Our Governing Body consists of elected parents, members of the local community, representatives of the Church, Local Authority representatives and school staff.  The Governing Body has the responsibility of monitoring all aspects of school standards.  This is a strategic role. We operate and make decisions as a group, no one governor has the power to make decisions. Our work falls into five main areas:

To set the vision, ethos, aims and objectives for the school

To work with staff to define the policies for achieving the above

To work with the Headteacher to set the targets and plans for achieving those aims and objectives

To monitor the progress that the school is making

To be a source of support and challenge (a critical friend) to the Headteacher

It is essential that our Governors have a wide range of skills in order to lead the school effectively and this drives the regular skills audits that are undertaken.

The Diocese appoint our two Foundation Governors, the Local Authority appoints our one LA governor, parents elect our 4 parent governors and staff elect the one staff member. The Headteacher is also part of the Governing Body. The school currently has three co-opted Governors from the local community and an Associate Governor.

Rev Jan Henderson – Foundation Governor

After leaving college I spent many years working in Accountancy. Some of this time was spent in industry, but most of it was in a professional Accountants office looking after monthly management accounts for a wide range of clients. I also have a qualification in Interior Design. I made use of this for about 10 years when I ran my own business, selling fabrics & wallpapers and making curtains  for people’s homes. I closed this when I felt called to work in the church but I continued working part-time as an accountant while training for the priesthood and while working part-time as a curate. I gave it up when I became the Rector of the Benefice Of Ellesborough, the Kimbles & Stoke Mandeville in Dec 2009. In the past I have been a governor of a secondary school and  I have been a governor at Kimble since 2006.

Sally Walsh – Local Authority Governor; Chair

I have lived in Little Kimble for more than 20 years and have five boys all of whom have attended Great Kimble and had a magical start to their education.

On leaving school I studied for five years at St Andrews University gaining a BSc Honours degree in Biochemistry and Anatomy.  Following this I spent some time as a Clinical Research Associate in the pharmaceutical industry before going to the Royal Northern College of Education to do a PGCE.  I taught for the majority of my career at St Albans School, but decided to turn my hand to tutoring from home in 2000 so that I could raise my boys.

I have been a governor since 2004 and Chair for the last few years.  This has allowed me to fulfil my love of helping children to learn and develop whilst having a hand in ensuring that an excellent education is available to all our local children.  I hope to be involved with the school for many years to come.

Mike Hannaford  – Co-opted Governor.

I have lived in Great Kimble for over 40 years, and am retired from a career in International Textiles. I am married with two children, both of whom went to the School in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Currently I am the Numeracy Governor and Sport Governor for the School,  I chair the Finance Committee and sit on the Personnel Committee. I have been a Governor since 2007.

“Being a Governor has enabled me to contribute to a vital resource of our village. Our School provides an excellent start for a child’s education and I feel privileged to be part of a caring and dynamic team.” In addition to my commitment to Great Kimble School, I am also a Trustee of an Educational Foundation in Devon.

Linda Hodgkinson – Co-opted Governor: Vice Chair

‘I have recently joined the Governing Body of Great Kimble CofE School having helped at the school for the past three years.

My background is in science. I started out in the US oil industry as a micropalaeontologist but for most of my working life I have been involved in education, both at secondary and university level. I worked for many years at The Open University, initially in the Faculty of Science and later lead a small unit researching and integrating skills in the curriculum. I currently work part-time for the University of Greenwich writing and tutoring on-line courses.’

Amanda McGrail – Parent Governor

My Husband and I moved to Butlers Cross and have lived here for 5 years.  We have two daughters who both attend Great Kimble at present and who enjoy it immensely.

On completing my A’levels, I started to work as a Legal Secretary in Private Practice.  I later moved on to be an Executive Legal PA for the General Counsel for a large American Agricultural Company.  I then went on to assist in the start-up of a successful Private Equity Fund based in London.  I was Manager of the Company’s general administration, accounting, payroll, Trust matters, FSA and investor reporting, being my main roles. I worked there for 10 years. I then decided to work with flowers and trained as a Florist.  I wanted to do something that I enjoy and that also can be worked around family life, and I am endeavouring to start a company now as my daughters are happily settled at Kimble.

I was appointed a Parent Governor in May 2015 which I am excited about.  It’s an honour to be involved with such a  wonderful dedicated school and to work with the children is extremely satisfying.  Great Kimble is such an amazing start for them.   I am taking over as Literacy Governor and sit on the Health and Safety Committee at present.

Peter Cotton – Co-opted Governor

I live in Terrick and am currently Deputy Chair of The Guinness Partnership (a housing association) and Chair of Guinness Care and Support, a residential and domiciliary care company; also a trustee of a nursing home and a volunteer at a hospice. Previously, I was a managing director of train companies (Gatwick Express and Scotrail) and of Del Monte UK, a management consultant and a marketing manager at Cadbury Schweppes. I have an MA in philosophy, politics and economics. Many years ago when living in Little Kimble my two children were very happily at Great Kimble School when I was then a parent governor (at a time when things were very different!).

