Who are the Governors?
The school’s Governing Body is made up of 4 Governors elected by parents, the Executive Headteacher, 1 Governor elected by staff, 1 Governor appointed by Hertfordshire County Council and 5 Governors co-opted by other Governors. We also have 1 Associate Governor co-opted to assist on premises matters. Appointments are for four years, although vacancies do occasionally occur at other times. If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please talk to the school office. See below for a full list of Governors.
What do we do?
The school’s Governing Body is responsible, with the Head teacher for making sure that a high quality of education is provided for all of its pupils. Whilst the Head Teacher leads and manages the school on a day-to-day basis, the Governing Body supports the Head and Senior Leadership Team to agree the school’s aims and ethos and to develop policies to achieve these aims. Within this strategic role, Governors also approve the use of the school’s budget and longer term planning. The Governing Body is accountable to the parents and the wider community for the school’s performance, the use of public resources and for ensuring the school complies with legislation. Governors also have a ‘critical friend’ role, supporting the staff, and celebrating the school’s success but also asking challenging questions about the way school is led and managed. All Governors make a declaration regarding pecuniary interests and if any are declared they are detailed in the individual Governor profiles.
Meetings and Activities
The Governing Body meets as a whole group four or five times a year. There are also three main committees which meet at least termly covering staffing, curriculum, and finance & premises. Governors also become involved in short term working groups to look at specific projects, for example the school travel plan or the healthy schools initiative. A committee has recently been set up to develop sustainable schools policies. Governors also help in various ways in the school, make visits to the school and attend a variety of school events.
Click below for detailed descriptions of the committees within the governing body:
The Resources Committee works with the head teacher and senior leadership team to monitor the financial health of the school. We evaluate the school budget and look at premises, health & safety and staffing. We ensure both financial and staff resources are used in a way that maximise benefits for the pupils.
Curriculum and WEllbeing
The Curriculum and Wellbeing Committee works with the school leaders on the curriculum intent, implementation and impact. We ensure that the school development plan ambitions are in line with the school’s vision, and they ensure first quality teaching for all of our pupils. We consider, monitor and review the wellbeing initiatives in place for our pupils and staff and ensure that we have processes in place for optimum wellbeing at our school.
The Personnel Committee advises the Full Governor Body on all topics relevant to staff and welfare at the school. We ensure we are supporting best practice, and complying with the legal requirements in the recruitment, deployment, retention, development and welfare for all school staff.
Click here for the latest newsletters.
Chair of Governors, Ms Rondi Allan
I am very proud to be the Chair of Governors at the Cunningham Hill Federation. I joined the Governing Body in 2012 and became Chair 2018. My three children have all attended our schools. Coming from a Corporate background in Finance, Manufacturing and Management, and now running my own businesses, I endeavour to bring my broad experience to the school environment. I love working with the Governors, Staff and Senior Leadership Team to have a positive impact on the outcomes for all the children at our school, and to ensure that they are prepared for the next stage of their educational journey.
Co-Chair, Ms Zoe Westgarth, Co-Opted Governor
Information coming soon
Co-Opted Governor, Mr Graeme Bird
As a father of two young children, and a proud resident of St Albans, I’m pleased to help the local community as best as I can. I hold a Senior Leadership Role with a large company and love to use my range of skills to help support the school. Passionate about giving children the best chance of success. Over the last 4 years I’ve helped raise money to build a school in Cambodia, through a number of epic charity bike rides across Asia. I’ve also recently become an FA qualified football coach and manage a local boys football team.
Executive Headteacher, Ms Justine Elbourne-Cload
I started teaching at Cunningham Hill over 25 years ago, becoming Headteacher of the Junior School in 2010 and Executive Headteacher of both schools in 2020. As a mother of 4 children, I see the power of children having a love of learning, both as an educator, but also as a parent. I strive to ensure that our schools offer the very best all round education for all the children who pass through our doors.
Parent Governor, Mrs Michelle Fadil
I have two children at the school and am delighted to support using both my parent’s perspective and my leadership and operational experience, gained over more than twenty years in the global publishing and executive coaching industries. I care passionately about supporting everybody involved with the school to allow it to continue to thrive and provide the best possible start for all of its children.
Co-opted Governor, Mrs Reanne Gourdin
I am a Maths teacher, and I have been teaching now for 10 years. I have recently moved back to St Albans, having returned to the UK from teaching in Hong Kong. I work in secondary education, so I am looking forward to bringing all that I can into this role and working closely with the school and the team of governors.
Co-Opted Governor, Mr Daniel James
I am so pleased to be able to contribute at Cunningham Hill as a newly federated school. My background sits within education and having been through two federations myself, I know first-hand what challenges and rewards can come of this exciting new chapter. I feel privileged to work alongside the senior leadership team, school staff and fellow governors. We are so very fortunately to live in a wonderful part of Hertfordshire and providing the opportunities for all children at Cunningham is such a rewarding position to be in.
Co-Opted Governor, Mr Sohan Sooral
I’ve done volunteer work with schools since my time at high school, and when moving into my professional career, I felt that becoming a school governor was the perfect way to continue. I have enjoyed my time working and collaborating with the staff and governors across the last couple of years and I hope to continue using my broad experience across finance, particularly in my role as chair of the resources committee, to ensure we get the best education possible for pupils across the federation.
Staff Governor, Miss Nikki Spencer
I am Nikki Spencer and have been a teacher for 26 years and a parent for 22! I have completed 5 years at Cunningham Hill and am going into my sixth, with 1 academic year being in year 1 and the rest in year 2. It is an exciting time here at the moment whilst we grow and combine the infants and juniors together through the federation. I very much believe in nurturing the whole child and then aiding them to succeed in their learning, preparing and developing them for their next stage in education. I feel that the staff should have a voice at governing level to ensure the whole Cunningham Hill Schools team provide the best opportunities for all of the children.
Staff Governor, Mr Matthew Tavender
I have been involved in education for 22 years and at Cunningham Hill for 10 of these. During this time, I have seen how the schools have grown and developed and am excited at the possibilities that lay ahead as we develop our Federation. As a father, my aspirations for the schools are for them to be somewhere that I would want to send my daughter to: places that provide what each child needs to succeed and be happy. I believe that a school is more than a place to learn information: it is a place for children to feel safe, have fun and grow as people as they prepare for the next stage of their lives.