Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Welcome to our Governors' section. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The Governing Board


Each school has its own governing body. Governors have considerable responsibilities, but governors don't exercise them as individuals. They work as part of a governing body - a corporate team They do not manage the day to day operations of the school - this is the role of the Headteacher and senior leadership team.


The role of the governing body is to undertake 3 core functions;

  • Ensure clarity of visions, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold school leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and it's pupils and the performance management of the staff
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.


This is achieved through:


  • helping the school to set high standards by planning for the school’s future and setting targets for school improvement
  • keep focussed on excelling in school improvement
  • be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
  • help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
  • make the school accountable to the public for what it does
  • work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review
  • exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the Headteacher and staff
  • not intervene in the day-to-day management of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when it then has a duty to take action.
  • regular interactions with staff through visits and staff attendance at governor meetings


The governing body is made up of local authority representatives, parents, school staff and members of the community. The way a governing body is made up is set out in the school's Instrument of Government. The governing body at Shephalbury Park meets regularly and the minutes of each meeting are made available in the school office for parents who wish to see them.

Our instrument of governors are:


  • 2 Parent governors
  • 1 LA governor
  • 2 Staff governors (including the Headteacher)
  • 5 Co-opted governors

Purpose of the Finance & Resources Committee


The purpose of the Finance Committee is to:


  • oversee, challenge and support the school in respect of its Financial, Personnel and Premises obligations and activities.
  • to work with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure full accountability for the financial wellbeing of the school, the development of staff, the safety of children and achievement of the school’s medium term plan.

Purpose of the Curriculum & Safeguarding Committee


The purpose of the Curriculum & Safeguarding Committee is to:


  • advise the Governing Body on the school’s curriculum policy and its statutory obligations regarding the curriculum
  • with the assistance of staff, to monitor and evaluate the delivery of the curriculum, specifically the impact of actions taken to implement the SDP.
  • to review, approve and monitor the implementation of policies for curriculum areas, special educational needs, collective worship, race equality and pupil behaviour/discipline.  
  • to ensure that the needs of pupils with special educational needs are met.
  • in conjunction with the Head Teacher, to agree statutory targets for pupil attainment.
  • at least annually, to receive a report from the Headteacher on the quality of teaching and the standards of pupil achievement, and to identify any necessary governing body actions.
  • after consultation with the Headteacher and staff, to identify priorities for the School Development/Improvement Plan and to consider the draft plan for discussion and approval by the governing body.
  • to monitor, at least once a term, progress in implementing the School Development/Improvement Plan.
  • Governors are required to question and monitor matters of pupil safety and safeguarding procedures within the school.

Shephalbury Park Primary School Governing Board 


Karen Cohen

Classification: Local Authority Governor

Term of Office: September 2020- September 2024

Areas of Interest: Chair of Standards & Pupil Welfare Committee, staff discipline

I am an experienced leader and educator, with over twenty years of experience in the classroom, and ten years as a consultant supporting schools and leaders using school improvement strategies, coaching and staff development.  I have held a variety of leadership positions in different schools and am currently a Headteacher of another primary school, in Hertfordshire, which I have been for the last 5 years. I have recently started working as a Hertfordshire Improvement Partner and enjoy the variety of working with school leaders in different settings.


During the last year I have enjoyed being part of the governing board at Shephalbury Park Primary, getting to know the children and staff, and supporting the school in any way I can. I am looking forward to seeing the next phase of developments and seeing what the next year will bring to our school and our learners.


Amy-Louise Collard

Classification: Co-Opted Governor

Term of Office: February 2019 - February 2023

Areas of Interest: Standards & Pupil Welfare Committee, safeguarding, online safety

I’m delighted to have joined the governing board and have lead responsibility for safeguarding at Shephalbury.  My professional and personal experience gives me a strong oversight of governance along with the many issues that can affect young people’s safety and wellbeing and I look forward very much to working with all the stakeholders at the school, alongside the governing board, to provide a high level of support in this critical area.


In my professional life I have worked in supported accommodation for children and young people.  I had additional responsibilities for chairing Referral Panels for young people who had come through the criminal justice system.  I have also worked with children, adults and families affected by substance misuse and took the lead in designing and delivering an essential support service in the community for individuals who were affected by alcohol misuse.  For the last 6 and a half years I have been working with frontline emergency services in London, dealing with many incidents and critical issues;  this has very much added to my skill set and has resulted in my appointment as wellbeing champion for my workplace.


In my personal life for the last five years I have been a kinship foster carer for family and have fostered Local Authority children in emergency circumstances as well as short and long term placements, giving me a sound understanding of the many needs of children and their families.  I also have one child who attends Shephalbury Park Primary School and it has been wonderful to chart her progress over this time.  I consider it a real privilege to be part of the governing body and very much hope that my skills, experiences and contributions will support the school and all the people within it.


