The governance of a multi-academy trust differs from those of maintained schools. The White Horse Federation (TWHF) believes that placing statutory responsibilities firmly at its centre, in the remit of the Board of Trustees, allows the local governing body (LGB) to focus on providing support, overcoming challenges in the delivery of educational excellence, and achieving outstanding outcomes for all pupils.
There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the LGB chair and central services. The clerk to the Board of Trustees will hold contact details for all local governors of schools within TWHF. However, routine communication for day-to-day school business should be via the chair of that LGB, managed by the school or through an LGB clerk.
The principal and the chair of the LGB are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all materials needed to keep the local governors well-informed about the school and TWHF. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the LGB are effectively communicated to the Board of Trustees. Trustees reserve the right to attend any LGB meeting.
The White Horse Federation has a very clear and shared understanding of what constitutes good and effective local governance. Schools within TWHF will be judged to have outstanding local governance when the LGB:
- Talks about teaching and learning.
- Knows a great deal about the school and its community.
- Is ambitious for the school and its community.
- Asks questions which make colleagues reflect, and that these discussions lead to delivering the very best outcomes for every child and adult within the school community.
- Maintains strong and effective relationships within TWHF.
Current Local Governors
Chair of Governors
Rev Jane Palmer
Local Governor (Safeguarding)
|Name||Position||Nature of Interests||Date Interest Registered||Attendance 2018-19|
|Simon White||Principal||-||-||6 of 6|
|Dominic Szanto||Chair of Governors||-||-||4 of 6|
|Gary Bennett||Parent Governor||-||-||5 of 6|
|Sharon Keane||Local Governor||-||-||6 of 6|
|Jo Bishop||Local Governor||-||-||5 of 6|
|Paul Berry||Local Governor||-||-||5 of 6|
|Clive Briggs||Local Governor||-||-||3 of 6|
|Paul Millard||Parent Governor||-||-||3 of 6|
|Yvonne Crook||Local Governor||-||-||5 of 5 |
|Shelley Ashkowski||Local Governor||-||-||5 of 5|
|Mark Burrett||Local Governor||-||-||0 of 1|
Current Local Governors
Chair - Dominic Szanto (Local Governor)
I have lived in Shaw and Whitley for 1 years with my wife, a primary teacher in Wiltshire, and have had a daughter at Shaw School since 2012. I work in corporate finance for an international consultancy and focus on raising money for the construction of renewable energy projects.I have been a local governor at Shaw since 2017. I believe that every child in our community deserves an education that allows them to fulfil their potential and am passionate about ensuring fairness in society. Away from work, my interests are politics, football, and travelling. I am also a keen musician whose enthusiasm is unencumbered by talent.
Paul Berry (Local Governor)
Having moved into the area in the past few years, I decided to become a governor in 2015. My wife and most of her family attended the school when they were children. As such, I feel a strong connection to both the school and the community.
I work for a large multi-national IT company and I specifically focus on schools. My days are spent talking to school leaders, teachers, and students, getting to know their daily challenges and coming up with a way in which IT can help. Having some education context certainly comes in handy in my role as school governor!
I also sit on the data group and resources committee. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching a variety of sports, and getting as involved in school life as I can.
Clive Briggs (Local Governor and Safeguarding Governor)
I was appointed a governor at the end of the 2015 summer term and have recently taken on the role of safeguarding governor. I am married to Dianne and we have lived in Shaw since 1980. Our two sons attended Shaw School between 1980 and 1990. Since retiring, I have been active in several village organisations, including CONNECT magazine, Shaw Village Hall, the Friendship Club, and Christ Church.
I am a member of Lincolns Inn bar, and before retiring worked for a number of organisations specialising in insurance and employee benefits law.
Paul Millard (Parent Governor)
I have lived in Melksham most of my life and became a parent governor in December 2015. I am married and have three sons, two of whom attend Shaw Primary School - and love it.
I work for a nationwide company and am responsible for software development and service delivery into the public and private sector. My job requires me to manage financial matters closely, which is a useful skill to have being a member of the Resources Committee.
