School Governor

Profiling the nominees for the School Governor Award.

Sponsored by Empathi Cymru and Judicium

The School Governor award recognises the contribution of an individual School Governor who has demonstrated commitment, leadership and innovation for the benefit of the wider school community.

You can watch the video of the shortlisted nominees for the School Governor category below:

The nominees are:

Natalie Johnson









Natalie is Chair of the Governing Body of Llantilio Pertholey Church in Wales Primary School in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. She is currently in her third academic year as chair, a role in which she is highly effective.  She provides excellent leadership to the Governing Body, gives much of her free time to the school, and, in particular has been an important driver for ‘Governor Initiatives’, most recently re-establishing the After School Club. The latter was much needed, and Natalie has helped a small group of parents to form a management committee, and helped them to negotiate the various procedures required, as well as to obtain a start up grant and to employ staff to run the Club.

In recent years, she played a central role in the ‘Safe Routes to School’ and “Safe Routes in Communities” initiative, liaising with the County Council on a regular basis, with the support of her Vice Chair, a local County Councillor. As a result of the initiative, the routes around the school have been equipped with warning signs and traffic calming measures which have improved road safety for pupils and the wider community.

As a result of a bid which Natalie put together to the Local Authority in February 2014, the Governing Body were notified that the Local Authority has been successful in obtaining funding of £25,000 from the Welsh Government to install a pedestrian crossing on one of the roads near the school, subject to consultation with the local community.

Last year, under Natalie’s leadership and with her hard work on submitting an excellent application, our governing body were successful in gaining the ‘Quality Mark Bronze Award’. This was awarded in recognition of the evidence submitted of a consistently high standard of good practice across the governing body.

Anthony Ironfield









Anthony Ironfield is Chair of Governors for Willowbrook Primary School in St Mellons and works to steer the strategic direction of the school through the work of its Governing Body. He carries out quality assurance/performance management of the Headteacher to ensure the school’s priorities are fully realised He has to liaise weekly with the Headteacher and Vice Chairman to make strategic decisions relating to standards, pupil progress, governing body involvement and appropriate distribution of responsibilities according to individual strengths within the governing body.

Recently the school was successful in securing a grant to enable a cycle shelter and access routes to be built in line with eco friendly initiatives).

Anthony was then elected to serve as Chair of Governors in 2012 following a unanimous vote from the Governing Body. Lecturers from Caerleon Campus have visited and commented that the coding skills system used by the school has not been seen in any other establishment. The school is ahead of its rivals and this can only have significant value to the way pupils adapt to these current issues.I am regularly involved in school ‘Learning Walks’ which focus on a specific area of learning linked to educational priorities eg. skills integration. Other governing body members are also involved in this process which gives a deep insight into and understanding of how the school meets these priorities on an everyday basis.

Eirlys Pritchard Jones









Eirlys has a knowledge and experience of education at different levels, including working at policy making level and being invited to 10 Downing Street as one of a group of education advisors to Tony Blair, were useful to the Governing Body. Eirlys was able to bring a broad view to the Governing Body, helping it to become focussed and effective and placing the pupils’ education and welfare at the centre of every discussion and decision. The importance of forward planning and preparation enabled the school to be better prepared to deal with changes and new initiatives.

As an active and involved community governor at Ysgol Iolo Morganwg since 2004, Eirlys has been involved in the appointment process of all the members of the Senior Management Team and chaired the curriculum sub-committee and revised and formulated subject policies and statutory documentation. As chair of the curriculum sub committee she has written terms of reference and whole school curriculum policies for the school in Welsh and English.

Jessica Blair is the Policy Analyst for the IWA and the Co-editor of Click on wales.

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