Our Governors

Meet the Governors

Welcome to our Governors page. To find out more about our Governing Body, please choose from the links below.

If you wish to contact the Governing Body, please do so via email to astephenson@mereworth.kent.sch.uk for the attention of the Clerk, Adam Blakemore.


About our Governors

For more information, please click on a heading below:

Pamela Conibeer, CHAIR OF GOVERNORS

MRS P CONIBEER

My name is Pamela Conibeer and my husband and I have been residents of Mereworth for almost twenty years, having moved here from Essex early in 1991. My own background is in education, as we moved to Kent in order for me to take up my present post as Headteacher of a girls secondary school in Medway.

I became a Community Governor in 2009 during a period of change and development for the school, which has always been at the heart of the village community, and I feel it is both a pleasure and a privilege to be part of the team as the school goes from strength to strength.

I am also the Chair of the Management Committee of The Rowans which is a Pupil Referral Unit in Walderslade, Medway.

Richard Bolsin

Mr Richard Bolsin Chair of Governors

I live in Yalding. I am married with three grown up children, all products of Kent’s schools. Until 2012 I was General Secretary of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) and was awarded the MBE in 2009 for services to adult education.

After graduating from Cambridge University, I started my career teaching classics at Watford Grammar School. I then went on to work in Hertfordshire, Dudley and Kent and became Medway’s first Director of Education in 1997. I have been a Governor of three Kent schools and of Mid Kent College of Higher and Further Education.

Esther Jenner, CHAIR OF FINANCE / HEALTH AND SAFETY / SAFEGUARDING

I have lived in Mereworth since 2013 with my family. I have 2 children who will both be attending Mereworth Primary School by September 2022.

I am currently a bookkeeper and received my AAT qualification in 2019. My job involves working for several different size companies looking at their finances and helping them with financial decisions to aid their businesses.

Prior to be being a bookkeeper, I worked as an estate agent running a small business and taking control of day to day running and the finances. I helped start the business from the beginning and built it up to what is now a successful estate agency.

A few years back I realised there was a need for communication within the Mereworth community, so I set up the Mereworth Group Facebook page which is ongoing.

Joel Lowthion

Coming Soon!

Bouchera Khatib

My name is Bouchera Khatib. I have lived with my family in West Malling since 2011.
I am a maths and linguistics specialist and I have been in the teaching profession for nearly 17 years. I have taught previously in the USA, London and, for the past 13 years, in Kent. Currently I work in a special needs school in Tunbridge Wells. I joined Mereworth Primary School as a community governor in July 2018 and I am looking forward to being part of the school’s journey to Outstanding.

I enjoy spending my spare time cycling with my children or looking after my allotment experimenting with growing organic fruit and vegetables.

Elizabeth Earl, SEND

I have lived in Mereworth for many years and my two children attended Mereworth Primary School. My professional background is school leadership and school improvement, and I have a particular interest in supporting vulnerable pupils. I am also an Anglican Lay Minister and am involved in the life and worship of Mereworth Church.

Janice Meston, Training, Pupil Premium

I am a parent to two children at Mereworth Community Primary School. I grew up near Rochester before commencing a career in Investment Banking. My work led to international assignments and a role in Switzerland where my husband and I resided for 12 years before returning to West Malling with our children to help care for our elderly relatives.

I graduated with a degree covering Economics and Language Studies and continue to have a keen interest in both as well as running and staying active with the children. I feel very privileged to be part of the team and am eager to take an active role to help the school secure its long term success.

Liz Windon, Vice chair

I worked in Education as a Management Information Officer in Medway and then Kent for 10 years. Initially my main role was the creation and provision to schools and LA Officers of detailed and timely performance data to enable aid school improvement.

I now specialise in providing independent consultancy support to schools to set up effective pupil tracking systems in SIMS Assessment Manager which have often been praised in Ofsted inspection reports. I also assist schools in the analysis of internal and external data as evidence to support their own school evaluation

I train school staff and governors to enable them to understand and effectively use data provided by the school and the DfE Analyse School Performance Ofsted Inspection dashboard

I am on the Steering Group for the 21 Steps Project which was created in 2014 when NC levels were removed. This Assessment and tracking system is used at Mereworth Community Primary School and I am commissioned by the school to create the Termly data analysis

I have been involved, as a LA officer, independent data consultant and a school governor, in providing evidence for Ofsted inspections which have proved effective in improving judgement on standards of achievement and progress.

I have been a school governor for the last 17 years in a number of Primary schools in Medway and Kent. I am currently a governor at Victoria Road Primary School in Ashford and the Trustee with portfolio for Assessment and Outcomes in a small MAT.

