What our School Governors do

The role of the Governing Body is to safeguard the public interest in the school and to ensure that those who are directly responsible for day to day managment (the headteacher and Senior Leaders) are accountable for decisions and actions taken. The Governors play an important role in overseeing the maintainence and improvement of standards of acheivement in the school. It is a strategic role and does not get involved in the day to day running of the school which is the role of the headteacher and staff team.

The 5 key roles of the Governors are:

1. Steering: setting budgets, agreeing development plans, agreeing policies and responding to inspection.
2. Monitoring: budgets, plans, standards of education, acheivement and safeguarding.
3. Executive: recruitment, discipline, admissions and appeals.
4. Accountability: publication of minutes, surveying parents views.
5. Supporting: supporting and advising the Headteacher, providing practical help and skills.

Time Commitment

Governance is very rewarding but prospective governors must be aware that there is a time commitment. There will be at least one committee and one full governors meeting a term; these will usually start at 7.30pm and last approximately 2 hours. As well as the meetings governors are expected to undertake monitoring activities during school time such as walking the site to carry out a health and safety audit or meeting with a key member of staff to discuss an aspect of the School Development Plan.

Do’s and Dont’s

Governors are involved in setting and maintaining the strategic direction of the school. They must take a whole school perspective acting in the best interests of the whole school not their own child or child’s class. If parents approach them with niggles or issues they must direct them to the class teacher or head teacher as it is not part of their remit to get involved with the day to day running of the school.

Governor Reports – 2016

Consultation on the Proposal to Alter the Upper Age Limit and Enlarge the School from 2017 onwards

The report on our consultation to alter the upper age limit from September 2017 is now available for you to read. Just click on the following link:
Governor Consultation Report – January 2016 – Proposal to alter age limit and size

The School Governors

Malcolm Redford - Chair of Governors

I am a Bedfordian, having been born in North Wing, more years ago than I care to remember! I am surrounded by teachers as my wife, my son and my daughter-in-law are all teachers. My daughter teaches part time.
I recently retired, but, during my time with one of the major law firms in the town I specialised in Health & Safety Law and workplace claims and so it came as no surprise when I was asked to be the Health & Safety Governor when I joined the governing body in 2008.
Since then I have served on most of the main subcommittees and was very honoured to be appointed chair of Governors in September 2013. I am now beginning my third year of office. There is never a dull moment and I enjoy every moment of being involved. The Governors are a group of highly dedicated, focused and enthusiastic people who are determined to ensure that the school succeeds and that every pupil is given the best possible start to their education. The driving force behind the schools success is, however, our outstanding Head teacher who, with our help, continues to drive the school forward.
These are exciting times at Scott, as our plan to move to two form entry nears completion, without losing the ethos of the school.
Scott Lower School is, in my view, fast becoming one of the best schools in the area.

Alison Southern - Vice Chair of Governors

I have lived in Bedford for just under 20 years and originate from London. I am married with two children who both attended Scott Lower and have now moved to Beauchamp Middle School.
Currently, I work as a Parish Clerk for Biddenham, Ravensden and Bletsoe councils and also work as the Deputy Clerk for Brickhill PC.
It is now just over 6 years since I volunteered as a Governor little did I know that in the last two years my colleagues on the Governing Body would choose me as their Vice Chairman. Currently I sit on the Teaching and Learning and Personnel sub committees and most recently have joined the newly formed Marketing Working Party.
There are exciting times ahead for Scott Lower as we continue to grow into a 2 form entry school. I believe that Scott Lower is a very special school where staff regularly go way beyond the call of duty to provide the best possible opportunities to all of our pupils.
Being a governor can be time consuming but it is also extremely rewarding and I am proud to be a part of the team at Scott Lower.

Anita Barker - Headteacher & Staff Governor

I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher of Scott Lower School. Since the beginning of my Headship in September 2007, I have been impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by our Governing Body.
The Governors and I work closely in partnership to successfully drive forward our school priorities; with the shared aspiration that Scott Lower School will be the very best it can be.
I very much look forward to leading our school, along with our dedicated Governors, through the exciting changes ahead, to ensure that Scott provides the very best opportunities for all our children.

