Simon Bishop (Headteacher)
Woodeaton Manor School,

Tel: 01865 558722

Parents & Carers Meetings

On the 2nd Monday of every half term parents and carers are invited to attend a session covering a range of topics.
Meetings usually start at 7pm with refreshments provided.

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Governor's Welcome

All maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England and Wales are required to have a Governing Body.  The Governing Body in our school is made up of a range of volunteers who bring a vast set of skills, knowledge and experience to represent our school community.

Our Governing Body makes decisions which are in the best interest of our children and young people. Fulfilling the role of a school governor is therefore both a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding.  Not only do governors bring their own knowledge and skill to the role, but in learning how schools are run, they often develop their understanding of leadership.  Most employers appreciate this and are supportive of their staff taking on the responsibility.  Contributing to the growth and development of a school and seeing tangible improvements in attainment and well-being of the children is a satisfying and important contribution to the local community.

The Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for the conduct of its school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school.  The National Governors’ Association states very clearly that the Governors are the school’s accountable body and as such they:

  • Provide a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework.  They appoint and performance-manage the Headteacher and agree the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structure;
  • Monitor and evaluate the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the Headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets, and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy;
  • Sign off the self-evaluation process and respond to school improvement and Ofsted reports as necessary.  In addition they hold the Headteacher to account for the performance of the school and ensure that parents and carers are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate with information made available to the community as required.


What does governance look like in practice?

Once a governor has been elected, he or she has the opportunity to have induction training through the Local Authority and or the school.  New governors may well find that some visits during the school day will help to put everything in context.  Governing Bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year.  Dates for meetings are set annually and usually last two to three hours.  The Governing body at Woodeaton Manor meets far more regularly than this.  In addition to Governing Body meetings, all governors are members of smaller working groups with a particular focus.  We have three such groups:

  • Finance
  • Curriculum
  • Premises, Health and Safety including Safeguarding. 

These groups meet at least three times a year and report to the Governing Body.

In addition to meetings, all governors have a specific responsibility for a subject areas and a range of policies.

Training and Support

Governors do not need specific skills.  Local Authorities are required to ensure that training for governors is available.  Woodeaton Manor purchases the training package provided by Oxfordshire Local Authority.  Some training is available online, some is timetable in the evenings and other sessions are held on Saturdays.  Some training sessions are general whilst others are very specific, e.g. Headteacher Appraisal.  Our Governing Body is a member of the National Governors’ Association.  

The Woodeaton Manor Governor Induction Package can be found in the Governor's Downloads section of this website.

Our Governors include:

Mrs June Nisbet (Chair) is a ‘Partnership’ governor and serves on the Curriculum & Finance committees.
June Nisbet OBE (Vice Chair) is a retired Civil Servant with 40 years’ experience working in education.  The last 10 years of her career were spent developing national policy on school governance.  In the early 1990’s a three and a half year secondment from Whitehall to Oxfordshire Local Education Authority working as an Education Officer provided invaluable experience of the impact national policies make locally. This probably did not make her too popular when she returned to central government!  One of the most fulfilling aspects of her work in Oxfordshire was statementing children with special educational needs so when she retired in December 2004 it seemed only natural to join a special school governing body initially as a local authority nominee and more recently as a partnership governor.   June has been a Parish Councillor for 30 years and is also a member of the Oxfordshire Personal Health Budget Peer Network, a group with people with direct experience of managing NHS Continuing Care funding.

Mr Simon Bishop (Headteacher) is a ‘Staff’ governor and serves on every committee.

Dr Peter Hore (Vice-Chair) is a 'Co-opted' governor and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Peter Hore is Professor of Chemistry and Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford.  When not teaching Physical Chemistry to undergraduates, he does research into the mechanism by which migratory birds use the Earth’s magnetic field for the purposes of orientation and navigation.  He is married with four daughters, has lived in Woodeaton for more than thirty years and has been the Chairman of Woodeaton Parish Meeting for a similar period.  Having been elected as a governor in 2003, he became Chair in 2005 and has seen the School change its designation (2004), become a Foundation School (2008), add a 6th form (2010) and a Primary Unit (2012), and be judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in both school (2011) and Residential (2010-2013) inspections. In 2014, he and June Nisbet (then Vice-Chair) swapped roles on the Governing Body.

