Governors

Governors work with senior leaders in the strategic development of the school and in raising standards of achievement. Duties include setting the school's vision, aims & objectives approving the school budget and appointing the headteacher.

Governors must both support and challenge the headteacher, so need to gain an understanding of the school's overall performance in order to explain its decisions and actions. They do this by attending regular meetings, carrying out school visits and meeting with senior leaders.  They also attend training in order to keep up to date with the requirements of their role. Governors work as a team and make collective decisions.

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please contact the Clerk to Governors on 01273-296868 for more information. 


Who are we

Hesione Quinn

Chair of Governors
18th September 2019—17th September 2023 expected

Tony Fallowfield

Vice Chair
2nd October 2019—1st October 2023 expected

Tony has supported a son and grandson with SEND through their school journey and is one of the governors working with staff to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children. He is also passionate about sport and works with the school on PE and Sports expenditure. No business or financial interests No governance roles in other schools

Hildi Mitchell

Head Teacher
1st September 2017—

I am the Headteacher governor at Downs Infant School. I have been Headteacher here since 2017, and have worked at a number of schools in Brighton and Hove and in West Sussex. Prior to becoming a school teacher I worked in the University sector and have an academic interest in Social Anthropology, in particular in the relationships between belief and action and embodied knowledge and habitus. I have been a Headteacher governor at Davigdor Infant School, a co-opted governor at Northlands Wood Primary, a LA governor at Saltdean Primary and a staff governor at Elm Grove Primary. I am currently also an LA governor at St Peters Community Primary in Portslade. I am passionate about teaching and learning, and particularly about the role of play and engagement in learning. I am a qualified swimming teacher and open water coach and love watching anyone I work with learn, grow and achieve.

Anita Bullock

Co-opted Governor
15th November 2017—14th November 2021 expected

I have been a school governor for many years, initially as a teacher governor and then as headteacher governor in a number of schools in both Brighton and Hove and West Sussex. More recently I was a local authority adviser in West Sussex and my role there included supporting schools to improve and leading governor training across the authority. I have seen numerous changes to education during my working life, but I still believe passionately in the power of education to improve life chances and to provide opportunities for choice for children and young people. As a co-opted governor I am committed to doing my best to support the team at Downs Infant School to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils and families in the community.

Loren Davies

Co-opted Governor

I have lived in Brighton and Hove for the whole of my lifetime and all three of my now adult children attended City schools. I have extensive experience of working in education and have previously been a member of school management teams and a School Business Manager leading on the broad range of support areas in schools - Finance, Human Resources, ICT and office and facilities management. I am currently Head of Estates for a multi-academy trust where I lead the Capital Buildings Programme, premises management strategy and Health and Safety across the Trust's primary and secondary schools.

Jalia Kangave

Co-opted Governor
1st September 2019—31st August 2023 expected

Gill Hammett

Parent Governor
2nd October 2019—1st October 2023 expected

Vera Jakimovska

Parent Governor
4th September 2019—3rd September 2023 expected

Sarah Digon

Parent Governor
(Dates)

Aisha Hoten

Staff Governor
September 2020—

Kirsty Cargill

Associate Governor, Assistant Headteacher, Academic Standards
(Dates)

Jon Hughes

Associate Governor, Assistant Headteacher, Inclusion
(Dates)

Governor Roles 2021-22

Committee or Link Role

Governor

School Link

 

 

 

Chair

Hesione Quinn

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

 

 

 

Co-Vice Chair

Tony Fallowfield

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premises/Health & Safety Governor

Sarah Digon

Premises Manager, Michael Button

 

 

 

Personnel

Loren Davies

Bursar, Ann Mitchell

 

 

 

Finance Committee

Hesione Quinn

Bursar, Ann Mitchell

 

Hildi Mitchell

 

 

Tony Fallowfield

 

 

Loren Davies

 

 

 

 

Standards, Achievement & Curriculum

Jalia Kangave

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

 

Anita Bullock

 

 

Gill Hammett

 

 

Aisha Hoten

 

 

 

 

Inclusion (BAME, Pupil Premium & SEN)

Tony Fallowfield (PE)

AHT Inclusion, Jon Hughes

 

