Governing Body

Birchwood aims for the highest standards of governance.  In Members and Trustees, we look to appoint individuals to give the combined experience, skills and commitment to support the growth and strength of our school.    It is important to us that our governance represents our school community and that its structure and recruitment reflect this.

Ms. C Gater, Chair of Governors
E-Mail

or

c/o Birchwood High School
Parsonage Lane
Bishop’s Stortford
CM23 5BD

Governing Body

Governance Structure

Birchwood High School is structured as a Single Academy Trust.   As a charitable company the Academy’s governance has two layers – Members and Trustees.

Currently, all non-employee Trustees are both Trustees and Members.  A restructuring of membership is planned for 2021/22, following this the majority of the Members will be independent of the Trustees.  This separation of duties will further strengthen governance of the school.

The Members

Members have key roles and responsibilities under company law, their role is similar to shareholders of a limited company – although they have no financial interest in the school.  They help to ensure effective governance by holding the Board of Trustees accountable.

Members have an oversight role, limited and distinct from that of the Trustees (see below).  Responsibility to conduct the Trust’s business sits with the Trustees and Members are ‘eyes on and hands off’.

The Trustees

The Trustees make up the Trust Board and are the directors of the company and trustees of the charity.  The Trust Board is the decision-making body and is accountable and responsible for the Academy.

The Trust Board has three core functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of the vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Executive Leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure that its money is well spent.

Trustees are sometimes referred to as Governors and the Trust Board as the Full Governing Body.

Governor Profiles

Ruth Bamlett is Safeguarding Link and English Link and sits on Curriculum Committee. She has a background in primary education as a Headteacher.

Ruth Crowland is Chair of Curriculum and link for SEND / Disadvantaged students. She is a specialist in Education and Special Educational Needs.

Chris Emery is appointed by parents and is an IT consultant in the finance sector. He is a member of the Finance & Estates Committee.

Matthew Free is appointed by parents and is an HR consultant. He is a member of the Personnel Committee.

Catherine Gater is Chair of Trustees and Chair of the Steering Committee. Catherine trained as a scientist and has a background in project management and equality and diversity. Catherine has been a governor for 8 years and has 2 sons who have both attended Birchwood. Catherine particularly enjoys working with the school to achieve an inclusive and supportive educational environment.

Chris Ingate is Principal of Birchwood and is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.

Jane Mansfield has been a governor for almost 2 years and was previously a governor at a local primary school. She chairs the Personnel Committee and has a son in year 8. She has a background in corporate banking and corporate risk management.

Ross Noblett is appointed by staff and is a member of the Curriculum Committee.

John Oglesby is appointed by parents and is an accountant. He is a Member of the Finance & Estates Committee.

Claire Pressland is appointed by staff and is a member of the Curriculum Committee.

Charlotte Sear is Diversity and Inclusion Link and part of the Curriculum Committee. She has a background in education, including the primary sector.

Cllr.Richard Townsend. Resident in Hockerill since 1992, with 3 now adult “children”, my career has predominantly centred on S/W and computing Training, Development and operations management.  My Earlier days saw Police service in Enfield and Cartographic drafting across North London along with MOD and TFL Project implementation. Since retiring (several Times) I have trained Guide dog puppies and now serve as a Governor, as Ward Councilor for AllSaints on Town & District Councils, a trustee for street Pastors along with several BSTC & EHDC Committees. I delight in working with local schools, churches and charities in a continued effort to contribute and make difference to our community and Town.

Gill Turner is Vice Chair of Trustees and Chair of the Finance Committee.  Gill’s son attends Birchwood and she was elected as a parent trustee in 2018.  Gill’s professional background is as a Chartered Accountant and Tax Adviser, with more than twenty years’ experience of working in advisory roles.  Gill aims to support the school in ensuring access and opportunity for all students.

Jane Wach is Parent Governor and Chair of the Birchwood PSFA. Jane has a passion for Fashion and originally trained in Fashion and Design. Jane now works for an online clothing retailer managing their sourcing , compliance and sustainably programs.  Jane has been a governor for a year and has a daughter attending Birchwood. Jane loves being part of the school’s journey as a governor and fund raising for the school through the PSFA event.

Leigh Lloyd Warren is Chair of the Estates Committee and has a background in accountancy and the construction industry.

Lisa Watkins is appointed by parents. She works in retail and commerce and is a member of the Finance & Estates Committee.

Alison Wilson is a member of the Curriculum Committee and has expertise in education and careers.

Jim Winter is a member of the Personnel Committee and has expertise in personnel in a business setting. Jim is married with two grown up daughters and lives in Bishops Stortford and is currently UK Regional Director for the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI), a professional body for the financial services sector. Jim has spent some 30 years in financial services, including roles at Lloyds Bank, AIG and Canada Life. He has run, managed, coached and developed several teams of people in his career, ranging in size from 10 – 150 individuals, as well as delivering regular training sessions on personal development.

