Our Governors

JANE JONES

About me

Hi! I’m Jane Jones and I am in my 4th year as Chair of Governors at Park Hill School. I am a secondary school teacher of German at Blue Coat School Coventry and I feel very fortunate to have had 3 children at Park Hill. Teaching part-time gives me the time and flexibility to give to Park Hill.

The role of the Governing Body is to support the school and the wider school community. This includes Head Teacher, teachers, support staff, children and parents. We challenge the thinking behind policies and new ideas and provide robust scrutiny for finance and safeguarding. We frequently visit the school to monitor different aspects of the curriculum and the School Improvement Plan. All governors are voluntary and, whilst some governors are elected to represent parents and school staff, others are recruited for the range of different experience and skills they can bring to the school.

I am passionate about education and firmly believe that schools should be inclusive and non-selective. Every child should feel nurtured, supported and inspired to be everything they can be physically, emotionally, socially and academically. If our children do not feel healthy, happy and safe they will not learn. Our staff here are amazing and our pupils truly are shiny, happy little people!

I am enormously proud of some of the changes and improvements that have taken place over the last couple of years. To mentions just a few: our new phonics teaching initiative, our drive to get over half of our pupils involved in extra- curricular sport, the creative approach to teaching which sees our pupils out of the seats and learning through experience and our SEN and Pastoral support team which ensures that all our children are given an equal chance to thrive and achieve.

Primary education is the bedrock for lifelong learning. To be part of this is my privilege and great responsibility. It is imperative we get it right. Our pupils are influenced by every individual they encounter during their Park Hill school day, from the parents on the playground to the staff in our after school club. Every individual in our school community will be nurtured, supported, respected, enthused, motivated and challenged to ensure that Park Hill is a happy school. We want everyone here not merely to learn, but to thrive – with some passion and with some style! Welcome to Park Hill!

Our Governors

Looking After the School

CLAIRE BARRETT

About me

I have worked as a Teaching Assistant in Primary education for the past 17 years. I have experience in all year groups across KS1 and KS2. In the last 18months, I have taken on a new role in the Pastoral/Safeguarding team. Life within the school setting is so varied and I love that aspect of my job – no two days are the same! Out of school, I am a mum to two grown up boys. I enjoy (trying) to keep fit by swimming, visiting the gym, cycling and walking and I love socialising with friends.

The opportunity to become a governor arose when I joined Park Hill 5 years ago. I was interested in supporting the school and keen to learn how schools are managed and supported from a governor’s position.
From the first day I started, Park Hill has always had a warm and welcoming feel to it. Children and staff are so friendly and I believe this helps the children feel happy and safe in their daily life. As with most schools, Park Hill is forever evolving and this makes the place an interesting, positive and fun school to be part of.

SARAH THOMAS

About me

My primary association with Park Hill is as a parent of boys that have attended the school. I also worked at Park Hill Playgroup in an admin role for seven years up to October 2015. As my children started to move through to senior school I have returned to my former career as a marketing consultant.

I feel passionate about ensuring my children and their friends have the best possible experience they can during their time at Park Hill. Before becoming a governor, I had some minor concerns and felt ill equipped to help one of my children progress. I am a serial volunteer/helper and hoped that learning more about how the school was run, what the priorities were and having my say about what I saw as a parent the school needed to improve on would in a very small way make a contribution.

As a family we’ve really enjoyed being part of the Park Hill School community, with my youngest child now in Upper School our time at the school will be ending soon. As each of my children leaves I am confident they are exceptionally well prepared for senior school and they look back at their time at Park Hill with great fondness. As a parent governor I have had the opportunity to get an insight into why certain decisions are taken, that as a parent can be difficult to understand. The ongoing challenge for the governors at Park Hill is to support the leadership team to offer our children a well-rounded education which sees each child leave as happy, confident individuals that have achieved their potential. Education is a constantly changing environment with increased financial and curriculum demands. Input from governors with a wide range of skills from outside of education often leads to a healthy debate at our meetings, but it is a real privilege to be given that opportunity to challenge, support and encourage when needed.

GEMMA PRITCHARD

About me

I am from the local area and now have two children at Park Hill in years 4 and 2.  I have a degree in European Business and Spanish.  Upon completing my degree I joined National Grid on their graduate programme where I am currently leading the Analytics and Performance Team.

