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Palace Wood

Primary School

From little acorns, mighty oaks grow

The Governing Body

Welcome to the section of the website where you can find out more about the school’s governors, and the work that we do. You can also read the minutes from our meetings.

Our main role is to support the Headteacher and the staff — the phrase often used to describe this role is ‘a critical friend’. We help them to set and reach targets and to strive for excellence across the whole spectrum of school life. The two key documents used for this are the School Development Plan (SDP) and the Self Evaluation Form (SEF). The SDP sets out a three-year strategic plan for the school, with targets that everyone works towards and the SEF sets out how well the school is doing and where we aim to make improvements.

Our legal duties include:-

  • Setting strategic direction, policies and objectives
  • Approving the school budget
  • Reviewing progress against the school's budget and objectives
  • Appointing, challenging and supporting the headteacher

The Governing Body meets at least once every (new) term. We sometimes set up committees or working groups to look at particular issues (such as pay, performance management, buildings development). A small group (Headteacher, Governor responsible for Finance and the School Finance Officer) meets additionally to the Governing Body Meetings to keep an eye on school finances between our termly governor meetings. 

There are several categories of governor, appointed by different groups that have an interest in the school. These are Community governors, the Local Authority (“LA”), Parents, and Staff. All governors have equal status; however, they are appointed.

We are committed to providing an excellent environment for all pupils to enjoy during their time at our school.

  Palace Wood's  Governing Body

 

Chair of Governors

Stuart Russell

I am a fully qualified teacher of Physical Education with over 25 years of experience. Over the past 13 years, I have been involved in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in a range of capacities.
Currently, I am employed as the Director of ITT at Kent and Medway Training.

 

Whilst ITT has become the key focus of my career development, since becoming a parent governor in January 2017, I am now totally dedicated to support the leadership team and staff at Palace Wood to enable them to continue the excellent work that has taken place in the past few years. 

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Personal Development, P.E. and Music

Ian Foster

I have worked in Industry for more than 35 years at senior level holding a number of positions including General Manager, Operations Director and Transformation Director. I am currently working for ISS in the Facility Management industry as the Commercial Director of their Security Division as a business we actively promote community involvement.
I have extensive Human Resources Management and Business Process Improvement experience and a real interest in supporting the Head Teacher and the Board of Governors in delivering an excellent education to all pupils and providing appropriate resources to the teaching and other staff within the school.

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Early Years and Science

 

Headteacher

 

 

Sharon Goodwin (Finance)

 

I am a chartered accountant and have worked in various sectors including accountancy practice, local government, investment banking and adult education.  I am currently self-employed as an accountant/bookkeeper, work part-time as a parish clerk and volunteer for two charities in a treasurer/secretary capacity. 

 

My son and daughter, now at secondary school, both attended Palace Wood.  I have been a strong supporter of the school since my eldest child started and have always tried to be as involved and supportive as possible.  I became a school governor to increase my contribution to the school further and use my background in finance to help support the sound financial management of the school.

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Finance, SEND, PSHE/RSE/RE

Clare Kyte (Staff Governor)  

 

 

I have been a teacher at Palace Wood since 2014. I have had experience in Years 2, 5 and 6 as a class teacher. I have been a TA and HLTA in a previous life which has given me experience in all other year areas. I am the school's Eco lead and we have been awarded the Eco school bronze and silver award. I passionately believe that we are educating our children to become lifelong learners.


Responsible for: Wellbeing and Training and CPD

Simon Dallender

Following 8 years in the Royal Air Force as an airframe structural specialist on the Jaguar fleet, my wife and I moved to Maidstone and set up a swim school. I have run Water Babies in Kent for 14 years now. My Work in infant aquatics has taken me to various countries around the world, as far as Australia and China, and closer to home in Holland, Ireland and all over Britain. This has allowed me to focus and develop ideas around non-verbal communication, emotional development and effective learning in infants and pre-school children. Bringing this passion for education and development in children to a governor role will allow me to pay back just a little of the gratitude I have for Palace Wood. My 3 children have attended the school, my eldest starting in 2010 with my youngest at Palace Wood. I also run a marketing agency now based here in Kent.

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Quality of Education and English

Vice Chair

Danny Dharmalingam

I have held various roles during my 25-year career in the technology industry, most recently with Barclays as a Head of IT in the Corporate and Investment Banking division. I now run my own consultancy and am keen to apply the skills I have learnt in business, such as recruitment, financial management and leadership, to help the school continue to offer each and every child an invaluable start in life.

 

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Safeguarding, Behaviour and Attitude and Computing

Stuart Reaks

 

Hi, my name is Stuart Reaks and I have held many leadership roles within the retail sector and currently hold the role of Area Manager in south London for The Co-op. The Co-op is a community based retailer and I hope my involvement in this will allow me to add value to the school and increase its community impact. Personally, I hope to bring my strategic ability along with my people and financial management skills to the governors board which I hope will then lead to a better learning experience for children. I am very excited to be part of the Governing body at Palace Wood and supporting the head teacher as best I can.

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Leadership and Management, Art and DT

Michael Hicks 

I have worked in auditing and construction specialising in quality, operational and collaborative management for the last 15 years. Holding senior operational positions, including Quality & Performance Manager and Operations Manager. I am currently an Operations Manager at an auditing company covering a vast geographic region in the South of the UK. I have an array of skills from process improvement, process auditing, facilitating collaborative dialogue, skills based training and operational leadership.  I am excited to be on the Board of Governors at Palace Wood Primary School and a real passion for supporting the local community and in particular helping shape future generations through an inclusive education.

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Pupil Premium, History, Geography and Languages

Les Thorneycroft 

 

I am Les Thorneycroft a retired Chartered Civil Engineering Surveyor, having spent over 40 years in the construction industry, at retirement I held the position of Divisional Commercial Director, for the UK Civil Engineering Division of a Global Construction and concessions Company. I gained extensive knowledge of the workings of construction, particularly in the fields of Finance, Contracts, Negotiations ,Dispute Resolution, Procurement and Human Resources.

 

I was born in Maidstone, having lived all my life within 5miles of the centre of Maidstone, for the past 15 years I have lived within walking distance of Palace Wood.

 

My two eldest grandchildren attend schools within the Maidstone District catchment area in addition my Daughter-in -Law is a teacher. It is as a result of their feedback I became aware of how important it was for people to volunteer to support the School Leadership teams and staff. Particularly, as I strongly believe that our children are the future and that they should receive the best available education, particularly in their early years.

 

With my vast industry and management skills potentially being mothballed after retirement, I applied to join the Board of Governors at Palace Wood in order to offer my services to support the Headteacher and supplement the existing Board of Governors.

 

Responsible for: Wellbeing, Health and Safety, Finance, and Maths