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The Oaks Primary School

From Little Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks

Meet the Governors

Catherine Griffiths - Chair of Governors

My involvement with The Oaks started 6 years ago when I finished working in the National Health Service. I began as a volunteer with Beanstalk, a charity which promotes literacy in primary schools. I work with children to give them more confidence in reading. I was delighted to become a Governor 4 years ago so that I can now make a wider contribution to the excellent work of the staff.
I value the Oak
s’s approach to inclusiveness and supporting all children to make progress and feel a sense of achievement. The Governors are able to ensure funding is targeted to areas of most need and that it has good impact.
I enjoy helping out at a local Beavers Group which works with 6-8 year olds providing lots of outdoor experiences. 

My interests include travelling, learning French, swimming and walking. I have nearly completed a B.A in Arts and Humanities  with the Open University

Mark Newton - Vice-Chair of Governors

I am a retired property professional with expertise in all aspects of general property management. I have a background of legal training and management expertise in different commercial environments. As a property manager I was responsible for managing the property portfolios of Dollond & Aitchison Opticians, Boots Opticians and Barclays Bank and led small and dedicated teams of Estate Managers and Administrators.

In retirement, I’m a Pension Trustee of the Dollond & Aitchison Pension Scheme and I also volunteer as a guide for the blind and partially sighted with the Guide Dogs for the Blind. My interest in education stems from my family background, with both parents and two brothers either teaching or in an education authority and I am pleased to have this opportunity to make a contribution towards the development of The Oaks and its children.

 Adam Hickman - Co-opted Governor

I joined the Governing Body at The Oaks Primary School in September 2018 and I am currently Chair of the Learning and Achievement Committee. I really enjoy the variety of the role and supporting the school to ensure all pupils access a high-quality education full of opportunity. 


I have been working in education since 2008 and I am currently Deputy Head of the Music Service at Services For Education. I am also a qualified primary school teacher and I conduct several local and regional music groups. 

Adele Kershaw - Co-opted Governor

I became governor at The Oaks in 2020, having known the school for some time in my daytime work role offering school behaviour support.  I have been a teacher for 17 years but spent 11 of these teaching and working with children with challenging behaviour in the Birmingham Pupil Referral Unit. 

I am passionate about all children having equal opportunities within school and have always been hugely impressed with The Oaks  inclusive ethos and ‘can do’ attitude particularly towards supporting children with additional needs. I wanted to become a part of it! 

I’m a ‘Toon’ supporter and a Geordie born and bred so when I’m not catching up on the football I love to be out in the countryside enjoying the sunshine.

Rosalind Venables - Co-opted Governor

I have been working voluntarily at The Oaks since September 2020 with individual pupils in Year 1 and 2 to support their reading development.  Pupils are keen to learn and the staff I have met are caring, dedicated and ambitious for ALL pupils so I am very happy to become a governor. 

I have always worked in education, as a Head of Modern Languages,  school senior leader, then as a Schools Consultant supporting the improvement of teaching and learning in middle and high schools in Worcestershire.   I also led the introduction of foreign languages to primary schools in Herefordshire.  I have taught English as a second language both abroad and to mothers at a primary school in the inner city.  I train prisoners who can read to teach prisoners who can’t.

I hope my experience will enable me to offer support to the school, the parents and pupils.

Angela King – LEA Governor

I have worked for Birmingham City Council for over 25 years in Children's services .I am now a Registered Manager for a Children's Home working with children with Disabilities.I sit on the resource committee and take an active role in setting and monitoring the schools budgets. I am also link governor for special Educational Needs.

I believe we owe it to our children to try to provide them with the very best chance to lead a happy, healthy, fulfilled life.

A good Primary school has an essential part to play in developing firm foundations which what attracts me to a school like The Oaks.

Julie Secker - Staff Governor

I am an Early Years Lead Teacher with a passion for early years education and early reading. I have enjoyed working at The Oaks Primary School since 2013. 

I have been working in the education sector since 2000 and teaching since 2006. This is my third governor role as I have previously been a parent governor as well as a staff governor at a previous school.

