Barons CourtPrimary School and Nursery

‘Caring, sharing, achieving. Respect and responsibility.’

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  • Barons Court Primary School
  • and Nursery,
  • Avenue Road, Westcliff-on-Sea,
  • Essex, SS0 7PJ
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The Role of the Governing Body


Our Governing Body:
• Sets the broad strategy for the school's development.
• Is accountable to those who fund the school, the parents and the wider community.
• Must act in accordance with the requirements laid down in Acts of Parliament, statutory regulations and the school's Instrument of Government.
• Must at all times act fairly and without prejudice.

Meet the Governors


Name of Governor

Governor Responsibility

Register of Interest


Mrs Julia Jones

(Headteacher since April 2013)

Member of the Governing Body by virtue of position in school


Training Governor


Having being educated in Southend as a child and then spending my teaching career in the local area I became Headteacher at Barons Court in April 2013 and since then we have worked together to continue to move the school forwards. Before joining the school I worked as a class teacher in Upper Key Stage 2  and then became a Teaching and Learning Consultant for the Local Authority. I have also worked as a Deputy Headteacher in Shoebury for 9 years and helped support the successful move to a brand new school building. I love working at Barons Court where we have a dedicated team who work hard to ensure an exciting learning curriculum. Our children are fantastic and are at the heart of everything we do.

Sits on all Committees

Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings




Miss Sarah Richardson

(Deputy Headteacher since September 2016)

Member of the Governing Body by virtue of position in school

Training Governor


I joined Barons Court as an NQT and have had the privilege of working here for the past six years. I have been part of the schools transformation from an infant school into a primary school, creating and designing the Barons Court creative curriculum and developing our school environment. Since joining Barons Court I have had many roles from teaching KS2, leading P.E, Maths and History, leading phase 4 to my current role as Deputy Headteacher. I endeavour to work with the whole staff, children, parents, governors and wider community to ensure the high standards of achievement continue and that all children get the best education possible. 

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee

Finance and Premises Committee



Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Mrs Jessica da Silva

Local Authority Governor

Appointment Date:30.06.06

Term Ends 04.02.20


Chair of Governors


Inclusion Governor


Trustee Governor


Nature of Business: Barons Court Primary School Trustee

I have been a governor for 11 years since my oldest son started at Barons Court.  I have a background in finance with a business studies degree and having worked in the City in the money markets for 15 years before I left to have my children. Although not working at present, my days are very full with volunteering and helping out as a financial adviser for Essex WI , I also support with  some life coaching at one of the secondary schools in the area, as well as my governor duties and looking after my sons! My other interests include music (playing flute and piano) and anything related to food! I really enjoy my work as a governor and have learned so much about the school, its ethos, and how a school which is innovative and forward thinking can achieve great results and happy children. It is a real privilege to be a governor at Barons Court.

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee

 Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee 

Finance and Premises Committee



Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Dr Maria Caunce

Co-opted Governor

Appointment Date: 13.09.12

Term Ends 13.09.20


Vice Chair of Governors


Safeguarding Governor

Nature of Business: Course Leader at the London School of Osteopathy.


I have been a Governor since September 2012 and have  been incredibly impressed with the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to learning of all those involved in the school and am very excited to be able to play a part in its continuing development. My professional background is in University education, specifically  in the education of healthcare professionals and I used to sit as a local Councillor for Milton Ward where the school is based. I enjoy cooking, sewing, gardening and sailing when time allows.

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee

Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee



Governor Attendance at Pupil Outcome Committee 2016-2017


Mrs Sarah Mills

Parent Governor

Appointment Date: 07.10.10

Term Ends 07.10.18


Community Development  Governor



Nature of Business: Southend -on-Sea Borough Council employee

I am a mum of four, with two children currently at Barons Court. My professional background is in health research and project management, and I have just returned to this field. I am a member of the Westcliff-on-Sea Women's Institute, which I was instrumental in setting up with a group of friends a few years ago. I was president of it for three years, and remain an active member. I sing in a community choir and I'm in two book groups. I love the community aspect of Barons Court, particularly the CLIC where I have been an enthusiastic participant on a wide variety of courses.

