Portfield School is designated as a non-maintained special school. It is owned by Autism Unlimited.
The Governing Body includes representatives of the trustees, school staff, parents, the local community and others with specific skills and experience to contribute to its work; the local authority is also represented.
The Governing Body of Portfield School is accountable to the Board of Trustees of Autism Unlimited. Through the powers delegated to it by the Board it has oversight of the school’s operations and on behalf of the trustees holds the school management to account for its standards and performance. The Head Teacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school but governors are closely involved in matters such as its finances, developing the school’s aims and setting appropriate policies to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
The Governing Body normally meets four times a year. Governors visit the school regularly and take an interest in a specific area of the school’s operations, such as pupil outcomes or teaching and learning.
To contact the Chair or any of our school governors, please get in touch via Admin.email@example.com or you can call us on: 01202 573808 during school office hours.
Our board is made up of the following people:
Jan Cresswell - Chair of Governors - Appointed on 25 July 2022 - First term - 4 years Relevant declared interest: Senior Consultant, Caritas Education Consultancy
Anna Hewitt - Acting Head Teacher - Appointed on 10 March 2023 - Whilst employed as Acting Head Teacher
Joan Dampney - Honorary President - Appointed on 18 December 2019 - First Term – 4 years
Sally Piper - Parent Governor - Appointed on 30 November 2021 - First term – 4 years Relevant declared interest: Employed as a Contact Worker by BCP Council
Ruth Kavanagh - Teacher Governor - Appointed on 9 July 2019 - First term – 4 years Relevant declared interest: Employed as a Teacher at Portfield School
Lois Knight - Associate Governor - Re-appointed on 6 March 2023 - Second term – 4 years
Melanie Foster - Trustee Governor - Appointed on 25 July 2022 - First term - 4 years Relevant declared interest: Retired Headteacher; Member of National Union of Headteachers
Jane Newell - Safeguarding Lead Governor -Appointed on 30 March 2020 - First term – 4 years Relevant declared interest: Retired deputy Headteacher – life member of National Association of Head Teachers, Trustee of Helping Hands Charity for Poole Refuge for victims of Domestic Violence, Husband is Lecturer at Bournemouth University
You don’t need to be an experienced professional – it’s about attitude as well as expertise.
School governing boards need skilled people to help them run effectively, but both hard and soft skills are needed around the table. Whether you’ve spent 20 years as an accountant or are in the earlier days of your career, schools need soft skills such as problem-solving or negotiation as much as specific expertise.
Being a school governor is a chance to experience leadership at board level at any point in one’s career. Governors are involved in approving the school’s budget, the recruitment of the Headteacher and make strategic decisions. The role provides individuals with the opportunity to develop and hone skills such as negotiation, influencing and teamwork. Volunteers need to be dedicated people who care about improving education, but they do not need prior board experience. It makes the role perfect for professionals looking to improve their business and leadership skills, give back to society and enhance children’s futures.