The Governing Board is the accountable Board for Stoke Mandeville Combined School responsible for setting the strategic vision, aims, objectives and targets; monitoring the budget and resources; and the conduct of the school. The Governing Board also appoints the Headteacher.
School Governors work together with the Headteacher and the school’s Senior Leadership Team, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to raise standards in all areas of school life. They are often compared to non-executive directors responsible for oversight of a public company.
Our Governing Board
There are currently eleven Governors with full and equal voting rights and an additional Associate Governor with voting rights:
Mr R Buttery - Chair of Governors
My name is Robert Buttery and I am currently the chair of Governors and I also sit on the Teaching and Learning, Resources and Personnel committees. I currently have responsibility for safeguarding and development and act as a conduit between the Governing Board and Head Teacher in my role as chairman.
I ran my own business for most of my working life and gained extensive experience in financial matters and employing and working with staff and the challenges of government legislation. I have always been customer facing and found this element of my work the most enjoyable.
When I retired having recently moved to the area, I wanted to get involved in a constructive way within the local community. I was a Governor some twenty years ago and enjoyed the challenge and felt I still had something to offer with my experience and abilities gained from outside the education system. I have time and enthusiasm to offer and I am a good team player. I am able to understand the complex workings of the school and feel my input is a useful addition in its day to day running, but always in a non-operational capacity as required within Governorship. I maintain regular contact with the Head Teacher and endeavour to keep active contact with the staff on my regular visits. I also represent the school to outside agencies and try to keep it on all relevant agendas whenever possible.
My interests include motor racing and music. I raced cars for several years and have played drums in several bands throughout my adult life and continue my interest in both. I am enjoying my retirement and the opportunities it provides me to spend my new-found leisure time seeing the world and walking in our lovely countryside with my two dogs.
Mrs T McGinnity - Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Teaching and Learning Co-Opted Governor
My name is Tina McGinnity. I am Vice-Chair of the Governing Body and I chair the Teaching and Learning Committee. I also sit on the Personnel Committee. The areas of the curriculum that I oversee are English, Physical Education and Skills for Life.
I chair the Teaching and Learning Committee. An important job of this Committee is to ensure that the quality of education being offered to the children at the school is of the highest standard and that the school’s development plan is being adhered to. The Committee also looks at the pupil progress data provided by the school in order to check that it is robust and meaningful. The Committee receives and evaluates reports from school curriculum leaders.
My professional background is in education. I spent over 36 years as a teacher, Head of Department and then as a Senior Leader at secondary school level. I taught GCSE and A Level Physical Education. I have now retired from full time teaching and have wanted to remain involved in education in some capacity, I thought that I would offer my experience and interest to my local primary school by serving as a Governor. I have significant experience in the field of education and empathy with those who work in schools. Having primary school age grandchildren and being involved in their education is also advantageous to my role as a school Governor.
I am a Stoke Mandeville resident and I appreciate the value of the school to the local community. An important aspect of my role is to support the Headteacher. I also have a responsibility to report to my fellow Governors about English, Physical Education and Skills for Life in the school. I visit classrooms to observe learning and meet with school leaders to discuss the objectives for the curriculum areas they lead. I have watched school performances and joined in with school trips.
I enjoy sport and going to the gym. I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. I like to travel both in the UK and abroad.
Mr R Edwards - Chair of Resources Committee
My name is Richard Edwards.
I wanted to give something back to the community that I have lived in for most of my life. My daughters both went to SMCS, as did my sister and myself in the past. My mum was also a Governor at the school some 40 years ago! I am currently the Chair of the Resources Committee and I have previously held both Chair and Vice Chair of Governors positions.
My professional background is in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with 25 years account management experience. I am currently heading up the Aerospace sector in the UK for a multi-national manufacturer. I have a lot of knowledge around Health and Safety, having spent many years in different manufacturing companies. I’m a challenger as part of my current role, giving the ability to be the ‘critical friend’ that we as Governors have to be. I have the ability to challenge, support and add value where I can. I am keen to help the local community and am always prepared to listen to what they require.
I enjoy getting out into the countryside, walking our dog, mountain biking and keeping my daughters funded for all their activities.
Mrs V Brigden - Local Authority Governor
My name is Valerie Brigden and I am the Local Authority Governor.
