Staplegrove Church School

'That they may have life, life in all its fullness' John 10:10

Our Governors

Roles and Responsibilities of All Governors

The Governance Handbook describes effective governance as follows:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

These are the responsibilities of Staplegrove’s Local Governing Committee.


  • At its heart it is about being a ‘critical friend’ to the school. This involves a wide range of activities aimed at ensuring we understand ‘where the school is,’ its strengths, its areas for development, and its core priorities that stem from these.


  • Core priorities stem from a wide variety of evidence sources, including from external monitoring processes, such as Ofsted and other external experts, as well as from school’s own monitoring processes.


  • Governor monitoring activities contribute to these evidence sources. We endeavour to ensure we have the right information in sufficient depth, which we analyse and interrogate in order to provide rigorous challenge. We engage with parents, staff and pupils in carrying out our own monitoring processes to support the improvement process.


  • Core priorities are captured within the school’s strategic School Development Plan and we monitor progress towards these key goals throughout the year.



We are a group of committed volunteers whose aim is to make a real contribution to the ongoing improvement of the school; playing a role in enabling it to be the best that it can be, for our children and who love celebrating too, the successes along the way.



Individual Governor Responsibilities

  • Each governor takes on an additional specific responsibility, for which they have a role descriptor and a linked cycle of monitoring events which they undertake
  • These activities involve staff in a wide range of roles, including Senior Leaders, as well as pupils and parents
  • Governors then complete reports which are presented to the Local Governing Committee [LGC] meetings, having been shared with the HT, who adds their reflection to the report
  • We value collaboration and learning from each other and have, therefore, organised ourselves into ‘coaching pairs’ as governors take on new, specific responsibilities.
  • Governors have listed their specific responsibilities within their profiles below.




Alison Murkin 

Chair of Governors (Safeguarding Governor)

My background is in teaching children from 2 years to 19 years of age and subsequently, three headships in a broad range of special schools. 

In my spare time I am involved with our village church; I enjoy walking my two rescue dogs and I love to read! I am Chair of Governors at Churchfield School, Highbridge, with previous chair of governor experience as well. 

In October 2021 I was asked by the Trust if I would also join and support the governing committee at Staplegrove, as numbers had recently reduced.  I have very much enjoyed meeting the 'Staplegrove family:' staff, governors, some of the parents, and, most of all, the children. Staplegrove School clearly means a lot to so many people, who are equally keen to play a part in enabling the school to be the best that it can be for our children. This is what inspires me too. 



Julian Thompson 

BWMAT Trustee (EYFS Governor)

I have been a Headteacher and Deputy Head teacher in Primary and Middle schools in the Southwest and in Sheffield. I have also worked as a local authority adviser and an OfSTED and SIAMs inspector and been a school governor. Although now retired from full time education work, I am a Trustee and vice chair of the BWMAT. I am now enjoying spending more time with my family and continuing my interest in music and the arts. I am also looking forward to getting to know everyone at Staplegrove and supporting the whole school community.


Derek Smart

(Health and Safety Governor)

I have had a long career in the Food-Oil and Logistics industries. And for the past 21 years I have owned and managed my Recruitment business.

My volunteer work has included 12 years with the Princes Trust mentoring disadvantaged teenagers and during the same period mentoring a number of GCSE students through their 2 year pre exams preparation.

I was previously a governor and Chair of Governors at a local outstanding secondary school and have been the Chair of Governors at St James Church School for 7 years.



Dr Sariqa Wagley Khodabocus

(Pupil Premium Governor)

I am a microbiologist who researches how microorganisms cause disease in humans and I am a mother of two sons, both now attend Staplegrove Church School. I am also a volunteer STEM (Science, Engineering Technology and Maths) ambassador, where I go into schools, take part in science activities and run a microbiology workshop for children aged 5-11 years.  I became a school governor so that I can bring my own experiences of education and insights to the school and support the school to help improve conditions for both staff and students.


Amy Shah

(Curriculum Governor)

My name is Amy Shah, and I have three wonderful children, two of which are at Staplegrove Church School. I have always wanted to be a parent governor to support and challenge schools to ensure that children are receiving the best opportunities to shape their future. I am passionate about Early Years education and the importance of children's holistic wellbeing. I have over 10 years of experience as a Primary teacher and now work in higher education teaching Early Years and Education qualifications



Sandy Robertson 

(SEND governor)

I have a teaching background and always felt very lucky to have been able to spend my career working as part of a team supporting young children with special educational needs and their families. I retired from teaching a couple of years ago. 

My three children, who are now grown up, all attended Staplegrove School so it is exciting to feel part of the School Community again. I am also a member of St John’s Church and look forward to supporting the links that exist between the School and the Church.


Iona Young

I am a retired secondary school teacher and have taught in schools in Birmingham and Taunton with the last 20 years of my working life being spent at Richard Huish College. I have lived with my family in Staplegrove for over 40 years and I have represented St John’s Parochial Church Council on the School’s Governing Board for several years. It has been good to see links between the school and our church community flourish and grow during this time and I look forward to seeing the relationship become even stronger in the future.