Annual Governance Statement

Academic year ending July 2023

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Writtle Infant School Governing Body are:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governance arrangements

The role of the Governing Body is to give strategic direction to the school, to provide constructive challenge in constantly endeavouring to raise standards and to ensure finances are well managed.

The Governing Body of Writtle Infant School was reconstituted in 2015 in accordance with Government requirements and is made up of 2 staff governors (including the Head of School), 4 elected Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 5 Co-opted Governors. Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

Since the retirement of Mrs Castell, we decided to hold a skills audit before making any further changes to our constitution, to ensure the School has a varied skill set across the Board. We will update this statement when this has been completed.

The full Governing Body meets at least once each term; we also have a few committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Writtle Infant School we have a Finance, Premises and Pay Committee, which focuses on finance, premises and some pay matters and meets within the full governors meeting; and a Pay Committee. We also have committees that meet if required to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters. Our meetings and monitoring visits are all in person by default.

Training opportunities for the governing body are also more readily available, with a blend of online and in person training attended.


The Governing Body is committed to:

  • Safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety, and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children and young people;
  • Promoting equality of opportunity and community cohesion where the diversity of different backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and positively valued;
  • The fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs;
  • Expecting all staff, volunteers and other workers to share this commitment.

Governors place great value on safeguarding and equality, we have a Nominated Governor for Safeguarding (Mrs Burton) who gives a termly report to the governors about all such matters where applicable.

All governors have annual safeguarding training and have also taken part in Prevent training.

Recent work and future objectives

Writtle Infant School is a school with lots to celebrate. Much of the year has been spent in preparation for a change in leadership structure. We said goodbye to Mrs Castell at the end of the Summer term and Mr Nick Taylor became Executive Head in September 2023. Our Deputy Head, Mrs Tracey Wilson, became Head of School in September 2023. We are currently planning on how we continue to strengthen the links with the Junior School.

Our recent Ofsted in May 2023 found us to be a strongly Good school and the report highlights many of the excellent things the school does for our pupils. We are very fortunate in this village to have a thriving school, with committed leadership and staff, who are strongly focused on providing the best for all pupils. The report also highlighted that the governing body is proactive in holding school leaders to account. This includes governors being actively involved in school leaders’ monitoring of the curriculum. This helps governors to have a knowledge of pupils’ educational performance.

Over the course of every school year we continually review our curriculum and this year has been no different. We want to provide a broad, balanced, relevant and engaging curriculum for all our pupils. We have brought in a new Phonics scheme called Little Wandle from September 2023.

We were also sad to say goodbye to two of our longest serving governors, Bobbie Charlick and Ralph Bray. We thank them so much for all the effort, enthusiasm and knowledge they have brought to us over the years. They will be missed.

The Finance & Premises Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises and makes decisions about how the school should use the budget. We are looking at ways to improve the classrooms and playgrounds.

One of the roles for the governors is constantly reviewing and agreeing school policies, of which there are many. This year we have considered a number of key policies, including PSHE, Behaviour Management and Safeguarding and our SEND offering.

Policies, Minutes of Governing Body and Committee meetings are public documents. Policies can be found on our website, alternatively you can ask to inspect them and the minutes of all meetings at the school office.

At the end of each term the Governors and Senior Leadership Team analyse school data and the progress of each year group, looking at the impact of interventions and deployment of resources. We use this data to plan out our School Development Plan and priorities for the next school year. At the end of this academic year we are delighted to share that we have surpassed all of the national data figures for EYFS, Phonics and KS1 SATs.

Governors’ current achievements and future plans

We will be recruiting governors in the next school year to fill skills gaps within the governing body, once our audit is completed. We are now looking at our training needs and increasing our involvement in the development of the School Development Plan to ensure that we are making a positive impact on the school.

We continue to review and develop new governor induction and training to make sure it is fit for purpose and that training is value for money.

​​We continue to engage with suitable future options to secure the long-term future of the school.

Governor (Category) Date of appointment Term of office  Date stepped down if applicable By whom appointed Committee 


Mrs Natalie Booker (Co-opted) 12/10/2021 11/10/2025 30/11/2022 Governing Body n/a
Mr Ralph Bray (Co-opted) 30/03/2023 31/03/2023 19/01/2023 Governing Body n/a
Mrs Esther Burton (Co-opted) 11/10/2019

as parent.

(12/12/2022 co-opted)

20/03/2027 Elected Co-chair from 12/12/2022 Parent Vote Pay committee

Finance, Premises and Personnel committee

Rev. Tony Cant (Co-opted) 01/09/2023 31/08/2027 Governing Body Finance, Premises and Personnel committee
Mrs Helen Castell (Headteacher) 01/09/2015 Ex officio 31/08/2023 Ex officio n/a
Mrs Bobbie Charlick (Co-opted) 20/05/2019 19/05/2023 18/05/2023 Governing Body n/a
Mr Matthew Coffey (Co-opted) 11/10/2019 

as parent.

