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.
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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.
Vice-Chair, Ms Zoe Westgarth, Co-Opted Governor
I joined the school as a Governor in 2014 and am now Vice Chair. My 3 children have all attended Cunningham Hill. I am the Designated Senior Persons for Safeguarding and Child Protection in a secondary school where I support student welfare. I am passionate about children’s education and ensuring their school journey is the best it can be.
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.
Co-Opted Governor, Mrs Val Chesher
I have 29 years full time teaching experience in primary and middle schools. I worked in three different London boroughs before moving to Hertfordshire. My most recent position was in the Senior Leadership Team of an outstanding school in Harpenden. I am really excited to further my lifelong interest in education and to use my experience to support Cunningham Hill in wanting the absolute best for all its stakeholders, whatever challenges lie ahead.
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, 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.
Parent Governor, Mr Martin Prickett
I am a father of two girls, with the eldest recently joining the school in Reception. Professionally I have enjoyed a diverse career in elite sport and education. In mainstream schools I have taught in every year group from Reception to Year 13 and in elite football year 4 to adults in the professional game. I have experience in establishing high performing culture, learning and behaviour and I look forward to working with our schools to ensure all our young people and staff grow in a safe, engaging and enjoyable environment.
Co-Opted Governor, Mr Jay Shodimu
Coming from a Corporate background in Engineering, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Business Management I endeavour to assist pupils education and learning in a manner that blends academic excellence and self-fulfilment, so that all persons involved in our federation from Governors to staff to all children at Cunningham have the best opportunity to match and where desired exceed their potential. I am thrilled to be able to contribute at Cunningham Hill, to work with the Senior Leadership Team, school staff, and stakeholders, as we manage arising challenges and our environment through pragmatic and successful solutions.
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.
Co-Opted Governor, Mr Emanuel Stanciu
Information coming soon
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.