Executive Headteacher (Headteahcer Governor Ex-Officio)
I am the Executive Headteacher at Middleham VA and Spennithorne VC CE Primary Schools and was appointed from September 2021. Both schools are in truly are beautiful locations and I feel blessed to have the privilege to help shape the future of our federation.
I live in Richmond with my husband and two teenage-boys and our dog, Shadow.
I have been teaching for over 20 years, working in a range of primary school settings and have I have had experience of leading in small rural schools for several years.
As a Headteacher Governor I report to the Governing Body on the progress the schools are making in all areas of our development plan and advise the Chair and other Governors on a range of matters in relation to the strategic development of our federation.
It is a pleasure to work alongside a highly talented staff team who strive to make the school the best learning environment they can for all our amazing children. I am very proud of their efforts in developing the school into what it is today. I look forward to working with everyone in the future on the next stage of our development.
Chair of Governors (Parent Governor)
I have been a governor of the Federation for a few years. I was initially co-opted as a governor working with Mrs Evans (previous headteacher) as a result of my background in safeguarding and skills in digital technologies and leadership.
I recently succeeded Lesley Sweeting as the Chair of Governors for the Federation of Middleham and Spennithorne Schools. Following on from Lesley’s hard work, I have been pleased to work closely with Mrs Mann to implement a programme of school and governance improvement measures with a view to delivering what these children deserve: the best possible experience of primary education.
As a former student of Spennithorne school, a lifelong resident of the area and a parent of two children in the federation, I feel a deep responsibility to the children registered at our schools. As such, I’m always open to suggestions for improvements, wherever they come from. I’m very approachable and usually do the school run to both sites at least a couple of times a week, so if you see me in the playground, feel free to come over and say hello as I’d love to get to know more of the parents.
Revd. Jeff Payne
Vice Chair of Governors (Foundation Governor Ex-Officio)
I have been Co-Rector of the parish of Middleham with Coverdale, East Witton & Thornton Steward with my wife, Revd. Liz Moody since 2016.
I am a Foundation Governor which means I’m appointed by the Church. I was first appointed governor of Middleham School, prior to the Federation, in 2017 and am currently vice-chair. I also have particular oversight of the outworking of the school vision and curriculum development.
I have undergone various governor training from an induction course in the beginning to Safer Recruitment more recently. I am also the school bus driver! Before moving to Middleham I was Rector of a church in London for 5 years and was involved in establishing a new Church of England School in the parish.
My hobbies include captaining the Richard 3rd darts team. Being captain bears no relation to ability!
Rev Liz Moody
I’m Liz Moody, an associate governor, and with my husband, Jeff Payne, co-rector of the local parish.
I was a school teacher before I was ordained – in primary schools to begin with, but eventually in a high school in Wembley where I was in the Learning Support department but also taught RE.
As a governor, my focus is on the vision, Collective Worship and RE. I have also recently completed the Safer Recruitment training.
In my spare time I like to potter in the garden and try to grow veg in my veg plot, spend time with family and friends, and walk our dog in the beautiful Dales countryside.
I am delighted to be part of the governing body of FEDMAS as a parent governor, having recently moved to Middleham. As a governor, I have been able to gain a privileged and valuable insight into the day to day running of the schools and have seen first-hand the caring, family environment that staff, governors, pupils, their families and the wider church and village communities all work so hard to maintain.
I am passionate about the importance of education and its critical role in giving children the necessary academic, practical and social skills to succeed in life; I am also very familiar with the challenges faced by small rural schools. I welcome the opportunity, as a governor, to help meet these challenges and ensure the very best education for our children.
Professionally, I work as a solicitor and believe that my skills and experience will assist with the governance and future development of the school.
I moved to Middleham in 2017 with my husband and two young daughters having spent 7 years living in Singapore. I became a school governor in 2019, soon after our eldest daughter joined the school. I am passionate about seeing all of the wonderful pupils achieve the best possible outcomes at these lovely schools and I feel privileged to be involved in this objective through my role as a governor.