(12/12/2022 co-opted)

20/03/2027 Elected Co-chair from 12/12/2022 Parent Vote Finance, Premises and Personnel committee
Mrs Rhian Fisk (Staff) 01/12/2021 01/01/2026 Elected by School staff Finance, Premises and Personnel committee
Mrs Elizabeth Garrod (Parent) 24/03/2021 23/03/2024 13/10/2022 Parent Vote n/a
Mrs Joan Gentle (Local Authority) 28/05/2013 28/05/2025 Local Authority Pay committee

Finance, Premises and Personnel committee

Mrs Marianne Parish (Co-opted) 16/06/2020 31/08/2024 Governing Body Pay committee

Finance, Premises and Personnel committee

Mr Nick Taylor (Executive Headteacher) 01/09/2023 Ex officio


Governing Body
Mrs Tracey Wilson (Head of School) 1/12/2016 Ex officio


Previously co-opted until 31/08/2023,

now Ex officio

Ex officio/ Governing Body Finance, Premises and Personnel committee
Mr Firat Yildizgoren (Parent) 19/01/2021 19/01/2025 Parent Vote Finance, Premises and Personnel committee

Committees to which Governors belong, attendance record and number of courses attended during the last 12 month period to date

Governors, committees to which they belong and attendance record

n/a not on that committee

Full Governing Body 

attended/ possible 

Finance, Premises & Personnel Committee attended/possible Pay Committee


Number of CPD – Courses / Conferences attended
Mrs Natalie Booker 3/3 n/a n/a 1 – Inspecting Safeguarding
Mr Ralph Bray 3/3 (Chair) 3/3 (Vice Chair) 1/1 8 – Monitoring Pupil Premium; Refresher for Established Chair of Governors; Health & Safety for Governors; Preparing Governors for Ofsted; Internet Safety; Safeguarding Forum; Inspecting Safeguarding; Dealing with Complaints
Mrs Esther Burton 3/3 3/3 n/a 6 – Disadvantaged Strategy and SEND; Preparing Governors for Ofsted; Therapeutic Mentoring, Safeguarding Forum and Mental Health and Wellbeing Provision in your School, wellinging of Leadership Team
Rev. Tony Cant 1/1 n/a n/a
Mrs Helen Castell 3/3 3/3 1/1 **
Mrs Bobbie Charlick 3/3 3/3 0/1 5 – Disadvantage Strategy Update; Safer Recruitment Refresher; Safeguarding Children for Governors; Preparing Governors for Ofsted; Wellbeing of Leadership Team
Mr Matthey Coffey 3/3 1/3 n/a 2 – Induction for New Governors; Preparing Governors for Ofsted.
Mrs Rhian Fisk 2/2 n/a n/a **
Mrs Elizabeth Garrod 3/3 n/a n/a 1 – Internet safety
Mrs Joan Gentle 3/3 (Vice Chair) 3/3 (Chair) 1/1 (Vice Chair) 7 – Preparing Governors for Ofsted; Internet Safety; Safeguarding Forum; Inspecting Safeguarding; Dealing with complaints; Safeguarding Forum; Harmful Sexual Behaviour-Peer-on-Peer
Mrs Marianne Parish 3/3 3/3 0/1 (Chair) 1 – Safeguarding
Mr Nick Taylor 1/1 n/a n/a **
Mrs Tracey Wilson 3/3 3/3 n/a **
Mr Firat Yildizgoren 3/3 n/a n/a 3 – Disadvantaged Strategy Update; Preparing Governors for Ofsted; Introduction to SEND for Governors

**Governors who are members of staff are separately listed in Headteachers Reports 

Register of relevant business and pecuniary interests during the last twelve month period to date

Name Relevant business and pecuniary Interests Governance roles in other educational institutions Relevant material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff
Natalie Booker Teaching Assistant at Writtle Infant School none none
Ralph Bray Co-opted Governor none Partner is a Governor of the School
Esther Burton Director of Dragonfly Education Consultancy Ltd, Member of NEU none none
Tony Cant Member of link School Governing Body Writtle Junior School 

LA Governor

Helen Castell Headteacher, member or NAHT none none
Bobbie Charlick Daughter employed by Writtle Infant School none none
Matthew Coffey Teacher at/ Employed by Fitzwimarc ASchool, member of NASUWT none none
Rhian Fisk Teacher at Writtle Infant School none none
Joan Gentle Co-opted Governor none Partner is a Governor of the School
Marianne Parish Co-opted Governor none none
Nick Taylor Executive Headteacher/ Ex officio Writtle Junior School 

Ex officio

Tracey Wilson Ex officio

Co-opted Governor, Teacher at Writtle Infant School

none none
Firat Yildizgoren Parent Governor none none


Governing Body

Chairs of Governors

Mr. Matthew Coffey (co-opted)
Mrs. Esther Burton (co-opted)

Local Authority Governor

Mrs. Joan Gentle

Parent Governors

Mr. Firat Yildizgoren

Headteacher Governors

Mr. Nick Taylor
Mrs. Tracey Wilson

Staff Governor

Mrs. Rhian Fisk

Co-opted Governors

Mrs. Marianne Parish
Rev. Tony Cant

Clerk to Governing Body

Anne Whelpdale