Dan Thaw - Chair Person, LA Governor, SEN & Safeguarding Link Governor
Emma-Kate Rushton - Vice Chair, Parent Governor, Equality Link Governor
I decided to put myself forward as a parent governor in 2015 as both my children were at Norton Free. I grew up in Norton and attended the old Norton Free School so have a strong attachment to both the school and community. Professionally, I have been a civil servant for 20 years and have worked in the Department for Education for the past 14, building up skills including policy delivery, project management and school data analysis and felt that I could bring my skills to the governing body. As part of my current role, I work with Multi Academy Trusts in the East Midlands and Humber region which involves engaging with a wide range of both Trust and School Leaders to share best practice and support wider school improvement.
Hazel Bell - Headteacher
I view Sheffield as my home having lived here for 33 years! Having a father in the Royal Navy meant that my formative years were spent largely in Scotland, Malta and the South East of England! By the age of 27 I had lived in 27 houses. The best memories of school that I have, were the years I spent at primary School in Scotland and consequently I would really love for all of our children to leave Norton Free School with similar happy memories and positive experiences of primary education. I joined Norton Free in 2003 as a teacher and SENCo, became deputy head and then acting Head of School and was appointed as Headteacher in 2016. I love the school, the community, the children and I am really excited about the future here at our school especially with our governors and staff working together to achieve the best for our children. Team Norton!
Tracy Dyson - Parent Governor, Attendance, Policy & English Link Governor
Originally from Staffordshire, I moved to Sheffield in 2004. I have lived in Norton since 2011, just prior to the birth of my eldest child. I currently have two children at Norton Free School. I work four days a week as a Clinical Psychologist/Neuropsychologist within the NHS at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and this includes various leadership roles. In my role as a clinician, and as a parent, I am increasingly aware of the challenges that our children face both within and outside education and the need for us to ensure their well-being and to foster their resilience. I am committed to helping the school find solutions to the challenges it faces, whilst maintaining quality and ensuring the continued happiness and achievements of both pupils and staff. I am keen to ensure that Norton Free remains a good local school, which provides a solid foundation for our children.
David Dean - Parent Governor
Anna Hallam - Parent Governor, GDPR, Website & Parental Engagement Link Governor
Helen Walker - Foundation Governor
I am a very recently retired science teacher. I lived in Norton and attended Norton Free School as a child. I have been involved with Girlguiding for over 30 years and I currently run the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Ranger Units here. As a child, I really struggled with all aspect of literacy so as a teacher I am especially aware of the role literacy plays in every child's success. I am the Warden at St James Church and so have volunteered to be a Founder Governor.
Reverend Toby Holes (NEW!) - Foundation Governor
Sarah Johnstone - Co-opted Governor
David Beeley - Co-opted Governor, Health & Safety Link Governor
James Chester - Co-opted Governor
Originally from Nottingham, I moved to Sheffield to attend university in 2000. Like many graduates, I have never left. In regards of work experience, I have worked at DLA Piper (a Global Law Firm) where I qualified as a management accountant in 2010. In 2015, I began working with process improvements to improve control and gain efficiencies. In February 2019, I moved to an accounting firm Mazar where I lead the management accounts team.
My eldest daughter Jasmine has nearly completed her Reception year at Norton Free and has really enjoyed her time in school. My youngest daughter Ava starts in September 2019. I am very excited and honoured to join the board of governors. The school is of pivotal importance to the community and held in very high regard. I am looking forward to contributing and supporting in any way I can.
Marie Carpendale - Co-opted Governor
After being a parent with children attending Norton Free since 2005, I have seen the many challenges and changes the school has gone through. I feel now I have the time to help and encourage the staff and school to grow and continue to thrive. Having worked in financial services for over 20 years, I believe I can offer a valuable objective contribution to help enhance all the children’s experience within the school and like wise support all staff.
Nicola Sewell - Staff Governor
David Holland - Associate (no voting rights)
The Role of the Governing Board:
Governors’ act as critical friends to the school, the overall aim is to assist the Headteacher, SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and staff to improve the school so that all children fulfil their potential, are safe, and enjoy their time at school. In conjunction with the head teacher, they set the strategy, agree budgets and are accountable to the children, parents, staff, local community and local authority.
The Governing Body is here to help the school provide the best possible education for our pupils by:
- Thinking and working strategically to help to raise standards
- Monitoring and evaluating progress towards the school’s priorities and targets
- Supporting the headteacher and staff as well as challenging their expectations
- Accounting to all stakeholders for the school’s overall performance and for the decisions they have made.
Our commitment to the school:
The term of office for a governor is four years, although many governors serve for longer to make use of their accumulated experience. The Governing Body meets around once a month for up to 1.5 hours. In addition, they undertake school visits, complete various projects, assume link roles (e.g. attendance/parental engagement/subject specific) and have regular contact with the SLT.
Governing Board meetings are business-like but also friendly (laughter is sometimes heard). Despite diversity of opinions we manage to reach a consensus for the good of the pupils.
What skills does a governor need to have?
The main requirement of a governor is commitment to the school, and time and effort to spend on preparing and attending meetings and on any other activities that become necessary. Particular experience, such as in business, finance, education or law, can be useful. All governors attend an induction training course, and other courses are available to develop skills such as chairing meetings or taking minutes, and to keep up to date in financial matters, personnel law, safeguarding, and so on.
How to become a governor at Norton Free School:
If you are interested in becoming a governor and wish to know more, please contact the school to be put in touch with a governor. The main route to join the governing body for parents is through a vacancy for a parent governor. These will be advertised through school or in the school newsletter. An election is held if there are more candidates than vacancies.
Occasionally, vacancies as community or local authority governors arise. When filling vacancies on our Governing Board we always try to fill any gaps raised in our NGA skills audit in line with the DfE’s competency framework for governance.
To contact the governors, please use either the postbox outside the school office or email: firstname.lastname@example.org