Committees

Estates and Finance

  • Deryk Bull (SLT Serving (Finance))
  • Chris Emery
  • Catherine Gater
  • Chris Ingate (SLT Serving)
  • Leigh Lloyd Warren (Chair of Estates)
  • John Oglesby
  • Richard Townsend
  • Gill Turner (Chair of Finance and Vice Chair of Trustees)
  • Lisa Watkins

Personnel

  • Matthew Free
  • Jane Mansfield (Chair)
  • Jane Wach
  • James Winter

Curriculum

  • Ruth Bamlett
  • Ruth Crowland (Chair)
  • Ross Noblett
  • Claire Pressland
  • Charlotte Sear
  • Alison Wilson

Audit and Risk

  • Deryk Bull (CFO)
  • Ruth Crowland
  • Catherine Gater (Chair of Trustees)
  • Chris Ingate (SLT Link)
  • Leigh Lloyd Warren
  • Jane Mansfield
  • Gill Turner (Vice Chair of Trustees)

Chair of Committee to be confirmed

Steering

  • Ruth Crowland (Chair of Curriculum Committee)
  • Catherine Gater (Chair of Trustees)
  • Chris Ingate (SLT Serving)
  • Leigh Lloyd Warren (Chair of Estates)
  • Jane Mansfield (Chair of Personnel)
  • Gill Turner (Chair of Finance; Vice Chair of Trustees)

Chair of Audit and Risk Committee to be confirmed

Terms of Reference

Please note that the Terms of Reference for the current academic year have to be approved by the relevant committee before they can be updated below.

Elections

There are regular elections for members of the Governing Body of Birchwood High School. If you are interested in putting yourself up for election please contact Miss Walker

Meetings

Under Regulation 13 of the School Governance (Procedures) ( England ) Regulations 2003 , governing bodies must make their main meeting minutes available for inspection by any interested person.  It has been decided that in the spirit of this requirement and of open communication, we will publish these minutes on our website.  This will be done after their formal approval at a subsequent full meeting. They are a facsimile of the paper versions held on file by the school.

Statutory Information

Governor Category Appointed By Role Status Occupation Date Appointed Term of Office Expiry Date
Bamlett, Ruth Community Governor Governing Body Director Active Primary Education 13/03/2019 14/03/2023
Bull, Deryk SLT Secretary Active Finance Director 13/07/2021 12/07/2025
Crowland, Ruth Community Governor Governing Body DIrector Active Specialist Teacher 07/03/2017 06/03/2025
Emery, Chris Parent Governor Parents Director Active IT Consultant/Finance 01/09/2021 31/08/2025
Free, Matthew Parent Governor Parents Director Active HR Consultant 01/09/2021 31/08/2025
Gater, Catherine Community Governor Chairs of Committee DIrector Active Gender Project Officer 14/07/2016 13/07/2024
Gray, Fred Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Active Executive Director 15/11/2016 14/11/2024
Ingate, Chris Staff Governor (Principal) Ex Officio Director Active Principal 29/09/2010 Ex Officio
Lloyd Warren, Leigh Community Governor Governing Body Director Active Accountant 22/01/2020 21/01/2024
Mansfield, Jane Community Governor Governing Body Director Active Banking 22/01/2020 21/01/2024
Noblett, Ross Staff Governor (teacher) Staff Director Active Teacher 01/04/2019 31/03/2023
Oglesby, John Parent Governor Parents Director Active Accountant 01/09/2021 31/08/2025
Pressland, Claire Staff Governor (Teacher) Staff Director Active Teacher 03/11/2020 02/11/2024
Sear, Charlotte Community Governor Governing Body Director Active Education 22/01/2020 21/01/2024
Townsend, Richard Community Governor Governing Body Director Active Councillor Education 31/01/2020 01/02/2024
Turner, Gill Parent Governor Parents Director Active Accountant 05/12/2018 04/12/2022
Wach, Jane Parent Governor Parents Director Active Head of Sourcing 09/09/2020 08/09/2024
Watkins, Lisa Parent Governor Parents Director Active Head of Automation 01/07/2018 30/06/2022
Wilson, Alison Community Governor Governing Body Director Active CEIAG 13/03/2019 14/03/2023
Winter, James Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Active Head of Field Sales 07/07/2016 06/07/2024
Bothwell, Lee Staff Governor (Support) Staff Director Retired Senior Admin Manager 01/07/2018 Retired on 20/07/2021
Brown, Nicole Parent Governor Parents Director Retired Soft Services Manager 24/10/2015 Retired on 31/10/2019
Coop, Nicola SLT Secretary Retired Finance Director 01/09/2018 Retired on 20/07/2021
Eastwood, Sarah-Jane Staff Governor (Teacher) Staff Director Retired Teacher 01/09/2017 Retired on 30/06/2018
Gallagher, Julie Parent Governor Parents Director Retired Human Resources Director 05/01/2014 Retired on 04/12/2018
Gubb, Sally Parent Governor Parents DIrector Retired Operational Manager 01/04/2018 Retired on 10/07/2019
Hazell, Alan Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Company Director 25/01/2016 Retired on 24/01/2020
Luxton, Liz SLT Secretary Retired Business Manager 29/09/2010 Retired on 31/08/2018
Newland, LucyKate Staff Governor (support) Staff Director Retired Learning Mentor 03/02/2016 Retired on 30/06/2018
Phillips, Michael Staff Governor (Teacher) Staff Director Retired Teacher 01/07/2018 Retired on 09/09/2020
Prior, Neville Co-opted Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Company Director 01/01/2018 Retired on 22/01/2020
Pritchard, Karen Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Solicitor 05/02/2016 Retired on 30/06/2018
Scotcher, Hilary Parent Governor Parents Director Retired Store Assistant 01/07/2018 Retired on 13/07/2021
Sherriff, Andrew Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Accountant 01/04/2018 Retired on 31/03/2019
Smith, Jonathan Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Retired 07/07/2016 Retired on 12/09/2018
Stocker, Mark Community Governor Chairs of Committee Director Retired Finance/ Pensions/ Actuary 20/01/2018 Retired on 09/12/2020
Swanepoel, Annie Co-Opted Governor Governing Body Director Retired Psychiatrist 01/12/2016 Retired on 03/03/2021
White, Emma Parent Governor Parents Director Retired Music Teacher 01/04/2018 Retired on 10/07/2019