Welcome to the section of the website where you can find out more about the school’s governors and the work that we do.

The Governing body consists of a group of interested people, some of which are employed by the school and others are volunteers.
Clerk to the Governors
Sarah Pickford
Headteacher Governor
Mr Steve Kirby
I was delighted to join Berkley First School in September 2016 on a part-time basis and am loving every moment in this very friendly and hard-working school. I have taught for 39 years in both the private and (predominantly) state sector, in first, middle and secondary schools and have assumed roles including Head of English, Head of Religious Education, Head of PSHE, Head of Year, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher. I have taught in Frome at both middle schools since 1991 and was Head of Selwood Academy from 2007-2013. All my experience has led me to really believe in the maxim ‘Each child is my child’, and to expect as much for each child as I would for my own offspring. Speaking of which, I have been married to Sue for 39 years, we have three children and currently three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. My wife and I have a great deal of contact with our grandchildren and look after them regularly, which keeps us young and helps me to see things from the perspective of a five year old. In my spare time I read, write and play various sports, such as golf, tennis and badminton. I am an avid Everton FC supporter, and for the first time in my life the club seems to have money to burn! Hopefully this will lead to Everton pushing for a top four finish.
Co-Chair (Foundation Governor)
Mr David Oliver
I have lived in Frome all my life, am married to Cath and have 2 children. I have been working in education for over 15 years supporting schools in the use of technology and helping reducing their purchasing costs. As a director of my business I am in the fortunate position of being able to juggle my work commitments to be able to support the school. At the weekend you can normally find me at Longleat enjoying family time.
When my daughter started at Berkley I wanted to become more involved with the school and have an opportunity to support the school. I have a passionate commitment to ensuring that every child has access to outstanding learning opportunities, within a culture of high expectations. My enthusiasm for everything education resulted in being elected as Co-Chair of governors in May 2016 along with Mike Blackburn. You’ll often see me in school carrying out monitoring duties or meeting with Mr Kirby to ensure I am up to date with what is happening in school.
Co-Chair (Local Authority Governor)
Mr Mike Blackburn
I have been Married to Jo for 21 years now, having met in Frome 27 years ago. We have two amazing children, Maddie (13) and Ellis (9), who have both enjoyed an amazing time at Berkley over the last 9 years. I have been a retailer for 30 years, working in Supermarkets, Health foods and Electricals, and for the last 6 years it’s been my pleasure to lead the Apple Store in Bath.
My wife has been an active member of the FBS (Friends of Berkley School) since we were lucky enough to get our children into Berkley. I always admired her for the passion and hard work she put in to supporting the school, and for the amount of money that the FBS were raising, but didn’t see where I could contribute. Then one day, Maddie came home saying that I simply had to apply to become a Governor, as there was a vacancy (and I think one of her teachers put her up to it!!). I’ve been doing the role for 4 and a half years now, with the last year in partnership with Dave as Co-Chair. I believe we add value, and I really enjoy working with Mr Kirby, and the rest of the governing body, to help improve our school for our children.
Vice Chair (Foundation Governor)
Mr Kieron Rushton
I have been a governor with Berkley since 2013. My three children have all come through the school, Rio, my stepson, is now at Frome College, Eloise is at Selwood and Rosie will be in Berkley until 2019.
I have been a senior manager in high turnover retail for 10 years and this helps with my understanding of the schools financial reporting, legal requirements and community involvement. I love being part of a school with a history of success, a great present and a wonderful future.
Staff Governor
Miss Luci Pickford
I have worked at Berkley for 5 years and teach the year 1/2 children in Squirrels Class. I have always been passionate about being a teacher and wanted to help children learn from a very young age and am lucky enough to have found my dream job at Berkley. I recently had a little baby boy called Harri. At weekends I enjoy taking Harri to the park and catching up on sleep I have missed in the week!!
I wanted to become a staff governor so I could be a ‘voice’ for all our school staff members at governor meetings. I also wanted to be able to support the school and become more involved in the technicalities of running a school and the work that goes on 'behind the scenes'.
Ex officio Governor
Mrs Carole Brautigam
I have a background of being in education for 33 years. I started my career as a classroom teacher and ended as a headteacher. I am now enjoying retirement and spending time with my grandchildren, trying to keep fit and am involved heavily with my local church.
I wanted to be a governor as I wanted to stay in touch with education, still have contact and involvement in children’s education and share some of my expertise. I also feel that now I am retired I want to take on some voluntary roles and keep active. I loved working at Berkley and am enjoying staying in touch with the children and staff.
Foundation Governor
Mr Paul James
Having lived in Frome for over 20 years, I first became a parent governor whilst my daughter was a pupil at the school. I have spent most of my working life in the NHS, I have also worked for a local independent school. Married with 2 children, 1 of whom is now at university, my interests include local/family history and most sports.
Berkley School gave my daughter a great start on her educational journey and I am committed to ensuring that each child at the school has the same opportunity. Whilst it is essential that our pupils make good academic progress, it is also important that they leave as well rounded young people ready for the next stage of their education, something I strongly believe our close relationship with St Mary’s Church helps to develop. My commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for all pupils has led to me being the Lead Governor for SEND and safeguarding.
Foundation Governor
Mrs Yvonne Rayner
I have been teaching for 23 years, 10 of these have at Berkley teaching reception and year 1 children in Rabbits class. I have always very much enjoyed my time in the classroom and being part of the children’s development and making their first experience of school stimulating in a caring, nurturing environment. I enjoy gardening, walking and going away for weekends in our camper van. Three years ago I became a grandma. Our grandson is delightful and we spend a lot of time with him.
Being a governor gives an insight and understanding into the running of the school. I am the RE coordinator for the school and this fits well with my role as a foundation governor and our close link to the church and diocese. Being a member of staff, I am also able to put across my views and those of colleagues about subjects that effect the teaching and learning within the school.
Foundation Governor
Mr David Hoare
I have lived in Frome for nearly 17 years and like Paul I first became a foundation governor whilst my daughter was a pupil at the school some 14 years ago. Most of my working life has been spent working in either central or local government in property related roles constructing and maintaining government buildings, thus at Berkley I have specific governor responsibility for overseeing the infrastructure of the school.
I have had a hands on involvement with seeing the school site grow having replaced the 2 bottom classrooms in my early years with the school, and then overseen refurbishments and extensions which have resulted in the site we have today. As a Foundation Governor I represent the St Mary’s PCC (parochial church council) and report back to them on the running of the school, ensuring that the Christian ethos of the school permeates through all that we do.
Parent Governor
Miss Sophie Davies
I have been a Governor since 2013. I have two children, my son is starting Selwood in September 2017 and Holly is at Berkley until 2020.
I am a Governor because I want to give something back to the school which wholeheartedly supports my children in all aspects of their lives. And I want all children at Berkley to have that same opportunity, both now and going forward. It is a fantastic school, the staff are outstanding, and I want us all to strive to be the very best we can for the pupils of Berkley School.
Parent Governor
Mr Tommy Street
I am originally from Hampshire, but moved to Standerwick approximately 12 years ago. I work as a Solicitor and have my own firm, specialising in Employment and Litigation, based in Frome.
My two eldest children have benefited enormously from Berkley and, with two others still under its tuition, I wanted to make a contribution towards the running of the school. I certainly feel as thorough I can assist from a legal/compliance point of view, and also as an interested parent. My two youngest children love going to Berkley in the morning and I want to make sure that this is the same for all children at the school.
Our Governors are responsible for the strategic direction of the school and the Headteacher and the management team run the school on a day-to-day basis.
Strategic responsibilities (which are defined in law) include:
    • Being accountable for the performance of the school
    • Planning the future direction of the school
    • Promoting high standards of educational achievement
    • Setting targets for pupil achievement
    • Taking general responsibility for the conduct of the school
    • Managing the schools budget, including key staffing decisions
    • Making sure the curriculum is balanced, broadly based and complies with legal requirements
    • Making sure that the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special educational needs
    • Drawing up and action plan after inspection by OFSTED (the Office for Standards in Education