Gemma O'Neill - Parent Governor

Andi Arsenie - Parent Governor

Sophie Symington - Co-opted (Staff) governor

Mary Cummins - Clerk to Governors

I have been part of The Oaks staff team since 1997. I'm currently the School Business Manager and have been clerk to governors for 12 years.  
I have seen huge change here over the last 24 years, however the special ethos and caring community has remained consistent and that is why I love this school.  The skills and experience I have developed as SBM transfer to my position as clerk, and I really value being able to support the governors in their role.  
Outside school I enjoy playing badminton, pub quizzes and travel.  As a product of 2 teachers, I have always had great interest in education and giving the best opportunities possible to young people.


The Oaks Governing Body has a constitution made up of 11 governors:

6 x co-opted governors

2 x parent governors

1 x staff governor

1 x LEA (Birmingham) governor

1 x Headteacher


All governors serve a 4-year term of office with the exception of the HT who remains on the GB as long as he/she is in post


The GB is able to appoint additional Associate Members to improve its skills and expertise in specific areas.  Associate Members do not serve a set term of office and are not able to vote in full GB meetings; in all other respects however they contribute in the same way to the GB.  The Oaks currently has 1 Associate Member.  The GB appoints a clerk to take responsibility for administration and taking the minutes for all meetings.


Governors serve the school on a voluntary basis with the exception of the clerk who is paid a termly fee. 


  • Parent governors are elected by school parents following a nomination process
  • Staff governors are elected by staff members following a nomination process
  • Co-opted governors are appointed from the local community by the GB in relation to their skills and expertise
  • LEA governors are recommended to the school by the LA following a central appointment process


The Full Governing Body meets 4 times per year

The GB has sub-committees to take responsibility for specific areas:

  • Resources Management committee (premises/finance/staffing) - meets 4 times per year
  • Learning & Achievement committee - meets termly
  • Pay committee - meets as required (minimum annually)
  • HT performance review panel - meets as required (minimum twice a year)
  • Hearings committee - meets if required
  • Appeals committee - meets if required
  • Exclusions panel - meets if required


  • All governors are required to sit on either the Resources Committee or the L&A committee and the HT sits on both.  Governors sit on other committees as required (restrictions apply to staff and parents). 
  • Governors are allocated specific responsibility areas where required
  • We currently have one parent governor vacancy


Our Governing Body details - please see document below:


Governor Name

Date of appointment

Term of Office

End date (where applicable)

Governor Type


Committee Membership

Attendance record 2020/21

 Rosalind     Venables  13/07/20214 yrs Co-opted
  • Curriculum
  • Staff wellbeing
  • Learning & Achievement
Sophie Symington  14/12/20214 yrs Co-opted (staff)
  • English
  • Learning & Achievement

Catherine Griffiths


reappointed 22/03/2020

 4 yrs




  • Chair GB
  • Chair Pay cttee
  • Publication of key achievements
  • Resources
  • Pay (Chair)
  • HT Perform Management


Angela King




4 yrs



  • Safeguarding
  • Resources
  • HT Perform Management


Mark Newton




4 yrs



  • Vice-Chair of GB
  • Chair of Resources committee
  • Premises 
  • Staff wellbeing
  • Resources (Chair)
  • Pay


Adam Hickman


4 yrs



  • Mathematics
  • Curriculum
  • Chair of L&A committee
  • Learning & Achievement (Chair)





4 yrs   Parent
  • Parental engagement
  • Learning & Achievement

Julie Secker


4 yrs



  • Pupil Premium
  • Resources (vice-Chair)


Andi Arsenie


4 yrs




  • Resources



Adele Kershaw


4 yrs



  • S.E.N.D.
  • Learning & Achievement


Janine Dodds






  • Resources
  • Learning & Achievement


Mary Cummins






  • All









Ended  End date    

Michelle Calloway

14/10/2013 reappointed


4 yrs


Co-opted (staff)

  • The Arts
  • Learning & Achievement (Vice-Chair)



Register of Governor Pecuniary and Business Interests