Sue Howgate – Foundation Governor

My long working life features many experiences from time spent in a laundry to leading both small and large teaching teams. My teaching at secondary level includes English, Information Technology, Media Studies, Drama and RE. I have also worked in a homeless shelter, an education library, the careers service and more.

I have lived in Great Kimble for some 22 years; now retired, I spend much of my time caring for grandchildren. Over the decades I have worked as a volunteer in various situations, both setting up and leading groups. Currently I produce the Village Newsletter, lead the team who manage the Stewart Hall in Little Kimble and am a member of the Parochial Church Council. As a governor I have a long association with the school.

Our governors carry out their responsibilities through the following committees with all Governors being involved in the Curriculum Committee:
  • Finance Committee
  • Personnel and Admissions
  • Premises, Health and Safety
  • Curriculum

We are very fortunate that our governors are actively involved in all areas of school life. Many visit the school on a regular basis leading assemblies, helping with cooking, supporting early literacy, participating in working parties and supporting the children in their classes.

Governors are volunteers and do not get paid. They are entitled to claim expenses and we actively encourage our governors to put in claims for babysitting, travel etc. The school can only flourish with dedicated governors, but we want it to be open to everyone who is interested.

Our Chair of Governors is Mrs Sally Walsh.

Many of our governors are linked to specific subjects to aid monitoring of teaching and learning.  This governor also liaises when possible with the subject leader, particularly for core subjects. Our governor who is responsible for monitoring Pupil Premium is Mrs Sue Howgate.  The following list shows which areas specific governors are responsible for:


Name Category Term of Office
Mrs Walsh Local Authority Governor: Chair of Health and Safety and Curriculum, Science &  Eco-schools, Attendance 31 Dec 2019
Mr Hannaford Co-opted Governor: Chair of Finance, Maths February 2019
Rev Henderson Foundation Governor: Religious Education December 2018
Mrs Howgate Foundation Governor: Chair of Personnel, Child Protection and Safeguarding November 2017
Mrs Hodgkinson Co-opted Governor, Equalities Governor, Vice Chair, LOtC  2019
Mr Cotton Co- opted Governor Special Educational Needs Governor, Pupil Premium July 2017
Mrs McGrail Parent Governor: Literacy 2019
Mrs Helen Caffrey Parent Governor Responsibility as a Development Governor February 2018
Mrs Helen Holman Staff Governor 2020
Mrs Zena Powell Associate Governor – EYFS 2019

The Governors are also responsible for ensuring the school meets its Public Sector Equality Duty. In practice this means that the Governors audit the school to ensure that any issues with things such as underperformance, poor progression, and bullying are dealt with without any prejudice or bias. The school has an Equality Act statement which can be accessed by clicking the link below:

Equality Act Statement

One of the ways this is monitored is through Governors visits, the Headteacher reports and the Curriculum Committee. The schools is committed to ensuring that all groups of pupils have equal opportunites within a mainstream school to access a broad and balanced curriculum.

Conflicts of Interest and Attendance at Meetings

Since September 2015 there is a requirement for certain information about the governing body to be published on websites. Please click on the link below to be directed to a document containing this information.

Conflict of Interest Document

Would you like to become a School Governor?

If you think you would be interested in joining our Governing body, either representing  the Church, the Community, the Local Authority or parents please do contact the School Office on 01844 346189. It is possible for you to undertake some ‘shadowing’ to enable you to see some of the roles and responsibilities and to help with our succession planning of governors.

If you would like to be  a governor, no formal qualifications are required; you will need common sense, time, enthusiasm and a commitment to working as part of a team. All our Kimble governors come from different backgrounds and have a variety of skills and life experience. However we all share a commitment to the school and to maintaining high quality education within our local village for all pupils.

All our Governors can be contacted, either at the school gate or through leaving a message with Mrs Jeffs. We are very fortunate that Mrs Walsh, our Chair of Governors, lives near to the school and is always incredibly generous with her time and support.

Questionnaires and feedback

Part of the Governing Body’s role is to see where the school is performing well and those areas that we could still improve further. Whilst we appreciate that, as part of a small school, many of you will regularly pop in to speak to members of staff when issues arise or when you need clarification about a certain date, it is one of our duties to put out a formal questionnaire. Previous questionnaires have led to the introduction of ‘Over subscription to extra-curricular clubs policy’, information sheets on childhood diseases and how long to keep children off school, and a half termly opportunity for parents to come in after school and see their children’s work. We have also noted your request to have more prompts  in newsletters about how to help your child at home.

It is always useful to have feedback from parents and other stakeholders as it helps us to evaluate and move the school forwards.  If you wish to give feedback in between the formal questionnaires it will be gratefully received and reviewed.  Please leave any comments in a sealed envelope at the school office.