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John Ray Infant School

John RayInfant School


Governors Statement John Ray Infants September 2019

Our governing body is the key strategic decision-making body of the school and we set the school’s strategic framework from which all staff follow.

We agree the priorities, aims and objectives for the school and sign off the policies, plans and targets in order to achieve them.

We check on progress and regularly review the strategic framework for the school in light of that progress. The governors do not get involved in the day to day running of the school but support the headteacher’s leadership whilst making her accountable for the performance of the children and staff.

We have a strategic role to promote high standards of educational achievement, ensuring that adequate plans are made and legal obligations are met.


· Promote and maintain high standards of educational attainment

· Agree the school development plan

· Set an annual budget detailing planned spending

· Approve a staffing structure

· Ensure the safeguarding and health and safety of children and staff

· Deal with complaints against the school

· Support the setting of standards for pupils’ behaviour and discipline

· Make sure the buildings are welcoming and safe

· Ratify, adopt, monitor and review statutory and school’s internal policies

· Ratify policies formed on the school’s curriculum and collective worship

Key roles:

· To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

· To hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff

· To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent

Core features of effective governance:

· Commitment to ongoing development and to getting to know the school well, including effective induction

· Commitment to playing an active part whilst working as part of a team

·  Ability to provide robust challenge and hold school leaders to account whilst listening to and respecting the views of others

· Focus on a strategic role rather than involvement in operational matters 

If you need to contact our chair person please email

My name is Penny Smith and I am the chair person.  I have been a member of the governors team at John Ray Infant School since I retired in 2015.
I taught in Infant and Primary schools in Essex for nearly 40 years including 11 years as a headteacher. I live close to the school and see it as very much a part of our local community so it is a privilege to be able to support the school in this role. I am a member of a local church. I love playing tennis and badminton and also spend time learning the saxophone as well as regularly looking after my grandson.

Welcome to John Ray Infants. I have been headteacher at John Ray since September 2016 and I absolutely love my role here both as a governor and senior leader. I have been teaching since 1993 and have taught in a wide range of schools including a tiny village school and a large primary. My heart definitely lies with Infant age children though! I have been a governor at a number of schools, including my current role on the local governing body at Moulsham High School where my own children are studying for GCSE and A’levels.  I love animals and have chickens, cats and rats at home to ensure that I am always busy. I am also a very keen runner, having run more than 20 marathons.


My name is Andrew Chan.  I joined the John Ray Infants governing body in 2015 as a parent governor when my son was a pupil here. I wanted to volunteer my time and experience to help benefit the local community. I am an educationalist and have taught for over 18 years in secondary schools in and around Essex as well as in Nottinghamshire. I am now a co-opted governor with a responsibility to Early Years Foundation Stage as well as chair of Personnel and Pay Committee. I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders of the school to make sure that we improve the life outcomes of all pupils who attend John Ray Infants School.


My name is Stuart Hammond. I am the Chair of Resources, Co-Opted. I joined the governing body in 2014 as a parent governor following my eldest son starting John Ray Infants. I went to the Infants, Juniors and Notley High as a child and my parents were involved in both the Infant and Junior schools.  Both of my sons have now passed through the Infants into the Juniors and I am now a co-opted governor. I have had the opportunity to work in both retail and IT industries, now specialising in Payroll, HR and Workforce systems. As part of the governing body I have held the position of Chair of the former Pupil Matters committee and currently sit on Resources and Head teacher Performance sub committees. I am also subject governor for Maths and ICT.

My name is Jo Heissig. I became a Parent Governor in 2008 whilst on a break from a career in Education to raise a family. All 3 of my children attended John Ray Infants and being a Governor has been a great way of getting to know the school and it’s systems better and gain an understanding of how and why decisions are made and how they benefit every child that attends the school.
I am fortunate now to work at John Ray Infants in the Foundation Stage and have been able to remain on the Governing Body as a Co-opted Staff Governor.
In my spare time I enjoy Baking and Reading.

Hi, I’m Sheena Mill and I am married with 4 children, 2 boys at home and 2 girls both training to be teachers. I live in Black Notley and love to walk my dog Mopsey in the beautiful fields and lanes that surround us. For 20 years I have been welcomed into Primary Schools across Braintree, representing a local charity, Christian Youth Outreach, taking assemblies, lunchclubs, lessons and supporting the schools in numerous ways. John Ray Infants School has always been such a positive and happy school to be in and as my local school, I feel privileged to be able to share in their enthusiasm and encourage both staff and children through my role as a governor.

My name is Danny Burch and I have two children that attend the school.
I applied to join the schools board of governors to assist the school to be the best it can be to benefit the children that attend it, also to give myself a better understanding of the school other than as a parent.
In my spare time I enjoy football and family time.
I have spent my professional career in the motor industry and am currently an after sales business consultant, this requires skills in business analytics, coaching and leading, marketing, relationship building.
My name is Miranda Lawrence and I have 5 children, that over the years have attended the school. I currently have a child in Reception and my youngest will be attending in several years time. I have a Cache Diploma in Child Care. I applied to join the school governing body to assist and understand the school, so it can to be the best it can be to help the children, parents and staff that attend now and future generations. Also to better myself to understand the running of the school and the curriculum. In my spare time I enjoy family time, walking the dog, reading, baking, sewing and craft activities. 
My name is Danielle Nash and I have been in education for 7 years. Initially I worked as an LSA and then completed by PGCE training at Anglia Ruskin University in 2014. Since qualifying I have worked in three different schools, in both Key Stage 1 and EYFS. I have been at John Ray Infants for just over a year now and am currently the class teacher in Ladybird Class. I am passionate about enabling all learners to achieve their full potential. I aim to ensure that learning is fun and purposeful and offers new and exciting experiences. I believe that by giving children these opportunities you are providing them with the best chances to succeed and grow into responsible, caring individuals. I am really looking forward to the new experience. I hope to be able to bring fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm. I also hope that my role on the governing body will give me a greater insight of the whole school and therefore improve my role as a middle leader.

My Name is Karen Wark and I am Vice Chair for Resources Committee and Subject Governor for English. I joined as a Governor in Sept 2019 because I had an interest in understanding how the school works ‘behind the scenes’ and the challenges it is facing now and in the future.  I am passionate about supporting everyone in the school – particularly the dedicated staff working hard to enable every pupil to achieve their full potential. I currently work for Essex County Council in HR focused on service improvement, organisational design and change management. Two of my children are currently at John Ray Infants and outside of work, you will always find me doing something with my family, usually outdoors!