The governing body at Radwinter is made up of two parent governors, one staff governor and the head teacher, one local authority governor, two church parish governors (one for Radwinter, one for Hempstead) and four diocese governors and the rector (because we are a church school). We aim to recruit governors with a range of skills, including legal, IT and financial knowledge as well as educational experience.
The head teacher is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school and the educational performance of its pupils, while the role of the governing body is to:
- ensure a clear vision, ethos and strategy for the school
- support and hold to account the head teacher
- ensure the school is financially stable and its money is well spent
Through positive challenge, governors support the school in delivering high-quality teaching and promoting its core values to ensure that all pupils have access to a wide variety of learning opportunities and achieve their potential.
The work of governing is covered by three main committees, meeting at least termly: Learning & Development (whose work includes monitoring the effectiveness of the educational offer), Strategic (which reviews how the school is working today and how we can plan for the needs of the pupils in the future) and Financial, Premises & Safety (which scrutinises the school budget and spending). Governors also hold a full governing body meeting termly, to hear a report from the head teacher, to discuss progress against delivery of the School Development Plan and to ask questions.
Individual governors also have a variety of special monitoring responsibilities, including Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Wellbeing and reviewing the progress of particular groups of children, e.g. those with SEND. A governor is attached to each year group and pays particular attention to their progress and attainment data each term, and there is a governor attached to each class, who takes a particular interest in what the children are doing and checks in with the teacher regularly. There are also governors who liaise with the three school councils.
The main focus of the governors is currently to support the head teacher in ensuring the safety of pupils and staff and in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, embedding an exciting and engaging curriculum and promoting wellbeing, and thinking about the sustainability of the school in a changing world. We’re really looking forward to being able once more to visit the school regularly and talking to staff and pupils in person.
Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.
Emma Horton, current chair of governors
I started as a Radwinter governor in 2013 while my two children attended the school and carried on after they left for high school feeling that I’d just about got the hang of it by then. I’m the governor who links with the local authority, the Owl class governor and have special responsibility for Pupil Premium children. I sit on the Learning & Development and Strategic committees and the Sustainability working party, and join in Eco Council meetings when I can. The best thing about being a governor here is the joy the children and staff have for learning and for being part of the school community.
I’m a freelance editor and have recently started a circular delivery refill business. When I’m not fiddling with commas or filling bottles with washing-up liquid I enjoy noir thrillers, cake and feeding the sheep at our local nature reserve.
Adrian Watson – Foundation DBE
I was born in Saffron Walden and attended local primary and secondary schools. I have lived in the Radwinter for the past 16 years.
A chartered accountant by profession, I have spent much of my 30-year career working in senior positions within space and technology companies, including spin outs from Cambridge University.
I became a Governor at Radwinter in 2018 when both my children were attending the school. I am current Chairman of the Finance, Premises and Safety Committee, where I hope my finance experience will be beneficial to the school.
Mrs Linda Todd – Headteacher
I joined Radwinter CofE primary school in September 2017 as an interim Headteacher but quickly fell in love with the school and applied for the substantive post which I took up in January 2018. I was attracted to the school by its dedicated team of staff and its delightful children. I have just over 30 years’ experience of teaching and have been a Headteacher for the last 24 years. I have experience of teaching and leading in village schools, large town schools, a school overseas and even a federation of island schools and have a real passion for small village schools. I take an active role in the local network of schools and particularly enjoy mentoring new Headteachers. I am a parent governor at my youngest son’s primary school.
In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors with my husband, two sons and dog. I enjoy baking and like to run to burn off the calories that eating the cakes creates!
I am Rector of Thaxted, the Sampfords, Radwinter and Hempstead – a group of five churches. I was ordained priest in 2011 and served a curacy in Dunmow before coming to Radwinter and the surrounding villages. My previous background was twenty-five years in administration and management in a major professional body in London, and I was also administrator of Chelmsford Cathedral for five years. The Christian ethos of the school is one of its strengths and I see my role as helping to foster the school’s values and being available pastorally to the children and the staff. I am pleased to encourage the strong links between the church and the school and we are delighted that the school make so much use of the church building. I hope that with my background in management and administration I can also offer some relevant experience to the Governing Body.
Caitlin Hayward – Parent Governor
I am delighted to be a Parent Governor here at Radwinter and really enjoy being more involved in the local community.