Anita Bullaock (PP)

 

 

Jalia Kangave

 

 

 

 

Safeguarding Governor

Vera Jakimovska

Safeguarding Lead,  Jon Hughes

 

 

 

Self-Evaluation Governor

Gill Hammett

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

 

Tony Fallowfield (support)

 

 

 

 

Head Teacher's Performance Management

Anita Bullock

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

(3 governors)

Hesione Quinn

 

 

Jalia Kangave

 

 

 

 

Appeals Panel

Vacant

 

(3 governors)

Hesione Quinn

 

 

Tony Fallowfield

 

 

 

 

Disciplinary Panel

Hesione Quinn

 

(3 governors)

Vacant

 

 

Tony Fallowfield

 

 

 

 

Pay Review Panel

Hesione Quinn

Head Teacher, Hildi Mitchell

(3 governors)

Gill Hammett

 

 

Vera Jakimovska

 

 

 

 

Training Governor

Gill Hamnett

 

 

 

 

Downs Junior School Link Governor

Hesione Quinn

 

Termly Governors Newsletters

Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings

The full governing body meets once or twice a term.  At these meetings, the governing body carries out its three core functions, as identified by the Department for Education in the Governors' Handbook:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent

The current chair of Governors is Hesione Quinn supported by Vice-Chair; Tony Fallowfield.  Minutes are published here, once they have been agreed by the governing body at the following meeting.

Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings

Some functions are delegated to committees. Downs Infant School has one committee: Finance. Minutes are listed below.

Resources Committee (Chairs: Alan Cronshaw & Julia Gallagher)

FGB disbanded this committee from September 2016

Teaching, Learning & Personnel (Chairs: Sarah Axtell & Claire McCann)

FGB disbanded this committee from September 2016 

Certain associated papers from the meetings are also available on request, although some will be confidential.  Please contact the Clerk to Governors through the school office for further information.

Meeting attendance

The Constitution of Governing Bodies in Maintained Schools (August 2015) requires governing bodies to publish individual governors' attendance at meetings in the last year.  In the table below, governors' initials are listed along the top (see full names on 'Who are We' page) and meetings are listed on the left hand side.

KEY:  Y = Yes (in attendance), N = No (not in attendance), N/A = not a member of that committee/resigned/new governor

Downs Governor Attendance

Governance Information

Who are school governors and what do they do?

There are over 300,000 school governors in England and they form the largest volunteer force in the country.  Their role is to work with the headteacher and senior leadership team in raising school standards.  Duties include setting policies & objectives, approving the school budget and appointing & supporting the headteacher.  Governing bodies work as a team – decisions are not made by individuals.  Governors come from all walks of life and fall into different categories – staff, parent, community, foundation and authority governors. 

Do I need to have a child at a school?

You do if you are applying for a parent governor role, but otherwise you just need to have enthusiasm, an interest in the welfare of children and a willingness to learn.  You must also be prepared to contribute to discussions and offer challenge and support to the headteacher.

What is the time commitment?

Governing bodies usually meet together once or twice a term.  There are also committee meetings to attend (eg curriculum, personnel, premises or finance).  If you do have a particular expertise, this is where your skills could go to good use.  You may also volunteer to be a ‘link governor’, to work alongside a member of staff who has a specific responsibility – eg Special Educational Needs.  The time commitment varies between governors and schools, but you can expect to spend around six to eight hours per month on your duties. 

Is training provided?

Brighton & Hove’s Governor Support Team provides phone advice and guidance to clerks and governors, as well as induction and further training – all this is free of charge.  There are also regular briefings to update you on national and local developments.

What’s in it for me?

You will gain some valuable experiences that will have an impact on your personal and professional life.  You will meet new people, develop teamwork skills and learn more about how schools work.  You could gain experience of budget setting, interviewing for staff or developing policies.  If you eventually become a Chair of Governors, we provide support and training to develop your leadership skills and confidence.

Above all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a real difference to the development of children, young people, their school and the community.

What should I do next?

For an informal chat and to find out which schools have vacancies, contact:

Brighton & Hove Governor Support Team

Telephone: 01273 293511 or 293507

Email: governor.support@brighton-hove.gov.uk