The Governors are unpaid volunteers who are all motivated to make a positive contribution to the education of Sebert Wood children. Our Governors are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are parents of children in the school, some live in neighbouring houses, others work in the local business community or are appointed by the local authority. There is always at least one staff governor. Our current Governors are as listed below:-
Chair of Governors: Mr Jamie Gaskin
Vice Chair of Governors: Mr Andrew Southwood
Named Safeguarding Governor: Mr Jamie Gaskin
Headteacher: Mr James Tottie
Mrs Gemma Arrow - Parent Governor - Term of Office End Date 8.11.2026
Gemma has lived in Bury St Edmunds for many years and was in fact one of the first pupils to walk through the doors of Sebert Wood when it first opened! Gemma's two children now attend the school and she feels a very deep-rooted connection to Sebert Wood. As a Primary School teacher herself, Gemma fully understands the challenges that schools are currently facing and feels she can offer her wealth of experience and knowledge to support Sebert Wood to progress and continue to encourage the children's love of learning.
Mr Miles Beasley – Co-opted Governor – Term of Office End Date 13.11.2025
Miles has lived in Bury for over 8 years and two of his three daughters currently attend the school. In addition to the full board responsibilities, supports the Personnel committee. A partner within the John Lewis Partnership, Miles works for Waitrose as a Regional Operations Manager. As is the case for many, family life is extremely busy. However there is a little free time found for sport as a participant and spectator, and socialising with friends and family.
Mr Jamie Gaskin – Chair of Governors – Term of Office End Date 7.06.2025
Jamie has lived in Bury St Edmunds for over 17 years. Jamie has two sons, both having previously attended Sebert Wood. Jamie’s wife Jo is our Early Years Practitioner in Nursery. Jamie works in retail as a company director. Outside of work Jamie enjoys socialising with friends and family.
Mrs Lisa Grove - Co-opted Governor - Term of Office End date 02.05.2026
Lisa has lived in Bury St Edmunds all her life and has two children, the eldest who left Sebert Wood last year and the youngest who is currently still a pupil at the school. She has recently become a Co-opted Governor. Lisa works as a Senior Manager in Local Government and first started volunteering in 2013 when she was asked to become a Trustee of a local charity. In and amongst busy family life, Lisa can be found indulging in a spot of DIY when time allows.
Miss Georgie Lee - Co-opted Governor - Term of Office End Date 19.10.2027
Ms Sharon Perry - LA Governor - Term of Office End Date 11.06.2027
Mr Stephen Rusanen – Co-opted Governor – Term of Office End Date 24.06.2027
Stephen has lived in and around the Bury area all his life and has two children who both attend Sebert Wood. He works as an IT Manager for an environmental testing laboratory and is passionate about the use of technology to aid learning. In his spare time he teaches children to sail throughout the summer at Lackford Lake.
Mr Andrew Southwood – Parent Governor – Vice Chair – Term of Office End Date 19.03.2026
Andrew has been a school governor since 2013, and he has three children, one of which still attends Sebert Wood. With over 15 years experience as an Environmental Regulator, Andrew’s areas of particular interest include climate change and the ‘Green’ agenda. His public sector contacts to accelerate the installation of solar panels on the schools roof, saving the school £100’s every year in energy bills and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our school.
Mr Myles Turner - Staff Governor – Term of Office End Date 19.10.2027
Mrs Michelle West - Parent Governor - Term of Office End Date 17.5.2026
Michelle has lived in Bury St Edmunds for over 12 years and has a child at Sebert Wood Primary School. She is a Diagnostic Radiographer with over 20 years’ experience in various healthcare settings and currently works for a Private Cancer Care Specialist Centre. Her healthcare experience gives her empathy and understanding which she hopes will support the diversity of the school. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in a local choir, reading and embroidery.
We currently have a vacancy for a Parent Governor.
We view our Governors as our ‘Critical Friends’. They provide us with strategic leadership and accountability. They regularly challenge our decisions and by doing so help us to become as effective as possible.
Our Governing body carry out a number of important roles including:
- setting the aims and objectives for the school
- setting performance targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitoring and evaluating the progress the school is making towards achieving those aims and objectives
- approving school policies
- ensuring all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum
- balancing the finances and approving expenses
- appointing the headteacher, assessing his/her performance and setting their pay
- assisting in the appointment of members of the teaching staff and agreeing their pay recommendations
- hearing appeals on pupil exclusion
- dealing with staff grievances and disciplinary action
- ensuring compliance with statutory safeguarding requirements
- hearing the second stage of parental complaints
Our Governors do not manage the school on a day to day basis. This is the role of the Headteacher and the senior management team. Whilst Governors do visit the school regularly as part of their strategic role, they do not assess the quality of teaching. They monitor this by analysing data provided by the school and external sources (e.g. Ofsted).
They do not monitor individual children’s performance or behaviour. They identify themes and trends by monitoring the progress of groups of children.
Governors do receive feedback from stakeholders, including parents, but only deal with complaints that have not been resolvable directly with the school. All parents are encouraged to approach the school in the first instance.
Governors do not fundraise for the school (although many choose to do so).
Governors meet regularly and as a full governing body at least once a term. In addition, all Governors sit on various committees that also meet once a term. A budget setting meeting is held once a year.
In between meetings, Governors attend training sessions, carry out school visits, review documents and respond to emails and telephone calls as needs demand. On average the role demands around 10-20 days commitment per year.
Governors are happy to be approached in person in the playground. More formal approaches can be made by writing to the Chair of Governors. Letters for the Chair of Governors can be left with the school office. Alternatively, Governors can be contacted at the following email address: Governors @sebertwood.co.uk
If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please approach the school. Governors are appointed for a four year term. Whilst many Governors sit for more than one term, there are regular vacancies as Governors move, or change their home or working patterns which may prevent them from being able to commit enough time.
Anybody over 18 years of age can apply to become a Governor. No special qualifications are required. All necessary training and support is provided.
The Governors are committed and work hard for the school. However, they also know how to have fun and can often be seen socialising together!