I am a qualified teacher and am a Subject Leader of Drama in a secondary school in Bishop's Stortford. I also examine the Drama GCSE, which is an interesting and challenging role. I am keen on promoting the Arts and encouraging creativity in all children to help build confidence and teamwork skills.
Outside of work, and being a mother of three energetic boys, I enjoy running (I did the London Marathon in 2019; not quite sure how!) and gardening.
Charlotte Davies – Foundation PCC
I live in the centre of Radwinter and have been a governor at Radwinter Primary since 2017. My son also attends the school. I am one of our two Safeguarding governors and as such I seek to understand and promote the role of safeguarding for everyone in the school. I am also the school's Link governor which means that I act as a "link" between the school and the local authority/third party training providers to advise the governing body on available training opportunities and on developments within governance. I am Chair of the Strategic, Pay and Headteacher Performance Committees. After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in English Literature & Language, I qualified as a solicitor. I am now a highly experienced employment lawyer and have worked at large City law firms, as well as in-house, advising on all areas of employment law, including litigation in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court. I currently work at a law firm based in Cambridge where, as well as advising on employment law, my work allows me to specialise in knowledge management and I frequently design and deliver technical training to lawyers and clients. Outside of work, I enjoy exploring the countryside and the Norfolk coast with my family and our dog, visiting friends, and renovating our period home.
Lynda Henderson - Staff
I am the staff governor and have worked at the school for many years in various roles (Nursery Nurse, HLTA, Forest School Leader and currently Office Manager). I am proud to be part of this school with its dedicated team of staff and enthusiastic children.
I enjoy gardening (mostly on sunny days), baking and walking with my dogs.
Helen O’Brien- Foundation DBE
I have thirty years’ experience of teaching in primary schools in Surrey and Essex.
In 2012 I retired from sixteen years of headship at Rickling Church of England Primary School. Five years before my retirement I was asked by the Diocese to form a federation with another local school, Farnham Church of England Primary. Part of my role as Executive Head was to combine the two governing bodies to form one large board of governors.
Since my retirement I have volunteered in the community and abroad.
I have taught English to refugees in the Calais ‘Jungle Camp’ and I travelled to Romania to work with orphans and children with severe disabilities both of which I found very rewarding.
Nearer to home, having volunteered for Home Start charity when my children were growing up, I returned as a trustee.
I am also registered as a volunteer with Volunteer Uttlesford.
Since retiring I have had regular links with Radwinter Primary school as a representative of our local church.
When the previous incumbent was diagnosed with cancer, I took over her weekly leadership of Collective Worship. After a few years I formed a team of people from our benefice and with the head teacher’s support, delivered Open the Book, a project introducing children to bible stories using drama.
I very much enjoy walking my dogs around our beautiful locality and I am a keen gardener.
This is the second time I have been a governor of a primary school and with my educational background and interest in primary schools I believe I have much to bring to this role.
Simone Gubbins- Parent Governor
I am delighted to have joined the Radwinter board of governors in September 2019. It’s a rare
opportunity to have a real impact at your child’s school.
I moved to Radwinter in 2014 from London, with my husband and eldest daughter, who is currently in year 2. I also have a three-year-old daughter and hope she will start at the school in 2021. We live locally on a Farm Estate (where Forest School happens) and love the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
My professional background is in venture capital (investments for technology start-ups) and business
planning. I have run my own investor relations company across London and New York and am now on a career change training as Clinical Psychologist specialising in paediatric neurorehabilitation.
I am keen to contribute my skills and experience in strategic planning and fund raising to the governing body and look forward to supporting Mrs Todd and her staff in our shared aim of every child enjoying their time at Radwinter and realising their potential.
Jane Richardson -Foundation PCC
We moved to Radwinter 25 years ago and my younger son, Matthew (who is now 22), attended Radwinter School. He loved the school and was wonderfully supported throughout his time here whilst always being encouraged to make his own unique contribution to school life.
After reading music at University I trained as an accountant in London. I was a tax partner in a Cambridge firm for 10 years before changing careers completely to teach curriculum music at an independent prep school in Cambridge. As well as class teaching I was involved in all the school concerts and productions which I loved.
I am delighted to be appointed PCC governor and to be given the opportunity to support our excellent village school. As the daughter of two teachers I have had an interest in education all my life and I very much hope the experience and skills I have picked up in my varied career will be helpful to the school. I am passionate about arts education in schools in particular and as a Foundation governor I am very supportive of the school’s Christian ethos.