The role of the governing body

The purpose of having a governing body is to:

  • help the school to set high standards by planning for the school’s future and setting targets for school improvement
  • support school improvement
  • be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
  • help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
  • make the school accountable to the public for what it does and what it costs
  • work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review
  • exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the headteacher and staff
  • not intervene in the day-to-day management of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when it then has a duty to take action
  • be a credible, representative and authoritative body, aligned to the school’s ethos and educational purpose

Meet the Governors

Steven Mansbridge – Chair

I was born in Cowper Road and was christened, schooled, married, and then worked as the local baker in Boxmoor for over 50 years.   I have enjoyed living in Hemel Hempstead and raising our family here.  I have seen many changes, and I remain committed to the local community.  I have been involved with local schools for over twenty five years, sharing my craft as a fourth generation baker from the family of Mansbridge bakers through bread making classes at many local schools , including bread making classes at Hemel Hempstead School with students and parents.

If your family are local I’m sure parents and grandparents will remember our horse cart delivering locally around Hemel Hempstead with the horses Charlie or Domino, or visiting our small shop in Cowper Road.  I am now the baker at Redbournbury watermill in Redbourn, which has a working watermill milling flour for the bakery.  Being a home baker has given me the opportunity to appear on television a few times, with my latest appearance being on country file at Easter making hot cross buns with Anita Rani. I have also been lucky to have the opportunity to meet and film with some other celebrities in recent years (Mary and Paul are a couple of names you may have seen together…)

I have previously been a Governor at Boxmoor primary school and now at HHS.  I am also a trustee for the Boxmoor Trust, and the chair of the education and heritage committee. The Trust has taught 1000s of primary school children about all aspects of our local heritage, wildlife and nature and the Trust also support many local charities with grant applications.

As you can imagine I don’t really get that much spare time, but I do enjoy a good movie and the theatre, meals out and playing with our young grandson (the free babysitting service!).  Something you may not know about me is that in my younger days I used to run a mobile disco DJ’ing locally.

Joy Ferguson – Co-opted

I grew up locally and attended this school. I am married with 3 grown-up children and 2 grandsons, 3 of whom have been educated at HHS, (the youngest is just 2). Interested and supportive of the Head and staff throughout that time, I still enjoy helping the School Association (HHSA) to raise extra funds for the school.

I was first an elected parent governor, am now a Community governor, and presently Vice-Chair of the Curriculum and Performance committee. I believe that good governors read their paperwork, question items they are not sure of, support the school and challenge the Head – to do this properly, they should ensure they remain trained on the areas needed.

The welfare and learning of all students are most important – their future depends upon these! Disadvantaged Students can sometimes achieve less well than their peers, so in my link, I welcome hearing about the strategies and support that HHS offer, and how we measure whether these mechanisms are helping the students to achieve their best outcomes.

I have worked in administration, auditing, personnel, retail and banking roles, and I also invigilate at a local school’s external exams.

Rebecca Rose – Co-opted

I have lived locally in Hemel Hempstead for over 20 years and I am committed to being as involved as possible in the local community. I work in the local justice system with both youths and adults, have a large part in running a local tennis club in Bovingdon and I’m also a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator.  I have been a school governor since 2015.

I have two children who have come right through The Hemel Hempstead School.  My son is now at the University of Southampton studying Engineering and my daughter is studying for her A Levels.

Lauren Rayner – Staff

I have been teaching since 2005 and the Head of Art at The Hemel Hempstead School since 2009. Having been a student at The Hemel Hempstead School and as member of staff, my personal connection to the school and the local community has driven my passion for wanting to be a part of the governing body.

I was elected Staff Governor in September 2018. In this role I have worked closely with staff on a wellbeing project and I look forward to working in similar projects in the future, where we can continue to build on the success of a school that is a unique place to work, study and be part of.

Paul Stanbridge – Co-opted

My 98-year-old father was selected to be an original pupil at HH(G)S, but a case of Scarlet fever allowed my Uncle to beat him. He finally made it and met my Mum. My brother and I were next, I met my future wife and subsequently our 3 children attended.

