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.
Foundation Governor - CHAIR
Mrs Liz Halliwell
I have just joined the Governing Body and start my term September 2019
I decided to become a parent governor following my son Lucas starting at Berkley in September 2019; I also have a daughter Meredith who has been at the school for 3 years. I was a pupil at Berkley and my mum was also a governor many years ago, so I am continuing the family tradition. I wanted to join the Board of Governors in order to get a better understanding of the pressures the school is under and to help shape the future of the school. I am also a member of the FBS and I want to build on the relationship between the parents and the Governors in order to enhance the school community.
L.A Governor - VICE CHAIR
Mr Colin Simmonds
In 2016, I retired after 27 years from the position of global managing director of an international business division of a FTSE100 company. I live with my wife in Bath, where we are volunteers supporting the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and are Friends of Bath Abbey. We have a son who, with his family, live nearby in South Gloucestershire. My hobbies and interests revolve around sport, primarily rugby union and cricket, military history and grandchildren.
Since retiring, I have set up a management consultancy company, but, additionally, wanted to devote some time to utilising my skills and experience to benefit a local community. I have had some experience of volunteering in education, having been the Chairman of the Parents Liaison and fund-raising committee of Oundle School for 6 years. After retirement and approaching the Somerset Authority I was delighted to be asked and, thereafter accept, the post as the Local Authority Governor at Berkley School. As a Governor of the School, I am responsible for leadership & management plus finance and I began my role here at the beginning of this year. I have been greatly impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the School Staff and the Governing Body. There is lots to do and many aims to be achieved, but with the willingness of the collective spirit, I am sure we will succeed in our endeavours. I look forward to meeting more parents in time.
Mrs Suzanne Thompson
I became Headteacher of Berkley in September 2019, and I have thoroughly enjoyed building new relationships and partnerships within the parish.
I have experience of small schools and have been on the governing body in my previous role.
Mr Andrew knight
My background is in product development. I own and run two manufacturing companies which make security and storage equipment for retail chains and industrial furniture. my partner is a headteacher and we have two children.
I live in Berkley and am the Parish Council Chair. I joined the Governors to ensure good liaison between the local community and the school.
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.
Mr Phil Gray
I have lived in Frome since 1999 and for thirty years I managed retail operations at all levels in the UK and overseas. Following a stroke I retrained in accounts and currently work as a self -employed bookkeeper for small businesses for three days a week and for two days a week as the Debt Centre Manager for Christians Against Poverty at Holy Trinity Church in Frome.
I have four children and five grandchildren and was Licensed as a Lay Reader at Holy Trinity Church in 2012 where I serve on the Parochial Church Council. I took up running at the age of sixty and have run a few half marathons. The Christian ethos is evident throughout Berkley School and I believe it is very precious for the education and the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and growth of our children.
Mr Nigel Sandy
We have lived in Frome for 34years, shortly after a spell living in Holland. We have a son and two daughters with five grandchildren added to the family. My hobby used to be coastal boating, but life now centres around family, friends and travel. Through work I have traveled to some interesting countries, so when a daughter lived in Hong Kong, countries in the Far East and Southern Hemisphere were destinations. I feel privileged to have experienced so many diverse nationalities, cultures and religions.
Originally my career was accountancy in the construction industry. Shortly after moving to Frome I took on the MD role at a waste management company alongside being Chairman of the Industry Trade Association. Two CEO appointments of public companies in the same and parallel industries followed. Finally a part time role as Chairman of a Rotterdam based company involved in maritime waste management.
Since retiring in 2017, I have joined Frome Town Council’s volunteer “litter warriors”! A chance for a good walk and benefit the local environment. Renewed a connection with Bath University by mentoring International MBA students to assist with leadership and career direction. A strong supporter of training in the workplace and so the invite to become a Governor has given me the opportunity to make a contribution to the early stages of education, and, carry on learning.
Ex officio Governor
Rector St Mary's Berkley
Ronnie Crossman (newly appointed to Rector of St Mary's Berkley)
I have had the delight and pleasure to be involved with schools both as a minister and as a Governor for over 25 years.
I look forward to getting to know the villages in the area and getting more involved with the local schools.
School and Church are both places of gathering and support. I enjoy this partnership very much, as each, in our distinct way, support community life.
You may see me out and about with my young Cocker Spaniel "Oscar" who is full of life and is one of the friendliest dogs I could ever imagine!
