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Welcome From The Governors

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the Governing Body is key to the effectiveness of our school.

The Governing Body at Mudeford Infants School exists to support and contribute to the strategic development plan of our school. Whilst the Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day management and leadership of the school, the Governing Body are involved with overseeing the curriculum, pupil welfare, premises, personnel and school finances at a strategic level. The best description of a Governor is a ‘critical friend’. We support the school and its management but we also challenge by asking probing questions.

Our Governing Body has 13 members, and the full Governing Body meets at least once every term. We also have two sub-committees that meet regularly – Resources, and Learning. Each Governor is assigned to one of these, depending on their area of interest and/or expertise. All Governors are informed about what happens at these sub-committee 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 attend training sessions to keep us up to date with changes in schools and education, and to help us do our job effectively. We also go into school to meet with the Headteacher, other members of staff, and pupils, to help us find out how the school is progressing towards its targets.

The Role of The Governing Body at Mudeford Infants

The governing body fulfils a largely strategic and good governance role in the running of the school.

It’s main functions are:

  1. To establish a strategic framework to clearly define the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction by:
    Setting the aims and objectives of the school;
    Developing policies to achieve those aims and objectives;
    Setting targets to ensure those aims and objectives are met.
  2. To monitor and evaluate progress towards the achievement of its aims and objectives, and regularly review the strategic framework for the school in light of that progress. In establishing and monitoring the strategic framework, the governing body considers any advice given by the headteacher and must comply with any trust deed relating to the school.
  3. To ensure the sound, proper and effective use of the school’s financial resources.
  4. To act as a critical friend to the headteacher: it will support the headteacher, offer constructive criticism, and hold the headteacher to account to ensure that they meet their responsibilities for the educational performance of the school.
Governors Strategic Vision

The school will provide the very highest standard of education that will prepare the children for the next stage of their learning. Sound financial planning will enable the school to serve its community and to continue to innovate and develop its educational provision.

The Governing Body will measure the progress of the school achieving this aim by the use of the following statements:

  • 90% of children will make at least expected progress in reading, writing and maths.
  • Pupil attainment will be at least in line with the national average and mostly above in reading, writing and maths (although the Governing Body recognises the potential for cohort reflected dips).
  • The school will continue to serve and to be involved in its local community.
  • The Governing Body will continue to develop its role of effectively challenging and supporting the school.
  • We will continue to create a positive and supportive working environment for staff and pupils.
  • We will continue to ensure children are happy and engaged at school. Their personal development will be nurtured, and they will be encouraged to gain an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as global citizens.
  • A broad, well balanced child centred curriculum will be delivered in a cross curricular topic based approach.
  • Pupils’ good behaviour will be maintained through consistently high quality teaching, excellent staff-pupil relationships and clear procedures.
  • Effective use of resources will allow the school to give pupils the best possible education on a long term basis.
  • Governors will use a range of tools to understand the views of parents.
Meet The Governors

Caroline Watkins – Chair of Governors

I’ve lived locally in Mudeford with my young family since 2011 and have been acting as a Co-opted Governor since September 2015.  My eldest son is currently attending the school, and his baby brother is soon to follow in his footsteps.  I bring experience of strategy, policy development, relationship management, HR management and employment law to the Governing Body.  When I’m not supporting the school, I work for a financial services organisation in their HR department and I try to make the most of the beautiful Dorset countryside that’s right on our doorstep – in fact during the Summer, you’ll find my family out on the water in our kayak or walking in the New Forest.


Daniel Pope – Headteacher

I began my teaching career in 2007 at a Primary school in Surrey before leaving to become Deputy Head Teacher here at Mudeford Infants School in 2011.  I then went to be Deputy Head Teacher of Hill View Primary school in Bournemouth before returning to be Head Teacher at this wonderful school in February 2017.  I wholeheartedly seek to make a positive contribution to the education and lives of the children in our community.  Away from school, I really enjoy running and you will more often than not find me at a Parkrun somewhere every Saturday!   I love spending time with my children and family and enjoy competing in various ways with my friends.


Carly Butler – Staff Governor

I am the Deputy Head Teacher of the school and have the role of Staff Governor within the Governing Body.  I have been a part of the teaching team for 12 years and 10 of these have been as part of the Senior Leadership Team.  I have a clear understanding of the school context, strengths and areas we are developing.  I am committed to ensuring that the children of Mudeford Infants receive the best from all of the stake holders involved in their educational journeys.