The wonderful staff at HHS gave them a great start in life, they are now the IT director of an international company, the Head of Physics at an outstanding school and a Film and TV producer.

The strong family connection was reinforced by my 44 years of part-time teaching and finally service as an elected member of the Governors. To long? I feel that some continuity is important to keep an institution firmly embedded in the community it serves.

The school has offered me so many opportunities as an adult, as well as the very sound, and broad, education that I received. I was encouraged to support the sporting and cultural life of the school becoming an International Official for Basketball, Athletics and Netball (Timekeeper). When we applied to be a Specialist Performing Arts School, I managed to persuade a friend to become the necessary Industrial sponsor. The head of Performing Arts asked me to record some of the School’s productions; I am very proud that many of my ‘snaps’ are still on display around the school.

As a farmer I am firmly fixed to this area, and like to feel that I am repaying something to HHS, for all of the opportunities that it gave to my family.

Andrew Pennycook – Local Authority (HCC)

I first moved to Hemel Hempstead in 1983 to work at the local education office in The Bury, Gadebridge Park. I served in the Education Department (and equivalents) of Hertfordshire County Council until retirement in 2008. My responsibilities included training, advising and supporting governors. My son attended HHS from 2002 – 2009.  I was first appointed to the governing body in February 2003 and was chair from 2005 to 2009.

My outside interests include membership of Hemel Hempstead Methodist Church, clerking the governing body of South Hill Primary School and amateur film-making (which explains why I can often be found with cameras at the rear of the hall for concerts and musical productions at the school).

Sophie Masters – Parent

I am a parent governor and all three of my children attend The Hemel Hempstead School. I am a primary school teacher at a local feeder school, South Hill Primary, where I teach Year 2, am Outdoor Learning Lead, Eco-School chair and Humanities Team Lead. I am also a member of South Hill Church, where my husband and I run a home group. My hobbies, when I get time for them, include walking and reading, and I am part of a local book group.

Graeme Snell – Parent

I’m a Parent Governor, with a son in year 8.  I’m the link governor for SEN and the Data Protection Officer for the school. This year, I’ve been elected as Vice Chair of Governors. I’ve also been a governor at Pixies Hill primary school for a number of years.
I’ve spent most of my working life in the IT and Telecommunications industry, in a variety of technical and business roles. In November 2019, I ‘semi-retired’ and started my own business renovating property and providing renovation consultancy.

Carol Felmingham – Co-opted

I was a parent governor for 4 years and then became a co-opted governor; I am a member of the committee for Teaching & Learning and one of the link governors for this subject. I will also be joining the Pay Panel.
Born in Hemel Hempstead I grew up locally and now live in the Old Town with my son. After a long career in project management working on global IT implementations I moved into the education sector 4 years ago. After qualifying as a School Business Manager I am currently working in education HR.

Philip Rhoden – Partnership

I became a partnership governor in 2017, and I am currently Chair of the Resources Committee and link governor for ‘high ability’.
I changed direction following a zoology PhD at Cambridge University to train as a chartered accountant. As a chartered accountant, my experience has included: a variety of areas of accountancy practice; local government internal audit; and more than 15 years’ experience as a company director across a number of companies. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as a governor, make a positive contribution to the school, and hopefully add some value from my professional skills and experience.
I currently enjoy family life with my wife and three young children, all of whom attend Boxmoor Primary School.

Dave Bell – Co-opted

After graduating with a degree in Geology (love rocks!), I worked for many years in a great variety of roles in the IT department of Kodak LTD. I am currently a school based family support worker delivering early intervention support for schools in the Watford area, a role which gives me great job satisfaction.
I have chaired the Resources committee for many years and have just become Vice Chair, moving aside to allow progression and development for another governor. My wife was clerk to the governing body and also ran regular theatre trips for the HHSA raising valuable additional funds for the school.
We have lived locally for over 30 years. I have coached youth rugby and cricket for clubs in the local area for many years, a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I have three boys, the last of whom has just entered the school’s sixth form. We are rugby mad, and avid Saracens supporters. In my minimal leisure time, when not watching the boys play sport, I try to keep as active as I can by cycling, skiing and kayaking, depending on the season.