 

Diane Varco, Sports Premium

I have lived in Mereworth since 1992, and both my children attended this school.  I was an active member of the PTFA for the duration of their time at the school.  I have always been fond of the school and have maintained an interest in its progress.

 

I love where I live and have always enjoyed walking, taking a keen interest in the countryside around us.  I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen especially baking; my family describe me as feeder!

 

Originally from Worcestershire, I moved to Kent to take up a career in Pensions. I left full time employment to have a family and now run my own small greetings cards business from home.

 

I am active member of our village community, in the past I have served on the Parish Council, the village fete committee and cooked for the Lunch Club for a number of years.  I hope that in being a Governor I will provide a useful additional link to the community which the school serves.  

Kate Maryon, Staff Govenor

Coming Soon!


Mereworth Annual Governor Statement 2020 – 2021

Governance Arrangements

The Governing Body of Mereworth Primary School is made up of 11 Governors. 

These are: 2 Staff Governors (including the Headteacher), 2 Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 7 Co-opted Governors.

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people, who, in their opinion, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

On our Governing Body apart from the Headteacher and staff member, 2 are parents and 7 are members of the local community. They bring a rich and varied range of experience and expertise;

5 have backgrounds in education and education management including a serving teacher from a local school, the remaining 4 have backgrounds in finance, business and law enforcement.

The full Governing Body meets three times per year, in terms 1, 3, and 5 and, in addition, we have three committees to consider the different aspects of the school in more detail. These committees are:

1  The Finance and Resources Committee, which meets three times a year,  in terms 2,4&5  in accordance with  the financial requirements of the LEA. This committee focuses on safety, finance, premises, some personnel matters and oversees the use and outcomes of specifically directed funding for identified pupil groups.

2  The Teaching and Learning Committee, which meets three times a year, in terms 2, 4 & 6. In addition to their general oversight, individual governors take on specific monitoring and liaison roles and report back to the committee and /or the full GB as appropriate.

3 The Pay and Performance Committee. This committee comprises three members of the Governing Body agreed by the FGB. The committee meets on 2 occasions per year to oversee the arrangements and outcomes of the Pay and Performance procedures for the teaching staff and the support staff to ensure that these are fair and equitable and in accordance with required processes. This committee also oversees the annual appraisal process for the Headteacher in liaison with the external advisor.

Committees will be formed from identified governors, if required, to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.

Attendance Record of Governors

Governors have a very good attendance record for meetings and it has not been necessary to cancel meetings because of difficulties re. Being ‘quorate’ (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made). The only cancellation of a meeting in the year was due to a complete breakdown of the IT system.

See separate Governor Attendance record 2020-2021.

The Focus of the Governing Body in the Academic Year 2020 -2021

At Mereworth this was very similar to every other educational establishment in the country, to monitor and support the programme put in place  under the leadership of the Headteacher, to ensure the best possible outcomes for pupils, staff and parents throughout the unprecedented challenges of the Covid 19 Pandemic including various Lockdowns and changing rules and expectations.

The governors were kept informed throughout, receiving copies of all documentation sent to pupils and parents, in addition to comprehensive reports delivered to the GB meetings, all of which took place, in accordance with the planned schedule but on Microsoft Teams. It was a sharp learning curve for all involved and very successful.

Governors were very impressed by the professionalism, commitment and creativity demonstrated by the staff as they delivered relevant, challenging and interesting programmes via the Schools Remote Education Policy during the national lockdown periods, class bubble closure periods and pupils isolating due to Covid 19, to all pupils as appropriate, to ensure their continuing engagement taking into account individual needs and circumstances.

It was pleasing to note from many sources, that parents responded very positively to the work set and carried out by the children, by the ongoing engagement, and to the wider social support offered by the school. There were a number of fun activities planned and delivered, which raised the spirits of the whole school community and demonstrated some hitherto unsuspected talents.

Support was also available for the staff as they coped with the very demanding nature of their roles   Governors were pleased to note this focus on the well-being of all the members of the school community and beyond.

The T&L Committee focused on pupil progress and the use of the Catch-Up premium. All subjects were adapted to reflect the school ‘Recovery Curriculum’ (which focused on English and Maths to recover lost learning from the previous year). They were also interested in the assessment techniques used to inform learning interventions.

The governors were kept well informed about the impact of the pandemic on the progress of the more vulnerable SEND pupils with regular, very detailed reports. The designated governor for SEND pupils visited the school in person at the end of the year and was able to report very positively on the support offered and the methodology of identifying individual needs. Obviously the changes brought about by the pandemic affected the learning of all pupils but, as so often the case, impacted particularly on the progress and development of the most vulnerable. The school is doing everything it can to secure their progress but there are delays in diagnosis and assessment from the LEA.

