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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


Frank Paines – Chair of Governors

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.


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.


Caroline Watkins – Co-opted Governor

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 has just moved onto the Juniors, and his brother is soon to follow in his footsteps and join Infants in 2021.  I bring experience of strategy, policy development, relationship management, wellbeing and 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.


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!


Emily Harvey – Coopted Governor

I have been involved with Mudeford Infants for a number of years as an associate and then co-opted governor and as a parent of two boys who have recently attended the school. I bring 15 years’ experience as a property solicitor to the Governing Body and regularly dealt with the public sector during my career, acting for or liaising with schools, local authorities and central government bodies. I live locally in Mudeford and enjoy getting out on the water on kayaks and paddleboards with my young family.


Oliver Whittaker – LA 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.


Dawn Arnold – Parent Governor

Hi my name is Dawn Arnold and I’m really pleased to be a Parent Governor. I have a Son who attended Mudeford Infants school and a Daughter who is currently in year 2. I also attended the school myself many years ago! I have nothing but praise for the school and really look forward to working with staff, parents and children to support the school.


Tania Harland – Parent Governor

I am so delighted to be part of the Mudeford Infants Governing Body as I have a passion for giving children and young people the best possible opportunities in life through their education. I am a particular champion of Mudeford Infants School as I have experienced nothing but high quality teaching and leadership at the school.
I have lived in the local area since I was 8, when I moved from London to the Coast. My twins are currently in year 2 and my nieces are in Year 1 and Year 3 at Mudeford too.
I run an HR Consultancy, called BluSkyHR and I support business leaders in the Education and Health Care Sector with all their outsourced HR needs.
I bring to the Governing Body, HR Management experience and an interest in Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace so I am really pleased to have the opportunity to support the school on their Wellbeing Initiatives.


Sarah Church – Parent Governor

I grew up in Mudeford, attended Mudeford Infants School and been local to the area my whole life.  I now have a son who started the school this year and my youngest will attend in a few years’ time.  Outside of work, I enjoy outdoor adventures with my family especially camping in our VW camper. For a profession, I am a Housing Enforcement Officer for a local government and keen to use my transferable skills in the governor’s role.   I am looking forward to working with the team in supporting the school.


Louise French – Staff Governor

I started as site manager for Mudeford Infants in July 2020, I am really proud to work for such an amazing school and take pride in improving the school’s facilities to make the already wonderful learning environment even better. Originally a mechanic by trade I am happy to get stuck in and get my hands dirty where ever needed, and am grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills and challenge myself in such a friendly environment.




Any of the governors can be reached by e-mail