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Meet the Governors!

John Baldacchino: Parent Governor and Chair

I am proud to be the Chair of Governors at Aston by Sutton Primary school. I have taken a lot from the school with one child having passed through it receiving great S.A.T. results and a firm educational and personal foundation to see her successful at high school.  This highlighted for me how important primary education is in laying the foundations for further education.  I have another child who is now in year 6. I wanted to be able to give something back to the school so joined the governing body in 2014.  I have responsibility for Pupil Premium and the Sports Grant which involves monitoring the impact of the resources purchased in these areas.  I have a background in financial analysis so I can use these skills in this vital area.

I currently run my own small company, and have previously managed large hospitality businesses. I use this experience to help and challenge the school leadership team to create new strategies and plans to deliver upon the expectations of the schools children and parents within the framework and budget given by the education authority.  I take a particular interest in the financial management of the school which covers an extensive range of aspects from the number of pupils on roll to the suppliers and contractors used by the school.

I am proud of the achievements our teachers and children have made in recent years from the most recent Ofsted report (Jan 2014) or that some of the dens built by the children and parents on a rainy Saturday in our own woodland are still standing after 12 months!  I am very much looking forward to working with the other members of the governing body during the course of my term.

Anna Plant: Headteacher

I am the Headteacher on the governing body. I have worked in a large inner-city Primary school in Newham, London and an Infant school in Crewe, before joining The Aston by Sutton school community in January 1999.  I have worked at Aston for a number of years as a Class Teacher and as the Assistant Head before becoming the Headteacher.  I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my role and feel proud to be part of the Aston family.

I have taken up the role of Headteacher on the Governors in Autumn 2015 but have been on the governing body since 2009.  This is a role that has added a further dimension to my professional career, and one where the rewards are invaluable.

Our school is proud of the well-established, warm, supportive family community and the hard work, enthusiasm and achievements of all our children at all levels.   This is down to extremely committed conscientious staff, very supportive parents and a committed, governing body.  

Working with the governing body is an important role.  It enables a group of likewise thinking adults the opportunity to make collective decisions for the benefit, primarily of the children but in effect all members of the school community.  Staff members and parents work effectively setting high expectations for all.  As the head teacher I work closely with the Governing Body highlighting the school’s successes and planning for future developments.  This involves regular meetings and in depth discussions about the ways in which the school should move forward in its drive for further enhancements to learning for all the school’s children.

Kathryn Wright: Co-Opted Governor

I started my teaching career in a larger than average school in Shropshire with over 550 children on role.  From there I moved to work in an inner-city Primary school in Wrexham before being appointed as the Year 5 and 6 Class Teacher at Aston. 

As the Assistant Headteacher and a Co-Opted Governor, it is my role to support the Head Teacher in delivery and communication of data and progress within school, provide updates on the school improvement plan and give current perspectives on where our school is on our journey to Outstanding!  I also have special responsibilities for SENDCO which allows me to identity and support children with additional needs. As SENDCO I ensure that the governors are up to date with SEND provision within school.

Being a governor involves a range of roles from being a critical friend, asking questions to support the school in any future development.  We also feel that governors taking part in extra-curricular and community events such as the WW1 day, aids a governor to experience  school life and is an imperative part of knowing our school well.  Governors are involved at all levels and we are fortunate to have the team who are committed and supportive in all we do. 

Hilary Jones: Local Authority Governor

I am a retired Head Teacher and one of the Community Governors at Aston by Sutton.  As a governor, I hope to enhance the quality of educational and social experience for the children of Aston by Sutton Primary School by drawing on my knowledge and expertise gained in my time as a Class Teacher and Head Teacher.  I have special responsibility for Safeguarding which of course is paramount to school life.

Also, as a Governor, I hope to support the whole school staff in the provision of good experiences for the children.  I also aim to support the staff in their professional development.

I believe everyone who plays a part in a child’s personal, social and academic growth has a duty and a privilege to ensure that children come through their school life having acquired skills and values to equip them for a challenging future.

Claire Cavanagh: Parent Governor

I am a Parent Governor at Aston by Sutton Primary School.  I joined the governing body in November 2012 when the eldest of my 3 children joined the school. 

Prior to having my children I  worked in Human Resources in the automotive industry and then in food manufacturing. Through my role, I was able to put training, policies and procedures in place to support people at work.  Communication was a big part of my role.  I have found that many of my HR skills have helped me to be a better governor.

I have always been interested in primary education and believe that these years have a fundamental impact on adulthood.  The governing body plays a vital role in the school community and works alongside the staff to achieve the right outcomes for the children.  We have a strong and enthusiastic governing body ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. 