In my spare time, I enjoy family life, whether it be watching my boys playing sports for local clubs, helping them with learning activities, or spending time with my wife enjoying movies. I am very proud to have an active role in helping our school continue to thrive and develop exceptional children.
Russell Evans (Local Governor)
I have lived within Shaw and Whitley for the past 25 years with my family. My wife, Susan, is currently Churchwarden for Christ Church Shaw and my three children, all of whom attended Shaw School, live close by. I consider myself to be an embedded and active participant within the community.
Professionally, I retired from the Metropolitan Police Service in 2009 having enjoyed a 32-year career. A career detective, I retired holding the rank of Detective Superintendent. My roles within the police service involved me working on the Anti-Terrorist Branch, the Anti-Corruption Branch, Homicide, International & Organised Crime, and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
In retirement, I also work for the charity Samaritans as well as perusing hobbies involving golf, bowls, woodworking, and travel.
Jo Bishop (Local Governor)
I am the manager at Shaw and Whitley Pre School and have worked at the setting for more than 16 years. I love having the opportunity to help children to develop their confidence and independence before they leave to go to school. I am also the SENCO in the setting.
I am married and have three children, ranging from 14 to 19 years old. I have lived in Bath for three years and previously lived in Whitley for 14 years.
In my spare time, I enjoy watching rugby and cricket. I am a welfare officer at Corsham Cricket Club. I also enjoy listening to music, watching films, and taking my dogs out for walks.
Gary Bennett (Parent Governor)
Having moved to Melksham in 2010 with my wife, our eldest daughter has attended Shaw School since 2012. I have a firm belief that all children deserve the best start in life through school and parental support, and that Shaw School provides the right educational setting and opportunities for our daughter and other children.
My day job is as an Information Assurance Consultant with a FTSE 250 company with a very keen eye on data protection matters. This involves understanding new situations and regularly meeting new challenges.
In our spare time, we enjoy weekend breaks as a family and finding time for me to do the obligatory DIY jobs.
Simon White (Headteacher)
I am now in my 30th year of teaching, 21 of them as headteacher. I have worked in eight schools across four local authorities and have taught all year groups, although I have specialised in KS1 for most of my career.
The headship of Shaw School has given me the opportunity to really embed the things which I feel are vital in an excellent primary education. Children should truly be at the heart of the school. They should be loved and cared for and supported to constantly improve on their personal best. A great education educates the whole person, and our focus on spiritual, moral, and social learning helps to make Shaw School the special place which it undoubtedly is.
Rev Jane Palmer (Local Governor)
Details to follow
Karina Lanegan (Staff Governor)
Details to follow
Kathryn Clark - left Aug 2018
Rev Shona Hoad - left Sept 2019
Russell Evans - left Sept 2019
Welcome from the Chair
The local governors have an overview of a number of key areas. Parent local governors in particular are here to represent your view and can help you if you have any questions or concerns. If you would like to speak to a local governor informally, we can often be found on the school playground before school. If you would like to contact us formally or are unable to come and speak to us personally, we can be contacted through the school office on 01225 702544 or in writing by leaving a letter for the attention of the chair of the local governing body.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to contact us via the school or cannot pop into the office, you can contact the governors using the contact form on this page.
Please note: that we meet 6 times a year so it may not always be possible to answer a query straight away. However, your query will always be acknowledged and we will endeavour to give you a timescale for answering your questions.
Minutes are available on request by contacting the school office.
The chair of each LGB will also sit on a collective group of similar chairs, from which one representative will be elected and then co-opted onto the Board of Trustees This process will be repeated every two years, thus affording new chairs the opportunity to be similarly elected.
TWHF executive board has clearly identified the areas of responsibility that they delegate to the LGBs. Although not in any way legally responsible, and not itself accountable for the statutory functions, the LGB has an important role to play in assisting the school to operate effectively in line with the wishes of TWHF Board of Trustees as communicated to the LGB.
To learn more, visit The White Horse Federation website