Anne Samme - Clerk to the Governors

I was appointed to the post of Clerk to the Governing Body in March 2011, and have quickly come to appreciate that the strength of the group is in the way its members work so well together.
It is my role to undertake administrative work in connection with the governors, organising agendas, minutes, attendance at training courses, etc. Although I had spent a long time working in local government and so had a good idea about the administrative needs of the post, I had no background in clerking. However, the Headteacher and Governors have all made me very welcome and I like to think that I am now able to service their meetings efficiently!

Gabrielle Dobrady

Originally a refugee from the Hungarian Uprising in 1956, I started school and grew up in Bedford, finishing at Pilgrim School, here in Brickhill. Then, eager for adventure, I became a Cadet VSO in Malawi and taught English straight after my A levels and before attending Hull University for a degree in Social Studies. I subsequently remained in Hull to gain a qualification in social work and to work in the field of adoption with Dr Barnardo’s. Soon, “itchy feet” led me to take another couple of gap years as a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel, followed by a year at Leicester University studying Teaching English As A Second language. I then spent almost 20 years, seeing even more of the world, and teaching English in various parts of Africa including the Seychelles and Botswana.
I returned to Bedford in 2002 and worked for the Borough Council as a Social, Emotional, Behavioural Support Worker for vulnerable children for the next 10 years. It was in this role that I first became involved with a pupil at Scott Lower School and was immediately impressed by the Head teacher, staff and inclusive ethos of the school. I was, therefore, very pleased to be asked to join the Governing Body when I retired in 2012, and have been the link governor for Squirrels, the Nurture Group, since then. I am also a member of the Personnel and Teaching and Learning Committees and continue to believe that Scott Lower is one of the best and happiest schools in Bedford.

Geoff Hayward

Geoff was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Human Resource Management and CPP Course Director at the University of Strathclyde until he retired in 2006.
Geoff read Modern History at Corpus Christi, Oxford following which he was Head of International and Political Affairs with the Graphical, Paper & Media Union' working with the members of the UK Parliament, European Parliament and European Commission. He was a Governor of Ruskin College, Oxford and a long serving member of the Board of EGIN - a European wide professional educational and research body.
In addition to lecturing at establishments of Higher Education in the UK, he was an international guest lecturer in Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Mozambique, South Africa and North America. For many years, Geoff was a national associate examiner with the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
He and his wife have lived in the area for over 30 years and have 3 children & 6 grandchildren who also live locally. One of his grandchildren attends Scott’s nursery class. Geoff is currently in his third year as a governor and takes a special interest in the schools ‘Personnel Management’ activities. He currently serves as Chair of the Professional Development Working Group.

Lisa Connelly - Staff Governor

I have lived in Brickhill with my husband for the last nineteen years and have three children who all attended Scott Lower School. I originally joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2003 as I wanted to understand the workings of the school my children attended. I am now a staff governor, a role which enables me to put forward any concerns, ideas or opinions from the perspective of the employees of the school to the governing body for consideration. I am a teaching assistant currently working in year 2 alongside Mrs. Matthews. I am on the Personnel Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee and the Policy Committee.

Michael Harper

I am a parent governor at Scott Lower and have a son who started in reception year in 2014. I live locally having moved to the Brickhill area when my son Oliver was born. I have found Brickhill ward to be a great area of Bedford with strong schools and a strong community and I want make sure that it continues to grow from strength to strength.
I came to work in Bedfordshire after University, 15 years ago, and have live here since. I head up the energy division of a large engineering the company am responsible business development, strategy and project delivery. My intention is to be involved in all aspects of governorship, with a focus on Finance, Policy and SEF.
I am passionate about education and the opportunities that it gives young people as they prepare to succeed in the dynamic modern world. My job allows me to see what Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will bring society in the future and I want to help prepare the next generation.
In my short time it is plain to see that there is an excellent teaching staff and committed governors at the school which I hope to complement.

Gareth Whittal

Gareth joined the governing body in 2014 and has children at the school. Gareth, originally from South Africa, has been in the UK since 2004 and has been living in Bedford since 2009.
Gareth is a Chartered Accountant, and has a number of years audit experience in both the private and public sectors; and is currently working in the financial services sector.
Gareth joined the governing body as he has a vested interest in the school's performance; to assist with the further development of the school (especially as it goes through it's growth phase); as well as allowing the school to leverage from his knowledge and experience.
Gareth is currently the ICT Link Governor, and is a member of both the Building and Sites, and the Finance committees.

Lorna Matthews - Staff Governor

Mark Scott

Sam Mellonie

Julia Crofts

Agnieszka Lucas