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee

 Finance and Premises Committee 


Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Mr Alex Thornton

Staff Governor

Appointment Date: 18.09.14

Term Ends 18.09.18


Health and Safety Governor

Nature of Business: Finish Line Fund - Charity Trustee

Having been a parent at Barons Court, worked in a number of industries outside of education, and now a teacher I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the role of Staff Governor. I have had previous experience sitting on the Governing Body of another local primary school for three years, a role I enjoyed enormously, found fulfilling and during which time I hope that I acted as the critical friend that the Governor role requires. As a Staff Governor I intend to represent the broad views and opinions of the staff and act as we all do; to ensure high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school. I look forward to helping Barons Court achieve the best that it can for all our children

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee

Finance and Premises Committee



Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Mrs Debbie Docherty

Co-Opted Governor

Appointment Date: 03.07.15

Term Ends 03.07.18

Curriculum Governor


I enjoy my role as a Co-Opted Governor.  I have recently retired from my post as Head of Faculty of Business and Enterprise at South Essex College, a large Further and Higher Education College.  I have many years experience in education, albeit in a different sector, and am keen to explore further how I can help Barons Court to maintain high standards for all its pupils. I have always been active in the local community being, in the past, treasurer of a local playgroup and chairperson of the National Childbirth Trust. Currently, I am a member of the WI, a local running group and a book club. 

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee 


Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Mrs Sian Ovel Parent Governor

Appointment Date: 04.02.16

Term Ends 04.02.19

Community Development Governor Nature of Business: Financial Administration owner (Just So Administration) 

I have been part of the Barons Court community for 6 years and have two children at the school, currently in years 4 and 6.  I greatly admire the drive and ethos of the school and believe passionately that all children should have the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability in a happy, caring and safe environment.

I have 20 years experience in financial services specialising in pensions, investments and cashflow modelling. In  2007 I set up my own company providing independent research for Financial Advisers.

A self confessed tree hugger, I enjoy being outside hiking, horse riding and running. I also love to watch live bands play and feel that music is a very powerful tool. 

Contributes to:

Full Governing Body

Curriculum Committee 

Finance and Premises Committee

Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016-2017


Mrs Anne Purdham

Clerk to the Governing Body

I've been involved with Barons Court since my daughter started in the nursery in 1998 – following on from terms of office as a Parent Governor and Local Authority Governor I am now proud to be acting as clerk to the Governing Body.


The Structure of our Governing Body


The Full Governing Body of Barons Court Primary School and Nursery meets at least once a term. Much of the work takes place in meetings of smaller groups of governors, which concentrate on managing specific areas of the school linked to school improvement.


These smaller groups which also meet at least once a term are the:

Curriculum Committee - (Jessica daSilva, Maria Caunce, Julia Jones, Sarah Mills, Debbie Docherty, Alex Thornton, Sarah Richardson and Sian Ovel)     

Chair: Debbie Docherty

Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee -  (Jessica daSilva, Maria Caunce  Julia Jones and Debbie Docherty) 

Chair: Maria Caunce

Finance/Premises Committee -  (Julia Jones, Jessica daSilva,  Alex Thornton , Sian Ovel, Sarah Richardson, Sarah Mills - joined by Alison Overton: Finance Manager)     

Chair: Sian Ovel (Finance) Alex Thornton (Premises)


Each of these committees have a defined role to support school improvement. Governors are all volunteers, and the numbers and types of governors are set out in the Instrument of Government for the school. The composition of the Governing Body reflects a wide range of groups in the community. The Governing Body has a business of interest register which is reviewed and updated termly.

Timetable of Meetings 2017-2018


Full Governing Body meetings

Autumn 2017

Spring 2018

Summer 2018

Wednesday 20 September - 9.00 am

Wednesday 13 December -  9.00 am

Wednesday 28 March 9.00am

Wednesday 11 July – 9.00am





Personnel, Pay and CPD



Autumn Term 2017

Wednesday 8 November

Wednesday 1 November

Thursday 19 October

Spring Term 2018

Wednesday 7 March

Wednesday 21 February

Monday 19 March


Summer Term 2018

Wednesday 23rd May

Wednesday 16 May

Thursday 7 June

Annual Governance Statement

Governors Information Board

Following parental feedback we are pleased to see that many of our parents find the information provided by our Governors on their role and work highly beneficial. We will continue to use our newsletters for regular updates on the work of our Governing Body. Please see the welcome from our Chair of Governors below:

“I would like to introduce myself as the Chair of Governors.  I have been a Governor for 11 years now and was the Vice Chair of Governors for a year before becomg the Chair of Governors. I have been working in the school kitchen as a volunteer  and both of my children have attended the school.

I am proud and excited to be working with an enthusiastic team of governors who are striving to ensure high standards of achievement for all the children in our school, so that each child leaves the school emotionally and academically ready for the challenges of secondary school.  

