What is the Role of a Governor?
The Governing Body is responsible for making sure the school improves each year. It sets the direction and ensures that the school is meeting its targets, while allowing the headteacher and teaching professionals to manage the school on a day-to-day basis.
Governors attend meetings where reports on the school’s progress are discussed. They test information received by asking the right questions to ensure that the school spends its budget wisely against the priorities shown in the school plan.
The Cobham School Governor Action Plan is devised and agreed by the Governors annually. It outlines the roles and responsibilities that they collectively hold.
Who are the Governors at Cobham Primary?
Mrs Jacqui Saunders - Headteacher
I am lucky enough to be the headteacher at Cobham Primary School and the school, the children and the families are embroiled in my heart! Love my job! I have the very best team too. From the governors to my cleaning team, we all work hard to make Cobham a very special place to learn, grow, thrive and be the best that we can all be.
Mrs Kate Cresswell - Chair of Governors
Little did I know 17 years ago when we moved to Cobham the profoundly positive effect this wonderful rural Victorian school would have on our entire family! Having been involved with the PTA from day one, I joined the governing body over 10 years ago when our son left the school and it has been an intense but incredibly worthwhile learning curve. My background as an integrative counsellor means I am committed to ensuring and promoting the welfare of all our children, with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. I work closely with our dedicated staff and am a regular visitor to the site. I am here to support, and challenge when necessary, to ensure that all our children are safe and happy and able to identify their full potential. It’s not just the children that embody our TRUST values, as a board we are committed to upholding those values and ensure that we are all are caring, proud and successful. After all, you never truly leave Cobham!
Mrs Rebecca Newnes - Vice Chair of Governors
Both my children are currently at Cobham Primary and I became a governor in 2020, having been involved with the PTA but also previously chaired the committee of the village Preschool. I wanted to help give something back to a school which has done so much for my family.
I’m a Chartered Accountant and take an active role in the finance committee but also am a member of the Quality of Education committee. I have additional governor responsibilities around well-being focusing on well-being of pupils, staff and families.
Mr Phil Burns - Staff Governor responsible for Teaching & Learning
Mr Burns is the teacher for Class 3
Mr Steve Dyer - Chair of Finance
Both my children had the privilege to start their educations at Cobham Primary so I have been a parent from 2006 to 2015 and started as a governor during this time. I have remained as a Governor as I find it rewarding to be part of our local community school and to help with the school’s future strategic direction and well being. I have been primarily involved in the Finance and Buildings areas supporting the school as they fit best with my personal and work strengths.
Mrs Claire Hargrove - EYFS Governor
I became a governor in 2019, as with both my children then as pupils I was keen to give something back to the school that has made the first step in their educational journey so successful and enjoyable. I feel strongly that the leadership team and all the staff deserve the best support possible and I find the role extremely rewarding. I am also a TA at the school and feel that the combination of my role as a parent and member of staff gives me a unique insight into the school. I am on the Quality of Education committee.
Mr Andrew Leach - Governor
I became a Governor at Cobham in 2021. Having my eldest child pass through Cobham with a first class education and become a well rounded young person I have another child currently benefitting from the excellent teaching and care at Cobham.
My background has been in working in and with Local Authorities including schools and education teams. In addition I spent 2 years running an internal department for a large multinational national delivering Apprenticeships and degree level qualifications. I hope to use this experience to support the senior leadership at Cobham and ultimately benefit the children fortunate to be attending Cobham.
Mrs Vashti Reid - GovernorI am the mother to two Cobham children and I am pleased to have joined the governing body at Cobham Primary School. We are very grateful for the education and experience that our children receive at Cobham. I hope that becoming a governor will allow me to ‘give something back’ to the school and to the local community. I have worked as a teacher since 2003 (part-time since having my children) and I believe that being both a parent and a teacher helps me understand the needs of both the school and the Cobham families. I hope that this understanding will be helpful in the role of governor. I am looking forward to the challenge!
Mrs Joti Sahota - GovernorWith one child having been through Cobham and one still there, I have witnessed first-hand what a wonderful school it is. For the past six years I have been a TA at Cobham and I thoroughly enjoy my role. I am also Financial Controller for a full service with law firm. These facets provide me with the experience, passion and skill set to be a member of the governing body and I am very much looking forward to the challenges the will role provide.
Mrs Luisa Saunders - Governor
As a parent of a child currently at Cobham Primary I am happy that our son wakes everyday excited about school. It is heart-warming to see how content he often is when I collect him at the school gate. I was fortunately educated at a fabulous primary school myself, of which I still have very fond school memories! I look forward to sharing this same journey with my son. As Parent Governor I look forward to visiting the school to understand Cobham Primary through the eyes of our children. My background as a qualified teacher teamed with qualifications in counselling and child psychology underpins an interest in mental and emotional wellbeing and drives my innate desire to ask questions about safeguarding, equality and equity for all. Currently my work involves the monitoring, evaluation and the review of aspects of education and I look forward to discussions about how the school review progress against key performance indicators to ensure the best possible experience for all of our children.
Mrs Janet Cherrison - Local Authority GovernorMy voluntary work thus far is 20 years within the scouting organisation working mostly with 8 to 11 year olds. Followed by 25 years within the magistracy, spending time working in the youth courts before taking the position of chair in the adult court. All of which has taught me, team work, the development of my listening skills, bias awareness and how to evaluate evidence.
Mr Peter Crow - Governor
This is my first opportunity to work in a voluntary capacity and I am very much looking forward to it. The earlier part of my extensive career has been spent working for a large European based company in the field of Logistics Planning and Customer Service. During the last 20 years or so, I initially started and then ran my own company in the Hospitality and Events sector. Both of these careers have given me a good insight and awareness into meeting targets and the importance of teamwork and satisfying demanding customer expectations.
Mrs Bal Dhillon - Governor
I live locally and have had a long-standing relationship with our amazing Cobham Primary School, since my eldest child, joined Reception in 2015. I so feel very strongly about the power that a great education has to transform the lives of children and young people.
Like many of us, I have seen how a strong parent/carer community and Board of Governors can help shape, and add value to the school and provide more opportunities for all our children at Cobham. I am grateful for that and very keen to help ensure this continues. The long-term viability and funding for Cobham as a single form entry school, with a unique community feel, is very important to me.
Special Educational Needs provision is something I am passionate about, having a child with SEN myself, and the impact appropriate funding can have on this. With the challenge of falling pupil numbers across the country, I would like to help ensure Cobham remains a popular and oversubscribed school, continuing to attract the best teachers and ensuring we give our children a happy, fulfilling and enriching school experience. I work with a local charity as a Family Adviser, supporting families with children with disabilities across Kent. I am responsible in the development and delivery of comprehensive information, advice and emotional support which is responsive to the holistic needs of a parent of disabled children and young people. Ensuring that parents and where appropriate disabled young people, have information, understanding and support, enabling and empowering them to make informed decisions about their future.
My priority for our children here in Cobham is them having a safe, nurturing environment to learn in, but mostly, one in which they can thrive and be confident within themselves. I would hope to draw on my experiences and perspective to positively contribute to the governance of the school, ensuring all children here have the opportunity to reach and strive to their fullest potential.
At Cobham Primary, the Full Governing Body meet once a term, this meeting is attended by all Governors. Individual Governors also belong to two specialist sub-committees called the Quality of Education sub-committee, the Finance and Buildings sub-committee. These sub-committees meet termly and feedback into the Full Governing Body.