Before having children, I qualified as a chartered accountant in London and carried on my finance career in Singapore. I am now self-employed, working from home, providing bookkeeping and accountancy services to small companies. I am also the treasurer for the Friends of the Schools and for another local association. I have been appointed Link Governor for Finance and really enjoy being part of the strategic direction of the school.
As a family, when we’re not dashing about to various clubs and activities, we enjoy playing board games and going on long walks with our Labrador. Having previously lived in cities, we really appreciate the beautiful countryside we are surrounded by in this unique part of the world
(Local Authority Governor)
I am delighted to have been appointed as the Local Authority Governor for the Federation of Middleham and Spennithorne Schools in December 2022. I am a qualified teacher and have worked at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form for the past 5 years. My current role at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form is as the Music and Hospitality & Catering Teacher, Key Stage 3 Progress Leader & Key Stage 3 Designated Safeguard Lead.
I am originally from the Peak District, Derbyshire and move up here when I started my job at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the picturesque local area on my mountain bike, playing squash and spending time with my family and friends.
I have been appointed Link Governor for Safeguarding and the Chair for the Curriculum Committee. I am really passionate about ensuring all students receive a well rounded education and are prepared for success in future learning, future careers and active citizenship in a dynamic and diverse global environment. In the short time I have been the Local Authority Governor, I have really enjoyed contributing to the strategic direction of the school and I look forward to my continued work as part of the Middleham and Spennithorne Federation community.
I was co opted onto the governing body in October 2022.
Having completed a degree in mathematics, my first career was in banking and finance, based in London. I took a career break to move overseas with my family and lived in Barbados for 7 years followed by 2 years in New Zealand. On returning to the UK, I retrained as a teacher and taught maths at a large comprehensive school in Hertfordshire. In 2018, I took early retirement and moved to Spennithorne, an area that I was familiar with, having spent many summers as a child staying on my grandparents farm in the Upper Eden Valley. I have always taken a keen interest in education having grown up in a family with two teachers as parents, one who was head of a village school and I have 4 children of my own, who have been educated in a whole variety of settings, including SFX and QE in Darlington. I am looking forward to serving as a governor and hope to make a positive contribution to the schools.
THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNING BOARD
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of The Federation of Middleham (VA) & Spennithorne (VC) CE Primary Schools Governing Body are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
As a governing body of a church school, governors also recognise a fourth core function:
- Preserving and enhancing the distinctive Christian foundation of the school.
The governors bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to the school, and this helps ensure that the school is moving forward and standards are constantly raised in a way that is in line with the overarching ethos and vision of the school, along with the statutory directives from the Department of Education. The Governing Body complete a regular skills audit and give careful consideration to ensuring they have the range of skills required to deliver effective governance and secure the success of the school.
In September 2018, the structure of the Governing Body was reconstituted in line with our new federation. The Governing Body now consists of:
- two staff governors (the head and one other elected by staff)
- three co-opted governors
- two parent governors
- one Local Authority governor
- four foundation governors
The Resources Committee focuses on finance, premises and personnel matters.
The Curriculum Committee focuses on work relating to statutory assessment, special educational needs, curriculum policies, school improvement planning and school self-evaluation.
There are still separate committees for:
Pay Review Committee
Head Teacher’s Performance Review Committee
Committees to review pupil exclusion and complaints – hearings and appeals are convened on an ad hoc basis as the need arises
OUR GOVERNING BODY
Our Governing Body is made up of the following members:
Mr S Wilmington (Chair) – Parent Governor
Mrs M Mann Executive Headteacher – Headteacher Governor
Mr J Hadfield – Local Authority Governor
Rev Jeff Payne (Vice Chair) Foundation Governor Ex-Officio
Rev E Moody – Foundation Governor
Vacancy – Foundation Governor
Vacancy – Foundation Governor
Mrs L Hall – Staff Governor
Mrs R Fortune – Co-opted Governor
Mrs R Barnard – Parent Governor
Mrs R Pink- Co-opted Governor
Vacancy – Co-opted Governor
Miss Dominique Adams (Clerk to Governors)