Cllr Anne Purse is a ‘LA’ governor and serves on the Premises (Chair) Committee.
Anne has been County Councillor for 20 years and also represents this area at District Council. Currently Vice Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council, for four years she held the Cabinet post for Sustainable Development (including planning issues), and environmental issues continue to be her main sphere of activity. She first worked for a number of years at Woodeaton as a Speech and Language Therapist when it was a school for MLD, and also had extensive specialist experience of working with children and young people with autism prior to retirement.

She has a busy family life with 4 grown daughters and 5 young grandchildren. Apart from that, her minimal spare time is spent delighting in her pug and rescued dog and cat,  and pulling the worst weeds out of her garden.                             

Mr Andrew Foulsham is a parent governor
Andrew has worked for the University of Oxford for over 16 years, and is now the IT Manager at the Oxford Martin School, a world-leading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges. He is married with 2 children - his older daughter, Ruth, is at a local secondary school in Abingdon, and Ben started in the NEST at Woodeaton in September 2014. His professional interests include IT security and governance. When not involved in the care and feeding of computers large and small, he enjoys looking after the family’s increasing number of pets, helping churches and charities with their IT needs and reading detective fiction.

Mr Tim Burns is a ‘Staff (teaching)’ governor and serves on the Curriculum Committee.
Tim Burns is currently the Deputy Headteacher at Woodeaton. Tim is a very experienced member of the teaching staff and has worked at Woodeaton for the last 10 years. He has contributed significantly to the development of the school since its re-designation and continues to work closely with the Head in developing the school further. Prior to this post Tim held various teaching positions in London, Leicester and Oxford. In addition to his educational experience Tim spent 12 years working in the private sector for two global energy companies. The work included the design, financing, building and operation of energy plant.

Ms Kathryn Lewis is a ‘Partnership’ governor and serves on the Finance & Curriculum Committees.
Kathryn Lewis has two teenage children and is a Registered General Nurse working at Douglas House, a local Hospice for teenagers and young adults. She works as a Team Leader and has dealt professionally and personally with challenging situations and behaviour. Having transferrable skills and keeping up to date with current research and practice are all relevant to her Curriculum Committee role. She has a BA (in palliative care) and a BSc (Hons). She became a Governor in 2012 as she wished to make a positive contribution to the smooth running of the School.

Mrs Rebecca Edwards is a 'Associate member' and serves on the Curriculum Committee.
Rebecca is married with a son who attended Woodeaton for all his secondary education. His success in GCSEs enabled him to reintegrate to a mainstream college in September 2016. Rebecca has been working as a teaching assistant in a mainstream primary school for more than ten years and has vast experience of working with and supporting pupils with ASD and other special educational needs. In her spare time Rebecca provides support to local families who have children with ASD, giving them strategies, advice and helping raise awareness.

Mrs Sarah Brodie is an 'Associate member' and serves on the Curriculum Committee. 
Sarah Brodie is a parent of 3 children, one of whom joined the school in 2013. Her eldest daughter is in Farleigh College in Swindon, a specialist college for 16-19 year olds with Asperger’s Syndrome. Her youngest daughter attends Carterton Community College and is dyslexic.

Sarah has extensive experience in attempting to ensure all her children’s different and complex educational needs are met. She believes that all children should be given the right support and environment in which they can fulfil their potential- whatever that may be, and not just academically. When not looking after the children, 2 dogs and the other animals (5 chickens, a cat and a husband) she works as a Community Psychiatric Nurse as she has been a Registered General Nurse and Mental Health Nurse for longer than is polite to mention.

Mrs Mel Dodds is a parent governor and serves on the Premises Committee.

Nicky Oleksiw is a parent governor

Mr Phil Garratt is a ‘Partnership’ governor and serves on the Finance & Curriculum committees.

Mrs Kit Howells       Clerk

Governors' information and duties - December 2017 (PDF)