As Governors we have 3 main roles:-

  • Helping to set the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

We have continued to re-structure the governing body to try to make it even more effective and focused on the areas that have been identified for development. We will be reporting to parents regularly through the newsletter and via the website, as well as through the parent council where governors, the headteacher and parent representatives will work on school projects in line with school development plans. Look out for more updates coming soon.

Jessica da Silva – Chair of Governors

Feedback from the Curriculum Committee - 8 November 2017

The Curriculum Committee covers a wide range of topics including monitoring school performance and ensuring the school meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. We also review, adopt and monitor the overall curriculum policy at Barons Court. The committee meets at least once a term and most recently on Wednesday 8 November. At this meeting we discussed the curriculum maps which are used across the school to support the children’s learning journey. These are reviewed and enhanced regularly to ensure they remain relevant and dynamic. Mr Thornton gave us an overview of how programming is a current focus for computing across the school. The children are enjoying using the new Cubetto robots for programming skills in all phases.  We received an update from Mrs Devine regarding the importance of PE at Barons Court and how new disciplines have been introduced to ensure variety and stimulation to engage all children.  The Governors were delighted to learn that the school recently achieved the Equality and Diversity Award. We were treated to a preview of the presentation the Pupil Leadership Team had worked hard to put together, in readiness for their celebration event with the Mayor last week. Finally, we conducted a learning walk around the school. We visited every phase and found evidence that the curriculum is being delivered in a broad and engaging way in all learning spaces.  The Governors would like to thank all staff for all their continued inspiration and hard work.

Siân Ovel - Governor

Feedback from the Governor Personnel Committee - 1 November 2017

The Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee met on Wednesday 1st November. The purpose of this committee is to meet at least once a term to monitor all issues relating to staffing at Barons Court. As the committee title suggests, this includes a wide range of human resource issues including staff pay as well as continuing professional development (CPD). The focus of last week’s meeting was to discuss: staff appraisals; staff absences as well as staff CPD. We were joined for part of the meeting by two Learning Support Assistants and one teacher and were able to question them about their experiences of CPD this term and how it helps them to further the learning of the children at Barons Court. The passion and enthusiasm of the staff we spoke with was inspiring. Even after such a busy year last year, it is clear that the Barons Court staff are continuing their dedication and commitment in driving forward standards further to make sure that the experiences of all children at Barons Court are the very best they can be.

The Governors would like to thank all staff for all their hard work and their dedication to the children of Barons Court and we look forward to another exciting year ahead.

Maria Caunce - Chair: Personnel, Pay and CPD Committee

Feedback from the Finance and Premises Committee – 19 October 2017

The Governors’ Finance and Premises committee met the week before half term. Amongst items discussed were, a thorough evaluation of the school's Sports Premium Funding spending which was bench-marked against other schools to ensure value for money. This revealed that Barons Court spends this government funding wisely and uses it to provide excellent outcomes for all children. Ways to continue to provide new opportunities for children were also discussed in relation to this funding. The committee also audited the school against the Schools Financial Regulations with a satisfactory outcome.
In addition, preparation was also carried out for an external audit of the school's Health and Safety policies and procedures, with a focus on the school's outdoor learning curriculum. A review of the school's annual conditions survey and site plan was conducted and recommendations made to Mrs Jones and the school's Finance Manager. The committee will meet again in the Spring Term.

Alex Thornton – Chair of the Premises Committee

Feedback from the Full Governing Body Meeting - 20 September 2017

Firstly, I would like to wish a warm welcome from the governors to all new families starting at Barons Court this term, and a welcome back to the families who are returning. Everyone at Barons Court has started the year enthusiastically and ready for the exciting new challenges that the year will bring! I’m sure it will be an outstanding one!

Last Wednesday, the governing body met and discussed the school’s priorities for the coming year. Every year, the governing body re-structures its committees to ensure that we are focused on these priorities. These include embedding the deep, broad, balanced, progressive skill based curriculum, and developing the quality and consistency of pupil’s handwriting and presentation. The two new committees to come out of this re-structuring are Curriculum which monitors standards of teaching and outcomes for all groups of pupils across the broader curriculum, and another committee which looks at Personnel, Pay and Continuing Professional Development of staff and governors. There are committees still on-going which monitor other crucial areas such as Finance and Premises. Each phase in the school is going to have its own priorities for development too so look out for ways in which you can support your child with their own learning.  At Wednesday’s meeting we also discussed the strong outcomes achieved by pupils across the school last year and we congratulate all pupils and staff for their hard work that led to these outcomes. We thank you too as parents and carers for your continued support of your child’s learning, and of the work of the school in enabling every child to reach their full potential.

