Leadership and Governance at Charlton House Independent School

An introduction to Charlton House from Head Teacher Louise Blake

Leadership and Governance at Charlton House Independent School

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The Proprietor of Charlton House Independent School is Charlton House School Limited (“CHSL”), Co. Reg No. 12792114, acting through its Directors. The registered office for CHSL is 55-57 Midanbury Lane, Bitterne Park, Southampton, Hampshire, SO18 4DJ.

CHSL was incorporated in August 2020 and is a company limited by guarantee. Its Directors form the Governing Board of the school and are supported and advised by the Advisory Panel which is comprised of Associate Members of the Governing Board. Members of the Governing and Advisory Board are listed below.

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The Department for Education’s governance handbook 2019 identifies the essentials of effective governance as follows:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

 

The Governing Board at Charlton House Independent School meet regularly with the Headteacher to provide oversight, support and to ensure the proper functioning of the school as well as the successful execution of the School Development Plan in accordance with the Department for Education’s guidance.

Independent advice is also provided by the Advisors who are Associate Members of the Governing Board, where each member (non-remunerated volunteer) has a distinctive skill set and all provide advice and support in all areas of school life. The Board offers support and guidance to the Headteacher, but also holds the school to account for the quality of education it provides and the standards it achieves. The Governors and Advisors ensure the safety of the school environment and review the effectiveness of our child protection policies.

The Governing and Advisory Board also exists so that the Proprietor has sufficient knowledge and advice to ensure:

  1. Highest level of safeguarding
  2. Strategic direction
  3. School improvement
  4. Accreditation and Inspection
  5. Financial Planning
  6. Resourcing
  7. Policy development
  8. Facility maintenance
  9. Independent panel members at hearings, such as for complaints or disciplinary matters
  10. Excellent performance management to enhance teaching and learning
  11. Compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements
  12. Community development
  13. High standards of professionalism and quality assurance systems

The Proprietor of Charlton House Independent School is Charlton House School Limited (“CHSL”), Co. Reg No. 12792114, acting through its Directors. The registered office for CHSL is 55-57 Midanbury Lane, Bitterne Park, Southampton, Hampshire, SO18 4DJ.

CHSL was incorporated in August 2020 and is a company limited by guarantee. Its Directors form the Governing Board of the school and are supported and advised by the Advisory Panel which is comprised of Associate Members of the Governing Board. Members of the Governing and Advisory Board are listed below.

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  • Mr Steven Hulbert – Chair of Governors
  • Mrs Dee Owen – Vice Chair of Governors
  • Mrs Louise Blake – Ex officio Governor
  • Mrs Kay Hoile  – Staff Governor
  • Mr Christopher Holliss – Associate/Advisory Member
  • Mr Simon Lowes – Associate/Advisory Member
  • Mr Patrick Dobell – Associate/Advisory Member

Mrs Louise Blake

Mrs Blake has been in Primary education for over 20 years, working in both state and independent schools across Suffolk, Dorset and Hampshire and was appointed Headteacher at Charlton House Independent School in September 2020. As a Headteacher Governor, Mrs Blake reports to the Governing Body on the progress the school is making in all areas of our improvement plan and advises the Chair and other Governors on a range of matters in relation to the strategic development of Charlton House Independent School. The children at Charlton House are an absolute delight and it is a pleasure to work alongside such a dedicated and professional staff team. Mrs Blake looks forward to working as part of the Governing Body to provide the very best education and opportunities for the children in our school, together with the whole school community.

Mrs Kay Hoile is a staff Governor, and is employed as a member of the Support Staff as an Administration Officer. Kay is also responsible for Safer Recruitment at Charlton House. Kay has the benefit of having worked in ‘educational administration’ for the past 23 years in both local authority and independent schools and in both junior and senior levels.

Mr Christopher Holliss is an Alumnus of both the former Charlton House and St. Mary’s College (1984-2000). Chris is a Solicitor and Partner within the Dispute Resolution department at regional law-firm, Paris Smith LLP and has two children currently attending Charlton House. Chris’ mother taught at the former Charlton House for over 30 years; Chris married his wife at our Chapel here on campus over a decade ago and both of Chris’ children were baptised into the Catholic faith at our Chapel.

Mr Simon Lowes is also Alumnus of St. Mary’s College (1977-1983) and having assisted with the foundation of Charlton House earlier this year, Simon has committed to now serve as an Advisory Member to the Board of Governors.

By profession, Simon is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner and business turnaround specialist and works in that capacity in Southampton and surrounding areas. Simon has been delighted to be part of this amazing journey of launching Charlton House into a new era.

Patrick Dobell is also Alumnus and attended the former Charlton House and St. Mary’s College from the age of 4 through to 18.   On leaving the school Patrick studied law at the University of Cambridge, and after qualified as a Chartered Accountant.   Patrick was in private practice for a number of years prior to transferring the public sector and most recently spent 13 years as the Finance Manager of a Catholic charity.

Patrick is married to Alison, who is the Anglican chaplain to a Winchester charity, and their son is now at secondary school after receiving his primary education at Charlton House.

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No. Governors and Advisors give their time and expertise voluntarily for the benefit of the school. Some have (or have had) children at the school or are (or have been) on the teaching staff. Others are alumni. These are not the sole reasons for appointing the Governors or Advisors however. Upon incorporating CHSL, the school undertook a ‘skills audit’ and established the various skills required at Board level to achieve the above aims.  The rewards are to be found in the many successes and achievements of the School under its Headteacher, Mrs Blake. All governors attend training courses and spend time keeping up to date with developments in school governance.

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The School does not make a profit in the way that commercial companies do. Any surplus after overheads have been paid is made to work for the benefit of the school and reinvested back into purposes which support our primary purpose – to promote and advance education and faith at Charlton House Independent School. The school is committed to supporting pupils who for financial reasons may not have access to independent preparatory school education. We employ some of our annual surplus in providing bursaries based on financial means testing.

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The Governing body plays an important part in the life of the school at Charlton House and so we plan ahead by identifying individuals with relevant skills who might be willing to replace governors as their term ends and/or to compliment the current Board.

We aim to have a broad spectrum of talents, skills and experience represented on the Governing body and Advisory Panel so that we can continue to be as effective as possible in developing the school and providing support and challenge to the leadership team. Parents, former parents and alumni will have a thorough understanding of our school and the values that underpin it and may be well placed to add value to our board. If you are committed to our ethos and would like to help us build Charlton House Independent School and plan for the future, then please contact us so that we can discuss this further.