Being on the Governing Board has given me the opportunity to be involved in every area of life at Aston by Sutton from taking part in a whole school interactive World War I Day to developing plans to move from Good to Outstanding.  We have an active PTA who run events throughout the year including Summer BBQ’s, monthly quiz nights, discos and an annual Christmas fair and raffle.  Parents are hugely supportive of these events and value the work of the PTA.  Purchases such as PE equipment for our new school hall in 2012 and a modular stage for the children to perform on in 2014 continue to benefit the entire school.

Here at Aston, children are supported throughout their own unique journey.  The teaching and support staff never fail to amaze me with the dedication they have to the children.  Our children are caring and happy with a strong family focus.  I am proud to be part of the school. 

Andrew Shaw: Co-Opted Governor

I have been a Community Governor at Aston by Sutton since January 2013.  I have two children at the school, aged 10 and 7 years.  I felt very honoured to be asked to be a Governor and had no hesitation to join.

I am a Partner in my family run Arable Farm based in Aston.  Farming nowadays is not just about sitting on a tractor, although this does still take up a lot of my time.  It’s about running a business and knowing when it is the right time to make an informed decision.  I have seen over the last 20 years where farming has come from and where it is heading, Education is so much more important for the next generation, and I never hold back when talking about food and how is it produced to any age group especially to the young children. In fact, each year our Reception children visit our farm – or a neighbouring farm - to learn first-hand about farming, producing food and about their local community.  I want our children to know that food doesn’t come from the supermarket – not until the farmers have produced it anyway!

I have additional responsibility for Grounds, Premises and Maintenance, working with the Head Teacher and external providers (such as Cheshire Consultancy Service)  where appropriate.  This involves ensuring that the premises and other assets are maintained to an adequate standard to avoid future urgent need for replacement. 

Through my farming business, I sit on a Marketing Information Board for the potato industry and I am also the Chairman for the North West Region of a national buying group.  Drawing from these experiences, together with running the family business, has helped me to be a “critical friend” to the community at Aston by Sutton Primary School.  I feel very lucky to live in a village with a school such as Aston.

Tina Horsefield : Non Teaching Staff Governor

I have worked within  Early Years for 10 years. I began by completeing my NVQ 2&3 then continued to complete my Degree in Young Children's Education and Care, which focuses on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This has enabled me to become aware, focused and ...to ensure young children have a confident, resilient and determined  attitude in thier early years which will ensure they reach their full potential in later life. I work in the reception class with Mrs Shorrock and feel we make a great team!  We both have the same attitude and aims for the children in our class. I am fully trained in Makaton, Elklan and First Aid and have worked with a variety of children with Special Educational Needs, including Autism and Speech and Language difficulties.

I became a govornor in 2013 because I am passionate about Aston and love the ethos of the school and being part of the fantastic team.

Louise Okell: Vice Chair and Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in Aston for the last 24 years.  I work as an Health Care Assistant (HCA) at the local hospital working alongside a large team of medical staff.  I enjoy meeting and supporting new and regular patients every day.  Through my job, I see first hand the critical role that staff play in providing health care to the general public as well as the importance of having effective  financial and administrative procedures in place.

My eldest son started at Aston in 2005, joined by his younger brother in 2009.  During that time I was actively involved in the PTA and supported school events and activities which inspired me to get more involved with the school.  In 2009 I was elected as parent governor and began to gain an insight into the structure and organistation of the school.  I was able to use the knowledge gained through my HCA role

Once both my Children left Aston as was then elected to become a Co-Opted Governor as I could no longer stay as a parent Governor.  

 My role as a Governor is EYFS. Involves working with Mrs Shorrock, TA’s and the children in reception either by supporting them on school trips or in class with different activities. 

I find it very rewarding to see how the children grow from being at pre-school to primary school over the first 12 months and how they become such caring, and confident young children and that is all due to the support and teaching of the staff which we have here at Aston, and it never fails to amaze me the hard work and dedication they have to all the Children.  I am so proud to be a part of the school.  I don’t know of any other school that has the support of parents like Aston has and this is what makes it such a unique Primary school. 

 

Sarah Williams : Co-opted Governor

I am currently the manager of Preston brook Pre-School, I have two children 15yrs and 13yrs.

My qualifications include NNEB, NVQ Assessors Award / Internal Verifier, Degree in Childhood Studies, 7307 Teaching Certificate and a PGCE. 

My work history includes nursery nursing, working in Hampshire, working as a nanny on the PGA Golf tour, then for the Health Visiting Team, Liverpool Social Services and as an Early Years Lecturer in Cheshire. 

I have always been interested in the Early Years and strive to make positive experiences for children so that they develop into successful adults. Working in Early Years is challenging but very rewarding.

I have been fortunate to live in the South of France for 2 years experiencing French life, my eldest child having the opportunity to experience the French education system. I was delighted to be asked to be a Governor of Aston School and I am looking forward to supporting the School in my role. 

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