An Introduction from the Chair of Governors
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my introduction.
My name is Judy Balderson (but I much prefer to be called Judy) . I had the privilege of being elected as the chair of Governors for Stoke Prior school in July 2023, when Mrs Firth stepped down, although she remains on the board of Governors. I am in no doubt that I have a tough act to follow.
My childhood and teenage years were spent in London, I moved to Hereford, along with my parents and some of my siblings in 1977; a move I have never regretted. Hereford became my permanent home once I met and married a man who was Herefordshire born and bred.
After a brief spell working for Herefordshire council, I joined the Post Office (which included BT in those days) . I spent many years with the Post Office and retired in 2016 to care for an elderly relative. Alongside my full-time career, I served as a Magistrate on the Hereford bench for 10 years.
Unexpectedly my elderly relative passed away within a year of my leaving work. I then decided I needed something to occupy myself.
I was fortunate enough to be pointed in the direction of school governorship by a friend and Stoke Prior was recommended to me to as a lovely school to work with. This has indeed proved to be the case. I joined the Governing body and have worked with my fellow Governors to achieve the aims of the school. I passionately believe that every child has the right to an education that allows them to achieve their full potential. To be respected, listened to and included; also to be prepared for adulthood as a citizen in the modern diverse Britain we live in today. The successful and proud ethos of Stoke Prior fits my vision for children perfectly. The beautiful rural setting of the school is something as a former Londoner, I find particularly attractive.
As a board we are ambitious for all our children with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcome.
The school prides itself on being a safe, friendly, welcoming environment where excellent staff are committed to providing an education which will equip our pupils with the skills to become responsible citizens and life- long learners.
My role as chair of Governors is, along with very able board of Governors, each of whom bring their own valuable skill set, to achieve three core functions.
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff
- Overseeing financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
There is a fourth aim which is accepted but not a formal function which is
- The wellbeing and health of staff and pupils.
To achieve these aims as a governing board we work closely with the headteacher and his staff to make strategic decisions collectively. We conduct most of our business through meetings, making use of relevant information, data, guidance and advice from the headteacher and other independent sources. We ask challenging questions and talk to pupils and parents. We also visit the school on a regular basis.
It has long been the school’s intention to merge with a multi academy trust and we have, I believe been fortunate to have the opportunity to link with the Three Counties Academy Trust, who the board feels are a good fit for Stoke Prior and will bring many benefits to us. This will require change to the governance at Stoke Prior- e.g., moving away from financial matters. We will, however, remain focussed on the day to day working of the school and pupil progress.
I like to think I am an approachable person. I am usually in school at least one day a week so please feel free to speak to me.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org please feel free to contact me.
Judy Balderson (Mrs)
5 Mallory Close
Hereford HR4 0RD.