My professional background is in Finance and Personnel but I have always been interested in education and I am a Governor because I believe that a strong foundation in education is very important for children. I started as a Governor at the school in 2005 and then became the Local Authority Governor a few years afterwards. For some years I was the Early Years Governor and then the Link Governor for English, but for some time now I have been closely involved with school personnel work being the Chair of the Personnel Committee. Over the years my work has broadened into all aspects of school life and I am a member of the Resources, and Teaching and Learning Committees too. I find it very rewarding belonging to a group of like-minded people who work supporting the school in giving the pupils the education start in life which they need and will look back on with affection.
Mr P Wheeler - Parent Governor
My name is Paul Wheeler.
As a Governor, I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee and I am the named Governor for Science. I became a Governor as I have two children at the school, and it gave me the opportunity to understand what happens “behind the scenes” within the school and what is involved to keep the school running and delivering high quality education to the children.
I support the school by sitting on the Governing Board as a Parent Governor and Science Governor. For this I have meetings with the Subject Leader to gain reassurance in the quality of education being delivered. I am very inquisitive and enjoy understanding new processes or information. This means I can fulfil the role of a Governor as I will question information and evidence in front of me to give assurance that it is meaningful and effective. Being a Governor gives me the platform to be able to do this and to know that the school is delivering a high quality of education to the children.
I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Operating Department Practice at a local university. My background before becoming a lecturer was I worked for nearly 20 years in the operating theatres of the Local NHS Hospital as and Operating Department Practitioner working alongside medical teams to deliver safe care to patients undergoing surgery. My final role for six years before becoming a Lecturer was to manage the Day Surgery unit within the hospital.
My personal interests are varied, and I probably have too many hobbies for the amount of time I have to do them in, but I enjoy being outside with my family and enjoy nature.
Mrs J Wales - Associate Governor
My name is Revd. Janet Wales.
I am on the Teaching and Learning Committee as an Associate Governor. I take an interest in the Curriculum, particularly in Reading and Writing, Skills for Life, and the RE Discovery programme. I also take an interest in the ethos of the school and its values and promote anything that enhances feelings of wellbeing and achievement.
I have previously held the role of Head of History at Gifford High Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I also ran own piano teaching business in the UK for 22 years. I was ordained as an Anglican Priest in 2015 and am now the Priest in charge of Ellesborough, The Kimbles and Stoke Mandeville.
I am a Collaborative Leader and have worked with children all my working career. I aim to support the School in the Community and provide encouragement to all.
In my own time I enjoy classical music, Theology, reading & writing, and doing craft with children. I am also a Church Organist.
Mrs A Bailey – Parent Governor
My name is Amy Bailey. I am a Parent Governor, and I am part of the Resources committee. Before starting a family, I worked as a civilian for the Thames Valley Police Force. I now run my own business from home.
I am reliable, trustworthy, responsible and organised. Being a Governor allows me to develop a deeper understanding of the school, from a different viewpoint and is also a great opportunity to 'give something back'. I am also a Parent Rep for the Parent Forum and am also on the Friends Committee. I greatly enjoy my involvement in these.
In my spare time I enjoy baking and crafting.
Mrs K Hinton – Parent Governor
My name is Kelly Hinton.
After university studying psychology, I found myself in a customer service role for a variety of well-known brands. After a number of years I realised that this was not the career for me and made the switch to Teacher Training within the primary sector. I have been teaching now for over ten years with the last couple of years working in a special needs school.
I am part of the Teaching and Learning Committee. At one of my previous schools I was a Staff Governor, so I have previous experience of school governance. Now, as both a parent of children within the school and with my background in education, I have been co-opted as a Governor for Stoke Mandeville Combined School. I would like to help to support the school with my background in primary school education and SEN specialism, and to be part of the wider school community.
I enjoy cooking and going to the theatre to see comedy and musicals.
Mr S Griffiths - Parent Governor
My name is Steve Griffiths.
Both of my boys who attend SMCS have loved every minute of their time there, so I was keen for the opportunity to get involved and support the community behind the school. I was therefore excited to take up the role of parent governor when a post become vacant.
