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.
Parent Governor - CHAIR
Mrs Jo Chesshire
I have lived in Frome for over 15yrs and work for Wiltshire Police.
My husband and I are both supporters of the friends of Berkley school, FBS and have enjoyed helping out at School events.
I joined the Board of Governor’s in September 2019 when my son started at Berkley.
I wanted to get involved in Hugo’s education and the School as a Community. I feel it’s important to get a real understanding of how the school runs ‘behind the scenes’ in order to continue its effectiveness and success, as well as making the right decisions for the Schools future.
I am one of the ‘Parent’ Governors, so if you have anything you would like to discuss as a parent of a child at Berkley First School then please feel free to contact me.
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.
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.
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.
Deputy Headteacher and Staff Governor
Mrs Luci Hooper
I have worked at Berkley for 9 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 have a son Harri and have recently had another little baby boy called Henri. At weekends I enjoy taking Harri and Henri out for walks and catching up on sleep I have missed in the week!! I also very much enjoy attending St Mary's Church Berkley and taking the children to our special all age services. It is important to me to build and facilitate partnerships within the local community.
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'. I have been Deputy Head for 2 years supporting a part time Headteacher.
Ex officio Governor
Rector St Mary's Berkley
Ronnie Crossman (newly appointed to Rector of St Mary's Berkley)
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.
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 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 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.
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
Luci Hooper – Deputy Head 01.09.2019 – 31.08.2023
Paul James – 10.02.2021 – 09.02.2025
Liz Halliwell – 10.02.2021 – 09.02.2025 – Joint Chair
Nigel Sandy – 16.11.2020 – 15.11.2024
Phil Gray – 13.10.2020 – 12.10.2024
Andrew Knight 01.10.2020 – 31.08.2021
David Hoare 01.10.2020 – 31.01.2021 – resigned
Colin Simmonds 27.01.2020 – 26.01.2024
Tommy Street 05.06.2017 – 04.06.2021 – resigned
Jo Chesshire 27.01.2020 – 26.01.2024 – Joint Chair
Governors Attendance Record 2020-21
Governors Attendance Record for Governor Meetings 2019/20
Governor Attendance Record 2018/2019
Governor Meeting Dates
Governor Meeting Dates 2020-21
Governor Meeting Dates 2019-20
Governor Meeting Dates 2018 -19
These are available on request. Please email the school Sch030@educ.somerset.gov.uk
Standing Orders 2020-21
Governors Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct 2020
Governor Visits and Monitoring Form
Governor visits and monitoring form
Governor Structure, Monitoring and Terms of Reference
Governor Structure, monitoring and Terms of Reference
This is currently under review and the updated version will be available shortly.
Please see under – Our School, Key information, Policies incl. Complaints Procedure.
Parental Replies To Ofsted Questionnaire 2016
Questionnaire Feedback from all stakeholders 2017
Parental replies to questionaire July 2018
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.
Governors are required to declare their Pecuniary interests (Business, Financial and Governance Interests) every year.
Pecuniary Interests for 2020/21
Andrew knight – Berkley Parish Council, Mendip Parish Forum, RiManufacturing, Ironfire Ltd,
Jo Chesshire – Cleaning Enterprise
Resigned/End of Term Officers
David Oliver – Futurform – End of term
Sophie Davies – Wiltshire Council – End of term
Kieron Rushton – lidl – End of term
Carole Brautigam – Southwick School Governor – End of term
Tommy Street – Own Solicitor Business
David Hoare – Bath University
For each meeting Pecuniary Interests are declared. This is a standard agenda item at the start of the meeting.