the governor section on the school’s website
- Develop and implement a range of strategies to raise the profile of the governors with parents and carers and develop better communication between governance and parents/carers (to include newsletters, development of website, introduction of link governors, attendance a school events etc)
Priority 2: To continue to ensure effective succession planning based upon dispersed leadership within the governing board
- Ensure all governors develop their experience through lead governor and GIV activities
- Ensure effective support for this in new lead governor roles
- Ensure the effective induction of new governors
- Recruit new governors based upon audit of skills
- Establish a more strategic approach to governor training and development
Priority 3: Develop GB position on academisation going forward
- GB to establish Academy Working Party
- Agree criteria to inform decision making
- Research and meet with local and regional MATs as potential partners
- Consult with stakeholders including joint meetings with governors of Millbrook Infant School