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 management (the headteacher and Senior Leaders) are accountable for decisions and actions taken. The Governors play an important role in overseeing the maintenance and improvement of standards of achievement 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 Don’ts

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.

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. There is never a dull moment and I enjoy every part 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 we become a Primary School in September 2017 and have the additional challenge of operating on two sites, without losing the ethos of the school.
I have no doubt that Scott Primary School will, in the very near future, become one of the best schools in the area.

Alison Southern - Vice Chair of Governors

Originally from London I moved to Bedford 21 years ago. I am married with two children and am employed as a Parish Clerk for Biddenham, Bletsoe & Ravensden Parish Councils and the Assistant Clerk here in the Parish of Brickhill.

I joined the governing body seven years ago as a parent governor. Both my children attended Scott Lower School and I wanted to give something back to the school which I believe gives so much to the pupils and the local community it serves. This is my eighth year on the Governing Body and even though my children have moved onto Secondary Schools I have remained on the governing body as it is a very rewarding role with a great team of committed governors.

The role of a school governor is varied and interesting and for the last few years I have been the Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. In addition to the Full Governing Body meetings (which take place every term) I am also on the Teaching and Learning, Personnel and Pay committees.

How things have changed……… I remember when I first started as a governor Scott Lower was a 1 form entry school. Since then, the school has been expanding to a 2-form entry school and from September 2017 we shall become Scott Primary taking children from Nursery age through to Year 6. The school has gone from strength to strength and which was acknowledged with a “Good” Ofsted grading. These are very exciting and challenging times ahead and I know that Scott Primary will continue to offer a fantastic learning experience with amazing facilities for all our children.

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 first became the Clerk to the Governing Board in March 2011. It is my responsibility to undertake the administrative work for the Governors, organising meetings, preparing minutes etc. I thoroughly enjoy my work, and I take great pride in being associated with such a friendly and effective team who successfully support the Head Teacher in running a fantastic school.

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 is a pupil at the school. Geoff is currently in his Fifth year as a governor and takes a special interest in the schools ‘Human Resource Management’ activities.

Jo Sawford

I have lived in Bedford for over 20 years having come to the town to study for a Bachelor of Education degree at De Montfort University. Having worked in a primary school in Luton, I joined the Scott family in January 2015. As the Assistant Head and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator I am proud to be part of such a hardworking and dedicated team that make Scott a thriving and inclusive school.
I enjoy being an Associate Member of the Governing Board and sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee and the SEF Working Party.

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.

Agnieszka Lucas

I am the newest member of the board of governors, having joined as a parent governor in April 2017.

Over 11 years ago I moved with my bi-lingual family from London to Bedford and we have been living in Brickhill ever since. Our older children go to local secondary schools and younger ones just starting education, with on currently at preschool and one hopefully starting preschool in September 2017.

Currently I am working in finance in a housing association. Over the years I have been helping our London and local church with accounting on a volunteering basis. I was also involved in the local church council.

I have been really impressed by Scott School since my daughter started nursery, seeing her enjoyment at being there and the progress she is making alongside the amazing PTA and parents’ involvement in school life. I have been educated mostly in Poland, my husband in France and as we both have a keen interest in education, I had been looking at ways to become more involved in order to understand more about how the school works and how we can possibly make it better.

I look forward to working as part of a team to ensure that all children achieve their full potential and enjoy their learning experience.

Sam Mellonie

I have lived in Bedford for 40 years (bar a brief spell in London and France). When looking for a school for my eldest child (currently in Year 7) my husband and I were very impressed with Scott Lower, and although was the other side of Bedford to our home at the time, we knew sending our son here was the right decision. Over time I became more involved with the school through my work with the PTA and a brief spell volunteering at the school whilst on maternity leave. With a second child at Scott and the changes of going to two-tier I wanted to become more involved, and took a vacancy as a parent governor in October 2015.
Currently, I work for Central Bedfordshire Council, and have a strong understanding of local authority finance, which helps with my current role as chair of Finance. I also sit on the Buildings & Sites committee and take the governing lead for safeguarding.
Over the past 8 years of my involvement at the school, both as a parent, a PTA officer and a governor I have watched the school grow and thrive under the leadership of the Head Teacher and her great team of staff, and I look forward to helping the school transition from a successful lower school to a vibrant and thriving primary school. The acquisition of the facilities at Beauchamp in September 2017 offer amazing opportunities for our pupils to develop and grow, and I am proud to be able to be a part of this.

Mark Scott