When my eldest son started at Park Hill I wanted to become more involved with the school and his education.  I volunteered to listen to children read each week (which I still do) and very much enjoyed the experience and of getting to know some of the staff and children.  This further spurred me on to get more involved and as such I became a parent governor. I see my role as being to support, encourage and challenge the school in doing the very best for pupils of Park Hill.  I can bring lots of experience from the corporate world from a variety of roles across Business Management and Performance, Finance and Business Support; which as more authority is divulged away from central budgets and councils the variety of skills across the whole Governing body becomes even more important to the success of the school.

From a personal perspective my children are very happy at Park Hill and enjoy attending each day, which as a parent I think is the most important thing.  As a parent governor I have had the opportunity of sitting down with a number of the teachers and am always very impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication they give to the role.  I don’t think I had ever appreciated the level of planning that is required to ensure a rich and varied educational experience for our children.  The one thing I think Park Hill does particularly well is recognising each child as an individual, which I think is extremely important for their own self-worth and confidence.

JOY HALEY

About me

I’m a Coventrian who attended school at Templars and then Tile Hill Wood. I completed a psychology degree in Leeds &, during this time, enjoyed the Occupational Psychology modules the most. This interest led me to look for HR roles once I’d graduated & I’ve worked in HR ever since! My HR roles have been in both public & private sector companies, most recently within retail, an industry in which I’ve worked for 12 years!
On a personal level, I’ve been married for 11 years and we have a daughter. My interests include watching live music & comedy, attending quiz nights and doing a bit of baking here & there when I find a spare hour or two.

One of my previous jobs involved working within Education in a HR role. I used to advise schools on HR matters & I found this really interesting. I was surprised by the complexities involved in dealing with school employees from a HR perspective & was amazed by the sheer volume of communications & legislation that teaching staff have to contend with! I love that schools are their own little ‘community’ & how they operate as a ‘ small/medium business’. Being a Park Hill governor was recommended to me. It’s something that I’ve been interested in doing for many years & so felt that this was both the perfect time & a great opportunity for me to do some voluntary work & achieve personal development at the same time.

I am new to the Board of Governors but enjoyed my first meeting recently & found that there is so much more to running a school than most people would realise. It’s a lovely school in a lovely area & I hope that I can bring some knowledge & useful experience to the Team as well as to the wider school community in the future.

SARAH COCKRILL

About me

My daughter had just started her journey at Park Hill and my son was not far behind, so when the opportunity arose to join the governing team I applied straight away. I manage the Business Analysis team at Coventry University supporting students at the other end of their educational journey. As a team we ensure the systems, policies and processes are aligned to support the strategic direction of the University. I draw on the skills and experience from my career and my perspective as a parent in my role as a governor.

I believe my role is to support, guide and challenge the school so that together we can give children and parents the best experience possible during their time with us.

Park Hill has some fantastic achievements already under its belt but I am confident that if pupils, parents, teachers and governors continue to work together we can ensure the school receives the outstanding recognition it already deserves.

ANN SMITH

About me

After 30 years in the teaching profession, I retired as a Deputy Headteacher of an inner city multi-ethnic primary school, which included a Nursery. My career was spent mainly in four very different primary schools. I was a School Governor from 1984-2003, this being at 3 Primary and 1 Secondary schools in Coventry. Following my early retirement from teaching children, I took a part-time contract with Coventry LEA as an Adult Education NVQ Assessor/ Lecturer for candidates wanting to gain a qualification as a Teaching Assistant.

In 2014, I read an article about there being a shortage of School Governors and decided to apply due to my prior knowledge and experiences in education, and feeling I now had the time t give back to the community. A vacancy arose at Park Hill Primary School, and I applied, having lived locally for 30+ years. Currently, I support the local community, on a voluntary basis as Treasurer of a local Residents’ Association (AGRA).

Park Hill is an expanding school and that in itself poses challenges, especially as the pupil age range is 2-11 years old. It is a welcoming school that attracts pupils from a wide area across Coventry. It has an active PTA which supports the school in various ways. Pupils attending are willing and able to learn. There is a committed and caring staff, led by a supportive and encouraging Leadership team. Together, with a supportive and involved Governing Body, the school continues to work towards the outstanding category it deserves.

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