The Governing Board


At Hester’s Way Primary School, we:

  • encourage pupils to aspire and aim high
  • believe that everyone deserves the same opportunities to succeed
  • work in a happy, safe and caring learning environment
  • achieve our aspirational goals and targets


Our Governing Board is made up of volunteers who believe strongly that education can improve everyone’s lives and also that primary school education should provide the strong foundation that all children need for a successful future.  We all have our own experiences of this and are proud to be able to give back to our school and its children by fulfilling the important role of governance as the ‘accountable body’ and also by being a driving force for continuous improvement.  Our role and responsibilities are explained more fully in the ‘Purpose of Governance’ below.

Our current intent is to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of governance, focusing on vision and strategy, accountability and finance, ‘ensuring by seeking assurance’, so that all HWP children achieve to their best potential and are equipped with the knowledge and cultural capital to enable them to succeed in life.

Purpose of Governance

“The purpose of governance is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

All governance boards, no matter what type of school or how many schools they govern, have three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive 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.” – DfE Governance Handbook.

Our main role is to support and challenge the Headteacher, 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. This is actioned through school development planning, we use a Raising Achievement Plan (RAP) and Curriculum Leaders use mini RAPS. The school’s progress is evaluated termly through the RAP.  Also, the School’s Self Evaluation Form (SEF) is another working document that reflects the school’s recent journey and current outcomes.

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 Board meets regularly, at least once every term. We are currently holding “virtual” Full Governing Board meetings. Curriculum and Standards, Finance and Personnel, Premises and Health and Safety are covered during these meetings.

There are several categories of governor, appointed by different groups that have an interest in the school. These are Co-opted governors, the Local Authority (LA), Parents, the Head Teacher and Staff.  The Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually or whenever there becomes a vacancy.

Governors with statutory subject links monitor the subject area by liaising with teaching staff to discuss plans, data, teaching and learning, children’s work and any other relevant information.

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

Governor Information – Terms of Office and Interests:

NameTypeRoleElected byTerm of OfficeDeclaration of Business & Pecuniary Interests & Governance in any other schools
Penny ManuelCo-optedChair of Governors Governors12.09.22 – 11.09.23None
Pippa O’ConnellCo-optedGovernorGovernors14.11.22 – 13.11.26None
Clare GodziszStaffGovernorStaff06.09.21 – 05.09.25Member of Staff
Kirsti AshmanHead TeacherGovernor Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher11.04.16Member of Staff
James Hayden ParentGovernorParents06.09.21 – 05.09.25Teaching staff at Cheltenham College
Michelle Luca-HalliwellCo-optedGovernorGovernorsMarch 2024Member of staff at Cheltenham College
Vacancies2 x Parent
1 x Local Authority
1 Co-opted
Governors left in the last 12 months
Christina DeeCo-optedGovernorGovernors13.06.22- 01.03.24
Lisa SlawigCo-optedGovernorGovernors13.06.22- 21.07.23None

SubjectLink GovernorTeaching Staff
Early YearsAmy WilkesEmma Best/Alex Gilbert Green
Safer Recruitment
Curriculum – Art
Penny ManuelKirsti Ashman
Mel Richards
Alex Gilbert-Green
Pupil Premium/ DisadvantageChristina DeeSarah Royle
Curriculum – History
James HaydenKirsti Ashman
Kirsti Ashman
Daniel Matthews
Health & SafetyPippa O’ConnellKirsti Ashman
MathsChristina DeeEmma Best
EnglishPenny ManuelSarah Royle


Governor’s Meeting Attendance Records: 


Governor Meeting Attendance 2023 – 2024

NameFull Governing BodyAttendance
Kirsti Ashman33%
Penny Manuel33%
Chris Dee11%
Pippa O’Connell22%
James Hayden11%
Clare Godzisz33%
Amy Wilkes33%
In Attendance
Not Required

Governor Meeting Attendance 2022 – 2023

NameFull Governing BodyAttendance
Kirsti Ashman100%
Penny Manuel86%
Chris Dee100%
Pippa O’Connell86%
James Hayden57%
Lisa Slawig57%
Clare Godzisz86%
In Attendance
Not Required

Governor Meeting Attendance 2022 – 2023

MeetingIn AttendanceApologies
14.11.22Penny Manuel, Chris Dee, Clare Godzisz, Lisa Slawig, Kirsti Ashman, James Hayden, Pippa O’Connell
17.10.22Penny Manuel, Chris Dee, Clare Godzisz, Lisa Slawig, Kirsti AshmanJames Hayden, Pippa O’Connell
Full Governing Board 12.09.22Penny Manuel (Chair), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Pippa O’Connell, James Hayden, Clare Godzisz, Christina Dee, Lisa SlawigNone

Governor Meeting Attendance 2021 – 2022

MeetingIn AttendanceApologies
Full Governing Board 18.07.22Penny Morse (Acting Chair for this meeting only), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Clare Godzisz, Chris Dee, Lisa SlawigPenny Manuel, Pippa O’Connell, James Hayden
Full Governing Board 13.06.22Penny Manuel (Vice and Acting Chair), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Pippa O’Connell, , James Hayden, Clare Godzisz, Christina Dee, Lisa SlawigPenny Morse
Full Governing Board 09.05.22Meeting Postponed
Full Governing Board 14.03.22Jon Glover (Chair), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Penny Morse, Penny Manuel, James Hayden, Clare Godzisz, Pippa O’Connell None
Full Governing Board 19.01.22Jon Glover (Chair), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Penny Morse, Penny Manuel, James Pippa O’Connell, Clare Godzisz
Full Governing Board 08.11.21Jon Glover (Chair), Kirsti Ashman (Head teacher), Pippa O’Connell, Penny Morse (virtual), Penny Manuel, Clare Godzisz James Hayden
Full Governing Board 06.09.21 J Glover (Chair), Kirsti Ashman, Penny Morse, Pippa O’Connell, Penny Manuel, Clare Godzisz and James HaydenNone