Barnes Wallis Academy is governed by an Academy Scrutiny Committee.
Our Governors are:
Emma BennettTrust Senior Link
Emma was appointed a Trust Senior Link on 12 March 2020. She wanted to join the ASC to champion policy and practice so that every child is able to reach their potential. Emma is a senior leader at a secondary school, with responsibility for safeguarding, SEND, behaviour and attendance. She is also a Director for a Digital Marketing Agency. Emma enjoys Sport and has represented her country officiating hockey all over the world. She has travelled to the Commonwealth Games, the Champions Trophy and Olympic Qualifying tournaments. Emma also loves playing netball and spending time outdoors.
Chris BlanchardDRET Appointed Governor (Chair)
Chris was appointed a DRET Appointed Governor at the academy on 28 November 2017. He initially became a governor because he wanted to have an influence on his daughter's education but then realised he could make an impact to all the students' progress through challenge. He is also passionate to see the school as the school of choice for the area and not see children waiting for a bus to take them to another school. Chris has served 32 years so far for the Royal Air Force. His good leadership and managerial qualities enable him to effectively Chair the ASCs at Barnes Wallis, King Edward VI and Thomas Middlecott Academies. Chris is empathetic with excellent communication skills and has the courage to give challenge to school leaders and the higher Trust leaders, if required. He has a calm demeanour and is very approachable, and is often called upon to support other academies in the Trust. In his free time Chris enjoys Running, cycling and reading.
Tim DrakesDRET Appointed Governor (Vice Chair)
Tim was appointed a DRET Appointed Governor on the ASC on 21 October 2020. Since his appointment, his fellow governors have elected him Vice-chair. Tim decided to become a governor because he felt he had the skills that would help the school and wider trust in developing outstanding education. He also wanted to be involved in his daughter's education which is why he selected this school. Tim primarily works in the financial sector, but also holds a number of other executive positions. In particular, Tim is a Director and Trustee of an Opera Company, and also Director and Trustee for a Primary Academy Trust. His biggest passion is as a single parent, trying to do the very best he can for his daughter. Tim has been involved in Opera for the last four years, initially with the Royal Opera House, and now more recently with his own organisation, Thames Opera Company. Tim enjoys long walks with their dog, playing golf, and travelling.
Helen FloranceDRET Appointed Governor
Sue IllingworthDRET Appointed Governor
Sue joined the ASC as a DRET Appointed Governor on 15 July 2021. Since retiring, Sue now has the time to dedicate to Barnes Wallis as a 'critical' friend. She is looking forward to being able to work closely with staff and students to further develop the academy. Sue is the Link Governor for Special Needs. She was a Secondary School Music and Maths Teacher with 33 years' experience. Sue concluded her career as Vice Principal as well as maintaining a teaching commitment. Her role involved the strategic leadership of learning and teaching and data analysis. Specific tasks within this role included chairing the raising attainment through Teaching and Learning Group, being the Professional Adviser to the Curriculum and Standards sub-committee of the governing body, and being the line manager of different faculties within the school. Sue has achieved an MA(Ed) in Educational Leadership and Management. She also has a BA (Hons) in Music and Education, and a Grade 8 Piano and Grade 8 Piano Duet. Her interests include singing in local choirs and playing flute in an amateur orchestra.
Jessica OversbyParent Governor
David WilkinsonStaff Governor
David was appointed a DRET Appointed Governor on 18 March 2021. During the early parts of his career he realised that he wanted to understand and help support academies within the Trust. Through several iterations of the ASC, David has gained experience and knowledge which has not only helped his own practices but allowed him to support others. He is currently the Head of Faculty for Vocational & Arts and a member of the Extended senior leadership team at Barnes Wallis Academy where he has worked for 12 years. During those 12 years he has held many different positions in both in various levels of school management. David hopes that his various roles across education will prove useful to the ASC. As a Father of three children, he loves going away with the family. He also enjoys cooking, going to the cinema and a good old fashioned pub quiz.
Sarah SwannStaff Governor
Sarah was elected by her colleagues to join the ASC as a Staff Governor on 21 February 2018. She has previously served as a Staff Governor and is fully aware of the demands and responsibilities of the role, which have altered over time since the school joined the Trust. Sarah feels it is important that there is Staff Representation on the ASC. She is currently Head of Communications Faculty, Head of House and on the Extended Senior Leadership Team. She has taught for 27 years and has had a number of different job titles and roles over the years. She hopes her experiences, skills and knowledge add to the skill set of the ASC. Sarah loves to read, walk her dog, watch films and visit the cinema.