Emma Bollard – Local Authority Governor

I worked as a classroom teacher at Mudeford Infants for 8 very happy and fulfilling years before leaving in 2016 to pursue a career within my husband’s family business. However, I still wanted to be very much involved with this fantastic school and contribute to its continued development and success. Even though I do not work within the teaching profession anymore I am still very passionate about ensuring that young children have the best education and opportunities available to them (especially as I have two small children of my own). With my previous experience as a teacher within Mudeford Infants I feel I am in a unique position as a governor to be able to help provide support and contribute to the further growth of the school.


Frank Paines – Co-opted Governor

I’ve been a governor at Mudeford Infants School for a number of years, my eldest was in year 2 when I first became a governor and he’s now left home and got married.  My years in the school have given me the opportunity to work with 3 head teachers and to gain a detailed understanding of all aspects of the school and the responsibilities of being a Governor.  In my day job I’m a Project Manager working on major programmes; my experiences in industry are the basis of the skills I bring to the Governing Body.


John Churchill – Co-opted Governor

I am a retired member of the local community. I help as a volunteer at the school, work with the Youth Offending Service, and chair the local PACT panel. I served as a JP in London and Dorset, sitting in the Adult and Youth Magistrates Courts, and in the Crown Court. My professional life revolved around military service in the RAF, and various management and leadership roles in the Civil Aviation Authority and NATS Ltd. I am a graduate of the University of Sussex, Slough College of Technology, and the UK National Defence College. I can still (just about) sail my little dinghy!


Tony Fowler – Co-opted Governor

I have been a resident of Mudeford for 33 years.  My children attended Mudeford schools and I now have grandchildren attending.  My Governor involvement is my commitment to help ensure that the current high standards are maintained at Mudeford Infants School.


Louise Aytas – Parent Governor

I became involved in the governors as I wanted to understand and contribute to the school that educates my children.  Outside of my interest in the school, I work in healthcare.  As my children have progressed through this school I have learnt and continue to develop an understanding of how it operates, and as a governor I feel I can listen to other parents and help to enable communication between the school and home.


Karl Stark – Vice Chair

I have been a local resident all of my life and work locally as part of a neighbourhood policing team based in Christchurch.  My daughter has been through the school, absolutely loved it and achieved so much in a short time, thanks to the teachers and staff and my son is currently attending. Because of this, I felt that I wanted to give something back to the school.  The skills that I have learnt from my job will help me bring a lot to the role of governor, I have a friendly and laidback nature which I feel will also be a benefit.  I am keen to learn as much as I can about the role of governor and will give 100% commitment to the role.


Mark Colley – Parent Governor

Having served ten years as an Army Officer, my wife and I decided to settle in Mudeford to raise our two daughters. My eldest is now at Mudeford Infants and I wanted to play an active role in supporting the school and contribute towards the local community. During my military career I served in many roles including training young soldiers, leadership and management, budget oversight and policy implementation. I now work as a project manager for JP Morgan, gaining valuable insight into finance and regulation. I hope I can bring some of these skills to my governor role. I love spending time with my family, but on occasion I do enjoy cycling, running and the odd night out.


Fiona Sawdon – Parent Governor

I have lived in Mudeford for twenty years and have two children. My son spent three very happy years at Mudeford Infants and my daughter is still at the school.  After university I worked for Abbey National plc as a Management Trainee but eventually left to become a teacher.  I subsequently worked, for 15 years, in a range of secondary schools teaching Science. I had management responsibilities, both pastoral and curriculum, for much of this time. I now run my own tutoring business and work as a GCSE examiner.  I am passionate about education, especially the importance of getting it right for young children.  I believe a good start will set children up for lifelong learning. This is why I became a governor. It is also why I volunteer at Mudeford Infants, helping children develop their reading skills and assisting with Counting Cards. In addition to this I work with School Gate SET, which delivers science and engineering projects in primary schools. I enjoy travelling, sailing, cycling and walking with my family. I am also a keen runner, so you will often see me doing the school drop off in my running gear!  Please feel free to approach me if you wish to discuss anything.


Oliver Whittaker – Parent Governor

I moved to Mudeford in 2012 with my wife and in 2016 my son started in the reception class of Mudeford Infants school, we also have a daughter who will also be attending in a few years. I am a chartered accountant by profession and have worked in large commercial organisations for over 10 years in senior finance leadership roles. This allows me to bring experience of financial controls, budgeting, strategy and general management to the role of school governor. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family in the New Forest and at the beach, and when it is windy I love to get out windsurfing.




Any of the governors can be reached by e-mail