Governing Body Newsletter – Autumn 2019

A warm welcome from the new Chair
Firstly, a very special welcome to all the new parents and children who have just joined us at William Ransom. This is the beginning of a very exciting educational journey for you all. At the Governing Body meeting in September, I was elected as your new Chair of Governors. I feel very privileged to have been elected as Chair and to be working with such a professional team of staff and Governors. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair, Ian Hankin, for all his hard work and dedication over the years. Ian has been an exceptional Chair and it is fair to say that his two greatest achievements have been the school expansion and finally getting Mrs Driver down the Zip Wire in Wales last year! I am delighted that Ian will be supporting me as Vice-Chair.

I was elected as a parent Governor in 2011 and, in 2018, I became a Co-opted Governor. I currently have one child at William Ransom, whilst my eldest two have moved on to Hitchin Girls’ School.

During my time on the Governing Body, I have been Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee and Vice-Chair of Governors. I am a secondary English teacher with 20 years of experience but in the last three years, I have been working as an English consultant and a Year 6 Writing Moderator for Herts for Learning Ltd (HfL). In March, I joined the Governance Team at HfL and I now train Governors and Governing Bodies around the County. As if that wasn’t enough, I also work for the University of Hertfordshire as a Visiting Tutor for secondary trainee teachers which is incredibly rewarding.

As a Governing Body, we are extremely proud of our pupils and our amazing school. Governors are volunteers and work with the school to ensure that your children receive the very best education in a supportive and safe environment.

In addition, the Governing Body ensures the school’s statutory obligations are
met; they review and monitor objectives, plan for the future, and make sure the vision for the school is both challenging and realistic.

All our Governors bring with them a range of different skills and experiences to enhance the leadership and management of the school within a great community. Decisions are taken by the whole Governing Body which meets once every half term, while sub-committee meetings consider the more specific areas of Learning and Teaching, Finance, Premises and Personnel. A list of Governors is provided on the school’s website.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the coming months and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. If you wish to get in touch with me or the Governing Body, please email us at

Best wishes
Funda Shibli
Chair of Governors

New Governors
We would like to welcome Dave Massey, our new Co-opted Governor and Nina Achal, our new parent Governor to the Governing Body. Dave is a Business focused IT professional, working in private, public and charity sectors. He is currently an IT Director at a large healthcare regulator. He has two grown up children, both of whom went through WR, and is happily married to Karen Massey, our Office Manager. Nina was recently elected Parent Governor. Nina is a qualified solicitor with two children at the school: one in Year 3 and one in Year 4. Nina volunteers in school and has served on the SPA as secretary. Nina has good links with the local community and businesses. Both Dave and Nina’s experience and skills fill two of our gaps on the Governing Body’s skills audit: Legal and IT which we are very pleased about. We look forward to working with them.

New Staff
The Governors would also like to extend a warm welcome to our new teaching staff, Mrs Gunn and Mrs Kholodenko; our new teaching assistants, Mrs Ewan, Mrs James and Ms Mumford, and our new Sports Apprentice, Mr Vincent. 

We have an amazing SPA to whom we are extremely grateful – as we are every year – for organising and running such a wide variety of events. Each event raises a substantial amount of funds which are spent on items for the benefit of the pupils. Thanks to everyone who has been involved with or supported these events so far. If you are interested in becoming a member of the SPA Committee, please speak with Mrs Driver. The heavy rain did not dampen spirits at ‘Family Fun Day’! The SPA sold over 250 tickets and great fun was had by all. Race Night also proved to be a galloping success again this year. Please continue to show your support by coming along to these wonderful events or better still, join the SPA! One of the SPA’s biggest events is just around the corner so please bring your donations to school, sign up to help out on a stall or just come along for the festive fun. 

School Development plan priorities 2019-20
Key Priorities this year are:
1. To introduce the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) across the school.
2. To ensure there is a clear progression of skills across all the foundation subjects. To develop the use of skills-based learning objectives.
3. To have a whole school focus on the development of reasoning skills in mathematics. To improve pupils’ approach to problem solving by developing their ability to question.
4. To ensure that subject leaders have a thorough knowledge of how their area of the curriculum is covered, the components that need to be learned at each stage and the progress that pupils make through it.
We will update you on these in the Governors’ Annual report in July. 

Our Neighbourhood
Please be mindful of our neighbours and of safety when dropping off and collecting from school – please do not stop in the zigzag lines, block pathways or park across driveways. Where possible, we would actively encourage parking further away and walking to school or better still, leave the car at home and walk the whole way! Thank you. 

On both Parents’ Evenings in October, Governors will be in the dining room for parents to come along and chat to. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the recent correspondence from the Governors about the school’s finances, so please come and say hello!

The Governing Body