The F&R Committee concentrated on the impact of the pandemic on the financial position of the school. One area in particular was the effect that closures and working from home policies had on clubs and out of school provision. Difficult decisions had to be made about what it was possible to offer parents and families and governors were involved in the process. They also oversee the effectiveness of the use of Pupil Premium and Sports Premium additional funding and to this responsibility this year .was added any monies associated with mitigating the expenses created by the pandemic. They were able to report that maximum advantage was gained from all the funding although there were some difficulties in terms of timely distribution of this help to the school.

This committee has regularly reported to the FGB on the tight and effective budgetary controls that exist and how the careful and far sighted approach of the Headteacher has enabled the school to meet the many challenges associated with maintaining the established high standards in times of change and uncertainty.

The committee focus routinely on the maintenance and development of the premises and on all aspects of health and safety. A designated governor regularly visits the school to monitor safeguarding processes and to ensure that all legal requirements are met, not only in terms of the safety of the premises but also the administrative documentation and practice.

Future Plans for the Governors

As we begin the new academic year 2021-2022 our aim is to ensure that the Governing Body continue to offer effective oversight and support to the Mereworth School Community. This will, of course, involve our role in helping to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the pupils, their families and the staff. The success of the Recovery Curriculum is fundamental to the school and to all the pupils especially the most vulnerable, but we will need to focus on the well-being of the whole community.

There are issues regarding succession in the governing body. A number of the governors are reaching the end of their term of office and so we need to find new members to take on this interesting and worthwhile role. There is nothing more important…or more enjoyable than supporting young people in their growth and development so I would urge all existing governors to help recruit for the future.


Governors Register of Business Interests September 2021

Mereworth Community Primary School

Governor Register of Business Interests: January 2022

Chair of Governors – Pam Conibeer

Vice Chair of Governors – Liz Windon

Headteacher – Amanda Lavelle

  Governor Governor Category

 

Business Interest
1 Mrs Pam Conibeer Co-opted None
2 Mrs Amanda Lavelle Head Teacher Governor at another school
3 Miss Kate Maryon Staff None
4 Mr Richard Bolsin Co-opted Governor at another school
5 Mrs Elizabeth Earl Co-opted None
6 Mrs Bouchera Khatib Co-opted None
7 Mrs Janice Meston Co-opted None
8 Mrs Diane Varco Co-opted None
9 Mrs Liz Windon Co-opted Governor at another school,

Consultant SDS (School Data Support)

Commissioned by the school to carry out Termly assessment data analysis

10 Mrs Esther Jenner Parent None
       

Mereworth Primary School – Governor Records

Governor Name Type Appointed

By

End of Term Term of office
Mrs Pam Conibeer Chair (Co-Opted) FGB 31st Dec 2023 5 Years
Mr Richard Bolsin Co-Opted Local Authority 31st Dec 2023 5 Years
Mrs Janice Meston Parent Parents 1st Oct 2022 4 Years
Mrs Bouchera Khatib Co-Opted FGB 15th July 2022 4 Years
Mrs Elizabeth Earl Co-Opted FGB 1th Nov 2022 4 Years
Mrs Diane Varco Co-Opted FGB 7th Jan 2023 4 Years
Mrs Liz Windon Co-Opted FGB 7th Jan 2023 4 Years
Mrs Esther Jenner Parent Parents Jan 2026 4 Years
Mrs Amanda Lavelle Head Teacher FGB N/A N/A
Ms Kate Maryon Staff Staff 31st Jan 2023 4 Years
         

As at September 2021


 

P = Present
A = Apologies
R = Resigned
NA = not applicable
Note that not all govenors sit on every Committee

Governing Body Meetings 2021-2022

To view the schedule of meetings please download the following PDF:


Mereworth Primary School – Governing Body Structure/ Membership

HT Performance – Pam Conibeer / Richard Bolsin / Elizabeth Earl

Appeal Panel – Governors appointed as required – at least 3

Complaints – Governors appointed as required – at least 3

Full Governing Body Pay & Reward Committee Teaching & Learning Committee Finance & Resources Committee
Pam Conibeer Pam Conibeer Pam Conibeer Esther Jenner
Amanda Lavelle Richard Bolsin Amanda Lavelle Amanda Lavelle
Kate Maryon Elizabeth Earl Kate Maryon Diane Varco
Richard Bolsin   Richard Bolsin Janice Meston
Bouchera Khatib   Bouchera Khatib  
Elizabeth Earl   Elizabeth Earl  
Esther Jenner   Liz Windon  
Diane Varco      
Liz Windon      
Janice Meston      
       
       

As of September 2021

 

To download the NGA Code of Practice for Governing Bodies click here: NGA-Code-of-Practice-for-Governing-Bodies