Professionally, I have a background in business and software development. I have been involved in running a number of children's charities and events over the years, including the popular Lighthouse Holiday Clubs. I have spent a lot of time in both the business and charity sectors implementing technical systems and business processes, often with tight commercial restraints. I hope to be able to use these experiences to contribute to the community at SMCS.
In my time off I enjoy writing and performing music and am an avid runner. As a family, we often enjoy walks around the wonderful Chiltern Hills.
Mrs G Tong - Staff Governor
My name is Gwen Tong.
I am the Deputy Headteacher at the school. I have previously worked in a number of other schools in the County and also for the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust as a Teaching Excellence Practitioner. I am currently a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and support teachers in other schools in the County as part of this role. I am a member of the Teaching and Learning committee.
As the Deputy Headteacher, I am able to offer a point of view from the teaching staff as well as support the Headteacher in her role. It is interesting and important to be part of a group of people from the local community who are all working together for the good of the children in the school. I bring an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum and the day to day running of the school to the Governing Board and support the school through teaching, supporting staff, attending functions run by the Friends and liaising with parents.
I have a keen interest in classical music and play the ‘cello in the Aylesbury Symphony Orchestra. I also play the piano and use this as a way to relax. I enjoy reading, including children’s literature and have a group of friends with whom I share and discuss novels.
Mrs E Stewart as Headteacher is also a member of the Governing Body
My name is Eileen Stewart and I am the Headteacher here at Stoke Mandeville Combined School.
My teaching career has meant I have worked as a Leading Primary Maths teacher, with the DfE on the development of testing, been a senior leader in 2 other schools and a deputy head and now Headteacher. I have worked in 4 different local authorities and worked in different sized schools gaining and understanding of the variety of ways schools operate.
As the Headteacher I am automatically a member of the Governing Board. I work with Governors on the strategic direction of the school and provide information to the Board which supports the decision making process.
My role as Headteacher is to turn the strategic vision into the operational processes of each day. I believe in a holistic approach to learning, meaning we prepare children for their next phase of education and help them find the best way to learn. I strongly believe children who are happy will learn, as they are happy to engage with all the opportunities we can provide- and there are so many provided.
The Governing Board support and challenge the strategic view of the school and consider the best options for all children in our school. This strong partnership is a positive way to ensure we have considered the best use of our resources, the best opportunities, the best teaching and provided the best outcomes for all children.
The Governing Board are one of the many strengths of our school, and I feel very proud to lead such a positive team all working together for the benefit of our children.
Term of office for a School Governor is four years, with no limit on the number of terms a school governor can serve. All Governors at the school are subject to regular Government DBS checks.
Clerk to the Governing Board: Mrs J Lockwood.
Previous Governing Board members (with resignation date):
- Mr M Carr (March 2023)
- Mr J Penlington (August 2020)
- Mrs J Brown (August 2020)
- Mr S Pluckwell (August 2020)
- Mr M Rogers (June 2019)
- Mr M Thomas (2018)
- Mrs J Wales (2018)
- Mrs S Greenhalgh (2017)
- Mrs T Sinacore (2017)
- Mr A Roff (2017)
- Mr S Day (2017)
- Mr I Wallace (2016)
- Mr D Gearing (2016)
- Mrs V Walker (2014)
- Mr G Houalla (2014)
- Mr M Arrowsmith (2014)
- Mr D Ramsay (2014)
- Mr D Bennett (2014)
- Mrs L Steele (2014)
- Mr P Foy (2014)
Governing Board structure
Full Governing Board meets at least once per term and deals with all formal regulatory business. There are two Committees that report to the Full Governing Board:
- Resources Committee – meeting once or twice each term
- Teaching and Learning Committee – meeting once or twice each term
Other sub-committees (Personnel, Pay Review, Premises and Health & Safety) meet as required and report back to the Full Governing Board via the relevant Committee.
- Meeting minutes are a matter of public record and copies can be viewed at the school office
- A register of Governors’ pecuniary interests is kept which be viewed at the school office
- Key statutory procedural documents for Stoke Mandeville Combined School are below
Financial and Business Interests
Governors are required to make an annual declaration of any financial or business interests which may conflict with their role as School Governor. There are currently no such interests declared by any of our Governors.
Governing Board Statutory Procedural Documents attached below