Colin Lilley – Parent

I have lived in Hemel Hempstead since 1967 and have always enjoyed living in the town and watching it evolve.
I have a Daughter at the school -currently Year 8- and also a Son at Pixies Hill -where my wife works as a Teaching assistant.
My working life has been spent mainly working in the Paper Merchanting Industry in a variety of roles..
My interests include Outdoor Pursuits -Kayaking, Off road Biking, travelling and Music.
I am new to the role of Parent Governor -Dec 2019- and am thoroughly looking forward to being part of the team and contributing to the wellbeing and success of the already excellent Hemel Hempstead School.

Jonny Bugg – Parent

I joined as a parent Governor in late 2019 as I was keen to play a wider role in the school community where my 3 daughters have enjoyed an excellent formal and extra curricular education since 2012 (my eldest left for Sheffield University this year). Having served as a youth Magistrate and worked in local and national government roles concerning children and young people, I am currently a senior civil servant in the Home Office. I hope I can support HHS using the governance and strategy experience I have gained in my work with public bodies such as schools and councils, as well as youth justice, police and fire services.

The constitution of the governing body

The governing body meets together at full governing body meetings four times a year.  Additionally three committees meet to further support work around pay & finance, curriculum & planning, and resources.  There is an annual strategy and governor training day.  The Headteacher and the Chair meet fortnightly.  Governors are regular and enthusiastic visitors to the school and supporters of extra-curricular and after-school events.

During this academic year to constitution and attendance of the governing body, to date, is:

NamePositionType of appointmentAttendance Full Governing Body /3Attendance: Teaching committee /2Attendance: Resources committee /4Attendance: Pay committee /1Strategy & Training Days /2Term of officePecuniary interests declared
Steven MansbridgeChair of GovernorsPartnership32311Mar 17 to Mar 21Boxmoor Trust, Mansbridge Bakers. Wife employed at Boxmoor Primary School. Employer, Redbournbury Mill, also works with JFK School.
Neil HassellHeadteacherHeadteacher32412From Sep 18Has a personal relationship with a member of school staff
Dave BellVice chair of Resources committeeCo-opted 342Oct 17 to Oct 21Committee member at Boxmoor Cricket Club. Family Worker South West Herts Partnership
Joy FergusonVice chair of Teaching committeeCo-opted 3222Sep 19 to Sep 23
Carol FelminghamCo-opted312Apr 16 to Apr 23Employee at Hobbs Hill Primary School
Lauren RaynerChair of Teaching committeeStaff governor332Has a personal relationship with a member of school staff. Has a family relationship with a member of school staff.
Rebecca RoseCo-opted 3212Sep 19 to Sep 23
Dr Phillip RhodenChair of Resources committeePartnership342Mar 17 to Mar 21Etaerio Ltd., Amberside Advisors Ltd. (formerly Club Finance Project Ltd.), Amberside Financial Ltd, Amberside Energy Ltd., Amberside Capital Ltd.
Paul StanbridgeCo-opted 32412Sep 19 to Sep 23Previously employed by the school, farmer, part-time teacher.
Sophie MastersParent 322Dec 17 to Dec 21Teacher at South Hill Primary. Husband is trustee at the South Hill Centre
Andrew PennycookChair of Pay CommitteeLA32412Oct 18 to Oct 22Clerk of GB at South Hill Primary. Also receive reimbursement of cost of filming and supplying DVDs of school concerts and musicals
Graeme SnellParent3112From Oct 18Governor at Pixies Hill Primary School.
Colin LilleyParent112Dec 19 to Dec 23
Jonny BuggParent112Oct 19 to Oct 23Has a family relationship with a member of school staff.
Rachael DonaldsonClerkHfL Clerking Service3242From Jan 2019

During the academic year 2018 to 2019 this was the constitution and attendance of the governing body was:

