What does the governing body do?
The role of the governing body is strategic (not operational – the headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school). The governing body acts as a “critical friend” to the school and its leadership. Governors focus on three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
- Holding the head to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure that its money is well spent
All state maintained primary, secondary and special schools, are accountable to their governing bodies, which in turn are accountable to parents and the community. Governing bodies consist of:
- Parent governors – have a child in the school, are elected by parents/carers of the school
- Staff governors – work at the school as teachers or support staff, are elected by staff
- Head teacher
- Local education authority governors – appointed by the Local Education Authority (LEA) from the political parties and the community
- Co-opted governors – appointed by the governing body from the local community for the skills and experience that they can bring to the governing body
Meet our Governors
Chair of Governors
I have only recently joined the governing body at Crowland, although I now consider myself part of the Crowland family. I am recently retired but during my career, I was a secondary teacher in Hackney, a television producer and most recently worked on Teachers TV, the television channel supporting teachers on all aspects of education, sadly no longer broadcasting. For the last ten years I have been a chair of governors in three other schools in Hackney and Haringey. I enjoy the role and have learnt a bit about how to work together with headteachers, teachers, support staff, parents and children to help support the way we help every child achieve to the very best of their potential. I am also committed to making sure that our children are safe and emotionally supported. The Covid pandemic meant that I did not get to see enough of the school and meet parents and children. I am really looking forward to a calmer time when I can get to know you all a lot better.
Chair of the Resource Committee
I have been a governor since the start of 2020, and I’m currently Chair of the Resource Committee, link governor for Early Years and very proud to be part of the Crowland family. Much of my work to date has been in the charity sector, supporting international development and aid initiatives overseas, often focused on improving things like education and health in the poorest countries. I currently sit on the Board of a small UK office of a US-based charity and have most recently been a Director and head of several large programmes for a UK international development charity and think tank, with relevant experience providing financial and governance oversight, supporting fundraising and supporting the delivery of complex programmes. As a mum of three young children, I also see first-hand the importance of giving all children the best start in life and feel passionate about the role of education in this.
Vice-chair and Chair of the Children's Committee
I've been a governor at Crowland for around 10 years now and I currently chair the Children's Committee, which focuses on curriculum, safeguarding and well-being. I am invested in my role and find it hugely rewarding to be a part of the Crowland Community. I live locally in Haringey and I am the Chief Executive of a national youth organisation called Leaders Unlocked, which works with young people across the UK to support them to have a stronger voice on the issues that aﬀect their lives. I’m particularly passionate about youth voice and leadership, which is something I aim to bring to my governor role at Crowland.
I am a qualified accountant, working as a public sector consultant, ensuring that both local and central government get value for their money. I also run a charity called The Open Private School, which seeks to provide state-school educated students with access to mentorship and workshops designed to improve the chances of getting their chosen career. At Crowland, I am particularly focused on improving outcomes for underrepresented groups and I am honoured to have been allowed to be a member of this team.
Local Authority Governor
I have been a school governor at Crowland since early 2020 and, despite COVID, I have loved being part of the governing board and feeding into the operation of the school. In my day job, I am a solicitor at Macfarlanes and have been a qualified lawyer since 2018. I am excited to bring my legal skills to my role as school governor wherever I can.
Anita de Souza
My eldest daughter joined Crowland in 2017 and since then, I have seen the school grow from strength to strength. I am delighted and honoured to be a part of the governing team in 2022, as I have three children in the school and feel I can add parent perspective to the strategic decisions made. I am currently a trustee at a local nursery supporting them in their treasury function. In my day job, I am a chartered management accountant with a practice but as someone who has a passion for the art of public speaking and communication, I also take on opportunities to speak about a topic close to my heart, financial literacy for adults and children. As a parent governor, I will commit to ensuring the school continues to set the high standards of educational performance; utilising my analytical and financial skills honed as an accountant wherever needed.
I have been a governor at Crowland since September 2020. I am on the Children’s Committee which focuses on teaching and learning within the curriculum. I am an experienced primary school teacher and have extensive experience in leading on teaching and learning, curriculum and school improvement. I am passionate and committed to improving the standards of education for all children and feel that in my role as a governor for the school, I am able to share my expertise and use my experience of working in education to support and contribute to the school’s priorities and its achievements.
Further details of the school governors and their committee membership and individual responsibilities can be found in the attached documents.