Clerk to the Governors
Mrs Sian Spoerer
I taught at Oakfield Academy for 30 years before leaving to work for Hot Tomato, a local wholesale company selling jewellery and fashion accessories, in 2017. Having been made redundant due to Covid19, it gave me the perfect opportunity to return to the world of education, as Clerk to the Governors at Berkley First School and Exam Invigilator at Frome College. My eldest daughter spent her Reception year here at Berkley, so it is great to return full circle to this lovely village school.
I have recently joined the governing body at the start of 2022, following my eldest son Benjamin starting at Berkley in September 2021.
I moved to Frome relatively recently in March 2020 (just before the first lockdown), with a desire for both more space (with two growing boys) and a slightly quieter pace of life than a big city and have really enjoyed it so far despite the strange couple of Covid years that we have had.
In my day to day job I work for an accountancy practice as a not for profit specialist, dealing with charities, academies and pension schemes, and when the opportunity arose to join the governing board I was keen to both understand the challenges schools face from a different perspective whilst also hopefully being able to give something back to Berkley School and help where I can, particularly using my experience of academies.
Ms Jo Rydon
I was born in Frome , raised in Bristol returning to Frome in the early 1980’s. I am a Mum of 4, and Granny of 5. Two of my grandchildren live in Frome and I have an active role in their care.
I work with my husband running our roofing and scaffolding business. My responsibilities are Finance, Administration, HR, Health & Safety and Training. I am a Mental Health First Aider, NEBOSH General & Construction qualified and Vice Chair of Somerset Construction Training Group.
I am also a qualified Complementary Therapist. I like to knit, read - often at the same time - crosswords, sudoku, practice yoga and to go walking.
I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my family and a Sunday roast is always available for any of them who wish to join us.
I am passionate about education for everyone, be they child or adult. I don’t believe we ever stop learning. I believe that a secure, caring and nurturing environment in the early years provides the bedrock for later learning. Caring about the whole child allows them the opportunity to explore this wonderful world in which we live. Education should ideally support and encourage inquisitive minds; giving children tools and attributes to allow them to move forward in life in a positive, kind and caring way.
Our Governors are responsible for the strategic direction of the school and the Headteacher, Deputy Head and the Senior 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 be done by writing to the Chair of governors c/o the school or by phoning the school office on 01373 887390 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Short form
Suzanne Thompson – Head 01.09.2019 – 31.08.2023
Paul James – 10.02.2021 – 09.02.2025
Liz Halliwell – 10.02.2021 – 09.02.2025 – Chair
Nigel Sandy – 16.11.2020 – 15.11.2024
Phil Gray – 13.10.2020 – 12.10.2024
Andrew Knight 19.07.2021-18.07.2025
David Hoare 01.10.2020 – 31.01.2021 – resigned
Ronnie Crossman – Governor on Federated School Board of Beckington & Mells
Colin Simmonds 27.01.2020 – 26.01.2024 – Vice Chair
Jo Ryland 01.01.2022 – 31.12.2025
Jon Newbound 01.01.2022 – 31.12.2025
Tommy Street 05.06.2017 – 04.06.2021 – resigned
Jo Chesshire 27.01.2020 – 23.09.2021 – Co-Chair, resigned
Governors FBM Attendance Record 2021-2022
Governors Attendance Record 2020-21
Governors Attendance Record 2019/20
Governor Attendance Record 2018/19
Governor Meeting Dates
Governor Meeting Dates 2021-2022
Governor Meeting Dates 2020-21
Governor Meeting Dates 2019-20
Governor Meeting Dates 2018 -19
These are available on request. Please email the school email@example.com
Standing Orders 2021-22
Governors Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct 2021-2022
Governor Visits and Monitoring
Governor School Visits Policy 2021
Governor Structure, Monitoring and Terms of Reference
Governor Structure, Monitoring and Terms of Reference
Please see under – Our School, Key information, Policies incl. Complaints Procedure.
Parental replies to questionaire July 2018
Questionnaire Feedback from all stakeholders 2017
Parental Replies To Ofsted Questionnaire 2016
Instrument of Governance
Governors are required to declare their Pecuniary interests (Business, Financial and Governance Interests) every year.
Pecuniary Interests for 2021/22
Andrew knight – Berkley Parish Council, Mendip Parish Forum, RiManufacturing, Ironfire Ltd,
Ronnie Crossman – Governor on Federated School Board of Beckington & Mells
Jo Ryland – Nashblend T/A West Country Tiling & S.A.M. Scaffold
Jon Newbound – MHA Monahans, Dorothy House Trading Ltd., Patisserie May
For each meeting Pecuniary Interests are declared. This is a standard agenda item at the start of the meeting.