Jessica da Silva – Chair of Governors

Feedback from the Governor Personnel Committee - 26 May 2017

The Personnel Committee met on Friday 26th May. The main focus of this committee is to review the school's personnel issues and it is a priority, at this time of the year, for the governors to meet with the headteacher to look at the staffing needs for the forthcoming academic year.

The governors were pleased to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all staff this year with the resulting excellent Ofsted report. They agreed with the headteacher that her continued focus should be to develop the effective staffing structure based on the strengths of individual staff members in order to ensure that we provide the best learning experience for all our pupils next year. It is also important for staff to be able to develop and progress within their roles so that their experience and expertise can be utilised. This ensures that we continue to provide a strong, innovative curriculum and help to ​develop our collaborative working community even further.

To support these changes, the committee is keen to continue with a healthy programme of CPD and professional development for all staff.

Finally, the governors, themselves, will not escape scrutiny! It was decided that they will carry out a skills audit which will be aligned with the new Competency Framework for Governors. The outcomes will be used to evaluate the impact of the governing body and to ensure that there is an effective structure of working parties for the new academic year.

Debbie Docherty - Governor

Feedback from the Pastoral Working Party - 19 May 2017

On Friday 19th May the Pastoral Working Party held its third and final meeting of the academic year. This committee focuses on the equality, safeguarding, inclusion behaviour and pastoral care and support processes provided by the school. One area of inclusion that we closely monitor is SEND (special educational needs and disabilities). Individual support plans are created for children and we are glad to report that children with SEND make outstanding progress at Barons Court. As governors we closely monitor the provisions in place and the targets set to ensure that all children can achieve their full potential. New interventions are being investigated, including the use of lego therapy. You can find lots of information about how the school supports its pupils with SEND on the website. Another area reviewed at the meeting was the Equality Objectives and Action Plan. At Barons Court we seek to foster warm, welcoming and respectful environments which allow us to question and challenge discrimination and inequality. We looked at the strengths of the school and what it does well and identified further priority areas for development. This will be an exciting project and we will welcome input from parents and pupils. Again, there is lots of information on the school’s website if you want to investigate further. A very important area that we monitor is attendance. We look at this by different groups of pupils and compare to national averages and our own targets. Please indulge me while I quote from our latest Ofsted report!

‘Attendance is consistently above national averages. Pupils rarely miss a day. Persistent absenteeism is very low for all groups of pupils.’

Good attendance is really a matter of providing children more and better opportunities to learn. Too many absences can hinder learning. In fact, just two or three absences a month can add up to too much lost time in the learning space. While some absences, especially those due to illness, may be unavoidable, it is important to get children to school as often as possible. Poor attendance can have an impact on learning as early as nursery. We thank our parents for understanding the importance of building a habit of good attendance from the beginning of school life and ensuring excellent attendance for the children at our school.

Jessica da Silva - Chair of Governors

Feedback from the Full Governing Body meeting - 5 May 2017

“What a busy term it has been!

Last Friday we had our termly meeting of the Full Governing Body. This term is a time for the governing body to monitor children’s progress and to look at the finances of the school.

At the meeting we received a very detailed report from Mrs Jones which gives information on the progress against priorities in the school development plan. Current progress and achievements of the pupils, as well as information on their personal development and behaviour are reported, and Governors will ask challenging questions to ensure that the school is doing all it can to get the best for every pupil.

Pupil progress and achievement continues to be strong across all year groups and we congratulate all pupils and staff for the hard work and effort that goes into ensuring these outcomes and the wonderful learning experiences. The support received from home is another very important factor in successful outcomes for children, so special thanks goes to all parents and carers for working in full partnership with our school.

Another area discussed at the meeting is our own training as governors as well as that undertaken by staff. This is to make sure we are all equipped with the skills and knowledge to continue to drive school improvement, and to provide effective support and challenge.

The budget was approved and, as I’m sure you are all aware, funds continue to require extremely effective management. Most of our budget at Barons Court goes on staff as they are our greatest asset and make such a difference to the experiences of all of our children. I am sure we will continue to work as a close team to provide the best education for our pupils and be creative about how we can generate future income.

A big thanks to our fundraising committee and to all parents who are doing great work in organising and supporting events to raise money for all the extra activities, such as subsidising swimming lessons for all children from reception to year 6 and providing outdoor learning resources and sports tournament kits. This fundraising becomes ever more important, so look out for future events and please do drop in at the office if you think you can help out at any events, or indeed would like to join the committee.”

Jessica da Silva - Chair of Governors