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Great Horwood Church of England Combined School Where children learn and grow together

Meet the Governors


The Governing Body of Great Horwood C E Combined School


Welcome from the Governors.....  

The role of the Governing Body is to act as a critical friend to the school and to ensure that it carries out its statutory responsibilities.  The Governing Body is responsible for setting the school budget, for approving policies and, along with the Head Teacher, for setting the strategic direction of the school.  
Governors are appointed by the Local Authority and by the Church (Foundation Governors) and can also be members of the local community.  A number of staff and parents are elected onto the Governing Body for a period of four years, after which time they can stand for re-election.
Minutes of any Governing Body meetings are available from the school office, upon request and are displayed on the Parent and Community notice board in reception.  

If you wish to contact a Governor, please contact the school office by email to and your email will be passed onto the appropriate member of the Governing Body.
Alternatively, you may write to the Governing Body via the school office, marking it for the attention of the Chair of Governors and labelled 'confidential'. 

Sarah Biswell
Chair of Governors  


Information about the Governing body

The Governing Body is made up of 12 members.  The body is made up of three Parent Governors elected by the parents of the pupils, three Foundation Governors nominated by the Diocese, three Community Governors drawn from the school catchment area who are selected because of their skills and interests, one Staff Governor elected by staff members, one Governor appointed by the Local Authority and the Head Teacher.  They all hold office for a period of four years, although they may be invited to stay for further terms of office. 
The Governing Body meets twice a term and more frequently if there is urgent business that cannot wait until the next meeting.  The minutes of Governing Body meetings are available for anyone to look at in reception at school.  In addition, the Governing Body consists of various sub-committees:
The Teaching and Learning Committee provides direction for all aspects of curriculum provision within the school and also reviews most of the school’s management policies.


The Teaching and Learning Committee is responsible for the following:

  1. Preparing, with the Headteacher, the School Development Plan.
  2. Setting, with the Headteacher, the targets for the future achievement of pupils at the end of appropriate Key Stages.
  3. Improving the school and developing its capacity for sustained improvement by developing high quality teaching, leadership capacity and high professional standards among all staff.
  4. Ensuring all teaching staff benefit from appropriate professional development and that performance is rigorously managed.
  5. Contributing to an accurate evaluation of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and using the findings to promote improvement.

The General Purposes Committee is responsible for the following:

  1. Managing the school’s finances, setting the school budget and reviewing the school’s financial performance against this budget.  The committee also reviews major capital projects and makes recommendations on these to the Governing Body.   
  2. Looking after any staffing matters such as recruitment and retention of staff as well as recommending staffing levels to the Governing Body in conjunction with the Head Teacher.
  3. Reviewing regularly the condition of the school buildings and preparing an appropriate annual maintenance plan to ensure they are kept in good order.  The committee also ensures that all governors and staff have access to health and safety policies, codes of practice, risk assessments and other health and safety procedures issued by the local authority.   

Meet the Governors


We currently have one parent vacancy.



Sarah Biswell (Chair of Governors and can be contacted on

Sarah became a Parent Governor at Great Horwood School in the summer of 2017.  Having lived in Great Horwood for over 20 years she has a different connection to the village and feels it is important to be part of the School that her daughter attends.  

Sarah has over 25 years work experience within the financial services industry.  Having taken a career break she is now enjoying taking on another challenge using the skills she have accumulated over the years.  Sarah has recently been appointed to the role of Chair of Governors  - again using her mantra of "life is more interesting if you say Yes". 

Having kept chickens now for over 10 years she am on hand to offer any poultry advice (a day isn't complete until you have cuddled a chicken!). An avid book worm, cake maker and vegetable growing enthusiast - there are no end to her talents...…


Charlotte Nash
Charlotte is a Foundation Governor, the joint Vice Chair of Governors and the chair of the Christian Ethos group. She has one child at the school and two older children who attended Great Horwood.  She leads the Music Group at St James’ Church and is a Languages Teacher at a secondary school.


Janet Hatfield
Janet is the joint Vice Chair of Governors and the chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee. She has had a long career in education including teaching abroad, headship at two schools, an acting headship at Great Horwood for a year and working in the private sector as an education consultant for a relocation company. In addition to being a governor at Great Horwood School Janet is also a member for a MAT in Milton Keynes.


Paula Shaw
Paula is the Headteacher and Governor at Great Horwood School, taking up the position in September 2014. Her teaching career has spanned 20 years in Primary Education beginning in the City of London. Paula has worked in Wilshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and has taught in a range of schools from inner city to village, community and Church of England Schools.

​As Headteacher she attends all Governor meetings being part of the Finance and General Purposes committee, the Teaching and learning committee and the SIAMS committee. She is responsible for the Health and safety of the site and all stakeholders when on site. She is accountable for pupil achievement, assessment and pupil progress.
Natalie Lumsdaine

Natalie is a staff governor and is an LSA working in Acorn and Conkers. She has worked at Great Horwood school for nearly 3 years and has been an LSA for over 6 years.  Prior to becoming an LSA she worked as a marketing manager for a sales company.  She lives in the village and has two children who currently attend the school. 


Tom Davis 
Tom is a parent governor with two children at the school and one more at home. Tom is a GP by profession and has worked in the NHS for over 10 years. Despite being new to education, Tom has already seen many parallels with the NHS. 


Ellie Wilson
Ellie lives in the village with her husband and daughter. Having spent ten years teaching in primary and secondary schools, specialising in helping children with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, Ellie now works as a VAT specialist for a large accountancy firm.


Janthea Brigden

Janthea is an Early Years Professional, a designated safeguarding lead, a member of the Church parish council and runs an award winning event childcare company.   After her second child was born  Janthea changed careers from actress to childcare professional, opening a shoppers creche in Wood Green, London which evolved into her current mobile childcare business. 


Janthea ran parenting courses for nine years and currently trains childcare professionals in communicating with children without praise, reward or punishment. Janthea has three children, all of whom attended Great Horwood school so has a commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all who attend. Her knowledge and practical experience of Early Years make her well placed to carry out her duties as EYFS governor for the school.


Emma Laird

Emma lives in Great Horwood with her family and has been a governor for two years. She works locally as a secondary school Science teacher and is pleased to be able to use her experiences in education to support the local village school which is attended by her two sons.  


Reverend Andrew Lightbown
Reverend Andrew has been rector of the benefice since March 2016. He is keen to help the school maintain and grow its distinctive identity as a Church of England School. This means the school being a place where each and every child, and member of staff, can flourish. Prior to ordination, in 2013, Andrew worked first in the financial services industry and latterly as an University Lecturer. He therefore hopes that he can bring a range of practical skills and insights to the work of the governing body and the life of the school.  Reverend Andrew is a co-opted Governor.