NamePositionType of appointmentAttendance Full Governing BodyAttendance: Curriculum & planning committeeAttendance: Resources committeeAttendance: Finance & pay committee,Term of officePecuniary interests declared
Steven MansbridgeChair of GovernorsPartnership111Mar 17 to Mar 21Boxmoor Trust, Mansbridge Bakers. Wife employed at Boxmoor Primary School. Employer, Redbournbury Mill, also works with JFK School.
Neil HassellHeadteacherHeadteacher111From Sep 18Governor at Bedgrove Infant School, Diving Officer at Dacorum Sub-Aqua Club
Dave BellChair of Resources committeeCo-opted11Oct 17 to Oct 21Committee member at Boxmoor Cricket Club. Family Worker South West Herts Partnership
James Heale111
Joy FergusonCo-opted1Sep 15 to Aug 19
Carol FelminghamParent1Apr 16 to Apr 20Employee at Hobbs Hill Primary School
Lauren RaynerStaff governor11Employee of the school, as are her partner and mother.
Rebecca RoseParent11Sep 15 to Aug 19
Dr Phillip RhodenPartnership11Mar 17 to Mar 21Etaerio Ltd., Amberside Advisors Ltd. (formerly Club Finance Project Ltd.), Amberside Financial Ltd, Amberside Energy Ltd., Amberside Capital Ltd.
Paul StanbridgeCo-opted111Sep 15 to Aug 19Previously employed by the school, farmer, part-time teacher.
Sophie MastersParent11Dec 17 to Dec 21Teacher at South Hill Primary. Husband is trustee at the South Hill Centre
Bob Harbour
Andrew PennycookLocal Authority GovernorLA111Oct 18 to Oct 22Clerk of GB at South Hill Primary. Also receive reimbursement of cost of filming and supplying DVDs of school concerts and musicals
Graeme SnellParent1From Oct 18Governor at Pixies Hill Primary School.
Rachael DonaldsonClerkHfL Clerking Service111From Jan 2019
VacancyCo-optedFrom June 19

During the academic year 2017 to 2018 this was the constitution and attendance of the governing body was:

NamePositionType of appointmentAttendance: Full governing body meetings, %Attendance: Curriculum & planning committee, %Attendance: Resources committee, %Attendance: Finance & pay committee, %Term of officePecuniary interests declared
Steven MansbridgeChair of GovernorsPartnership100100100Mar 17 to Mar 21Boxmoor Trust, Mansbridge Bakers
Andrew PennycookVice Chair of Governors, Chair of Pay & Finance committeeLocal Authority80100100Sep 14 to Aug 18Clerk to governing body at South Hill Primary
Neil HassellHeadteacherHeadteacherFrom Sep 18Governor at Bedgrove Infant School, Dacorum Sub-Aqua Club
Sally AmbroseActing HeadteacherHeadteacher100100100Jan 18 to Aug 18
Patrick HartyHeadteacherHeadteacher1000100100Until Dec 17
Dave BellChair of Resources committeeCo-opted100100100Oct 17 to Oct 21
Joy FergusonCo-opted100100Sep 15 to Aug 19
Carol FelminghamParent6050Apr 16 to Apr 20
Bob HarbourCo-opted10090100Sep 15 to Aug 19Tottenham Hotspur Football Club Academy
Alex LittlejohnChair of Curriculum & Planning committee,(until Aug 18)Staff100100Until Aug 18
Balinder WaliaCo-opted205050Sep 15 to Aug 19
Rebecca RoseParent60100Sep 15 to Aug 19
Jacqui Ellis100100
Until Oct 17
Dr Phillip RohdenPartnership100100Mar 17 to Mar 21Club Finance Ltd., Clubfinance Project Finance Ltd., Amberside Finance Ltd.
Paul StanbridgeCo-opted40100Sep 15 to Aug 19
Sophie MastersParent60100Dec 17 to Dec 21Teacher at South Hill Primary
James HealeChair of the Curriculum & Planning committee (from Sep 18)Parent33100Dec 17 to Dec 21Executive Headteacher at Vyners Learning Trust, Trustee of Hillingdon Education Trust, Regional Leader for the PiXL Club, CEO of Flywheel Learning Ltd.
VacancyParentFrom Sep 18
VacancyStaffFrom Sep 18
Stephen RobinsonClerkFinance and Business Manager100100100100Until Jan 19

If you wish to contact the Governing Body you should write to the Chair of the Governing Body at the school address.