Nikki has been clerking for the Trust since September 2020. Her background is in public sector accountancy including Higher Education, Local Government and the NHS. As well as currently clerking for six DRET academies, she is a Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer for two Parish Councils. She loves going on holiday with her husband and two children and exploring closer to home with her daft cavapoo. Nikki also enjoys reading, singing and Zumba.
Governor Assigned Responsibilities
Safeguarding - Chris Blanchard
Pupil Premium - Chris Blanchard
Student Voice and Parent Voice - Jessica Oversby
Teaching and Learning - Tim Drakes
Careers - Tim Drakes
SEND - Sue Illingworth
Contacting a Governor
To contact a Governor, please contact the Trust Governance Team by emailing email@example.com.
Scheme of Delegation
Information about the David Ross Education Trust's scheme of delegation is available here.
Minutes of the Academy Scrutiny Committee
Should you wish to view a copy of the minutes of the ASC at this academy, please contact the Trust Governance Team, who will be able to provide you with an electronic or paper copy of the minutes.
Are you interested in becoming an Academy Governor?
We are looking for new Governors to support our academies.
Our Governors work closely with their academies to support the Trust’s goal of broadening the horizons of young people through a world-class education, equipping our students with the skills and experiences to become their confident, academic best, no matter what.
If you have an interest in, and commitment to, improving education and would like to make a difference within your community, please register your interest in becoming a Governor by completing our Governor application form. If you have any questions about a Governor’s role or responsibilities please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What skills, experience and commitment are required?
Governors attend six Academy Scrutiny Committee meetings a year (this may vary slightly depending on the Academy) and are asked to support and enrich the Academy in a range of other ways including:
- Undertaking school visits outside Academy Scrutiny Committee meetings.
- Taking on a ‘link’ Governor role, liaising with Academy staff and other Governors on areas such as safeguarding, special educational needs and other Academy priority areas
- Sitting on panels related to the school, eg, appeals, complaints, exclusions
- Participating in the Trust’s Governor training and development programme
We are looking for local people who would be committed to supporting the Trust’s goals. You need time, enthusiasm and a deep commitment to support these academies to be the best they can for their communities. A programme of induction, training and support is provided and expenses are covered. The Academy Scrutiny Committee role outline can be found here.
How does governance work at DRET?
At DRET, the Academy Scrutiny Committee provides support and challenge to the Principal in ensuring every child makes good or better progress and that the Academy is achieving targets and continually improving.
To maximise the ability of the local Governors to focus on this key area the Academy Scrutiny Committee is not required to set strategy or policy, manage financial resources, staff performance and pay, Health and Safety or many of the other areas traditionally associated with a maintained school governing body as these issues are dealt with at Trust level. This means that Governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – pupil progress, school outcomes and aspiration.
The Academy Scrutiny Committee consists of a group of people who could be parents, community nominees, Academy staff, Trust staff and Diocesan members. Each Academy Scrutiny Committee normally consists of 11-15 governors creating a balanced group of experience, skills and connections to support the academy in achieving exceptional performance.
In summary, the key responsibilities of the Academy Scrutiny Committee are:
- Understanding and promoting the Trust’s and the Academy’s vision and ethos
- Scrutiny and challenge of achievement of targets, school improvement and pupil outcomes. Escalation of any concerns to the Trustees via the Executive
- Supporting and facilitating parental and community engagement
The difference between a DRET Academy Scrutiny Committees and a traditional school Governing Body
By comparison to a traditional school Governing Body:
- The Academy Scrutiny Committee’s role is not to “manage” the Academy. This is done through the Trust’s executive management structure (ie Principal, Regional Directors, Executive Management Team) and the Trust Board. Therefore, the Academy Scrutiny Committee is not required to take decisions on staff or financial matters affecting the Academy. As an Academy Scrutiny Committee Member you should have an understanding of strategic issues that impact on the Academy, and be updated on them regularly by the Principal, but you are not required to have direct responsibility for them. Instead the Academy Scrutiny Committee should be in a position to assess the impact of the Academy locally; how it is contributing to the local community, how it is relating to local families and how it understands local issues.
- As the Executive Management and Trust Board takes responsibility for setting educational standards, legal compliance and financial viability, the Academy Scrutiny Committee then has the time to scrutinise and challenge achievement of targets and school improvement, investigate the standards on the ground, to see how they are working, and explore how the Trust ethos is being understood and expressed in the way the Academy operates. As an Academy Scrutiny Committee member, your view as a parent, member of staff or as part of the community is vital in this discussion.