Ben Conway

Classification: Headteacher

Term of Office: September 2019 - 

Areas of Interest: Finance & Resources Committee, Standards & Pupil Welfare Committee, Governor Visits

I am very proud to be the Headteacher of Shephalbury Park Primary School. I am keen to use my experience to further develop the learning community at Shephalbury Park, enabling everyone to reach their full potential.


I am an experienced school leader and educator, having held a variety of positions in a range of schools in Enfield and Hertfordshire. This includes a range of subject and year leadership, deputy headship, consultant work and acting and interim headship roles. In addition to this, I have been a governor in other Hertfordshire schools for a number of years.


Heather Heritage

Classification: Co-Opted Governor

Term of Office: September 2020 - August 2024

Areas of Interest: Finance & Resources Committee, SEND, equality & inclusion

I have lived in Stevenage all my life (even when at University I returned home during holidays and weekends!).  I have previously worked within financial services, but now I am a Teaching Assistant in another local primary school.  I find that both my previous experience and my current employment inform and support my role here.


I have been a Governor at Shephalbury Park Primary School since 2011.  Initially I was elected as a Parent Governor.  However, both my children have now left the school.  I was asked to remain on the Governing Body when the school defederated from Longmeadow in 2016.  I feel very privileged to be a Governor here to fulfil my role in helping the school community reach its full potential.


Michelle Janes

Classification: Co-opted Governor

Term of Office: November 2020 - November 2024

Areas of Interest: Finance & Resources Committee, complaints, pay,

I am an experienced leader with a background in training and education.  Having begun my career in the field of informal education and then moving to teach Secondary ICT, I have always been passionate about supporting the development of young people educationally and personally.


I currently work as a Co-CEO in the charity sector and have a wealth of experience in training leaders and strategic organisational development.  I am delighted to be part of the Shephalbury governing body and look forward to supporting the school in achieving its aspirations.


Lucy Martin

Classification: Staff Governor

Term of Office: November 2020 - October 2024

Areas of Interest: Standards & Pupil Welfare Committee, governor visits

I joined Shephalbury Park in January 2020 having taught in the Stevenage area since 2009. Before and after university, I took the opportunity to travel extensively which offered me the chance to witness teaching and childcare in several different cultures. I’m delighted to join the Board of Governors and hope that I can represent the views of all staff and make a positive contribution to the running of this fantastic school. 


Phillip Prasad

Classification: Parent Governor

Term of Office: October 2021- October 2025

Areas of Interest: Co-chair of Finance & Resources Committee

I am excited to be joining the governing body of Shephalbury Park as a Parent Governor. I currently have a son in Reception (school year 2021-22) and a daughter who will be joining the school in 2 years time. I feel being a Parent Governor provides me with the ideal opportunity to give something back and support the school in its quest to become an exceptional school.


I bring along experience of finance, working as a chartered accountant within Hertfordshire County Council, along with 7 years of prior experience working in schools. With my wife also being a primary school teacher with 12 years experience, I bring a varied breadth of knowledge which I hope will improve Shephalbury Park and allow pupils to thrive. I believe strongly in the right of every child to receive an education that will help them realise their maximum potential and I look forward to helping achieve this as a Governor.


Claire Smith

Classification: Parent Governor

Term of Office: November 2020- October 2024

Areas of Interest: Finance and Resources Committee, complaints

I joined the Governing body as a parent governor in 2020, I have a daughter in year two and from September will have another daughter in Nursery.


I have worked in Education for all of my adult life in several different schools across Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. During my career I have worked as a Teacher, as an Early Years leader and as a HLTA, I am an experienced early years practitioner who is passionate about supporting young learners to develop their thirst for learning, growth mindset and have a positive start to their life in education. I hope that my experience of working in a variety of education settings will help the school reach its full potential.


Cameron Smith- Chair of Governing Board

Classification: Co-Opted Governor

Term of Office: February 2019 - February 2023

Areas of Interest: Co-chair of Finance & Resources Committee, Standards & Pupils Welfare Committee, HT performance management, whistle-blowing, HSE

I have been a primary school Governor for almost 10 years, six of which I have led as Chair.

I initially became a Governor to support my own son’s school and quickly realised that governance provides essential support for all children everywhere. I have worked with Ben Conway over a number of years and since joining Shephalbury in 2019 it has been a privilege to work alongside him again to help and assist him lead the school towards providing the best education he can for our children.


I work in the Construction Industry, I am not an educationalist, and I love being a Governor.