The Governors carry out their role through support, challenge, monitoring and evaluation.  they are responsible for overseeing the successful management of all areas of the school and for upholding the general ethos of the school. they meet on a regular basis with the Headteacher and staff.

Governors are elected every 4 years and represent different areas of the school and its community. they bring different skills to the board and therefore it is important for the board to carry out regular skills audits to ensure all areas of expertise required are covered.

Our Governors meet several times a year and are committed to providing an excellent environment for all pupils to enjoy during their time at Berkley school. They also attend local community and collaboration meetings to ensure they keep up to date with any new initiatives and to be able to work collaboratively with other local schools.

To contact Governors:

Contacting the Chair of Governors or a foundation Governor can also be done via the website or by phoning the school office on 01373 830455 or emailing

We try to attend most school events and meetings so there should always be an opportunity to speak to us if you want to.

All correspondence or communication will be treated confidentially unless the parent states otherwise.

Governors List – Short Form

Governor Attendance Record for Governor Meetings 2016-17

Governor Attendance Record for Governor Meetings 2017-18

Diary dates 2017-18

Standing Orders 2017 – 2018

Code of Conduct 17/18

Governor visits and monitoring form

Governor structure and monitoring document

Parental Replies To Ofsted Questionnaire 2016

Questionnaire Feedback from all stakeholders 2017

Instrument of Governance 

Governors Report to Parents – This information is now found within the SDP and the SDP Review under key information on the web site and more information can be found in the parental questionnaires above.

Pecuniary Interests

Governors are required to declare their Pecuniary interests (Business, Financial and Governance Interests) every year.

Pecuniary Interests for 2017/18

David Oliver – Futurform

Mike Blackburn – Apple Store

Sophie Davies – Wiltshire Council

David Hoare – Bath University

Kieron Rushton – Morrisons and married to staff member

Carole Brautigam – Southwick School Governor

For each meeting Pecuniary Interests are declared. This is a standard agenda item.