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The role of the governing board is a strategic one with three key functions:


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


School governors  also set the aims and objectives for the school and the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend).


The Governing Body consists of 10-13 governors:


  • 6-9 co-opted governors

  • 2 parent governors

  • 1 staff governor

  • Headteacher



Picture 1 Sean Frampton - Co-opted - Term Expires 08.07.2019
Picture 2 Sarah Fairman - Co-opted - Term Expires 26.09.2020
Picture 3 Neil Tape - Chair - Term Expires 26.09.2020
Picture 4 Jon Nichols - Parent - Term Expires 25.09.2021
Picture 5 Chris Collins - Co-opted - Term Expires 05.02.2022
Picture 6 Astra Monahan - Parent - Term Expires 25.09.2021
Picture 7 Andrew Laws - Co-opted - Term Expires 26.09.2020
Picture 8 Alison Carter - Headteacher - Ongoing

Daniel Stanton - Co-opted - Term Expires 31.12.2019


Heather Lane - Teacher - Term Expires 23.09.2022


Below are Bio's from some of our Governors. 


Neil Tape


I have lived in Poole for 15 years and I am married with two daughters, the eldest of which is a pupil at Courthill. I have had an interest in education and the development of young people for a long time - following my degree I studied towards being a teacher before moving to training and coaching adults. I was co-opted on to the Board of Governors in September 2016 (and became Chair a year later) for a combination of my keenness to help develop Courthill; my interest in education; and my skills and experience from leadership roles in local and national organisations, including 8 years working in education and children’s services at the Borough of Poole. It has been a pleasure working with the team at Courthill and experiencing their passion, enthusiasm and skills.


Andrew Laws


Having worked in education for the past 20 years, I thoroughly enjoy being a co-opted school governor. I taught in primary schools for 15 years before leaving the classroom in 2013 to work for Dorset County Council in their toy and resource lending library; this was a hugely enjoyable opportunity to work across Dorset with families, pre-schools and schools, helping to ensure that they had access to the most appropriate resources for their children.  From 2014 to 2017 I managed a safety education centre in Bournemouth – I enjoyed working alongside a great team of volunteers to spread life-saving safety messages to the children (and adults) of Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset. I currently work for Oxford University Press as a National Education Programme Manager and am enjoying the opportunity to travel the country seeing excellent educational practice in action.


Sarah Fairman


I am mum to Oscar in Geckos class and Zachary who is two. I am in my second year as a governor at Courthill and have been a teacher governor at two schools previously. I am currently a co-opted governor with responsibility for SEND and Curriculum. I am Deputy headteacher and SENCo at Hayeswood First School a position I have held for 7 years and now work part time. I enjoy being a governor at Courthill, offering support, expertise and challenge where I can but am also very proud that my son attends such a forward thinking and high achieving school. I look forward to seeing you all over the coming year.


Sean Frampton


Vice Chairman and Co-Opted Governor Courthill Infants School. I have been a Governor at Courthill (First) Infant School since 2010 when my son attended the school. I have recently retired from the Fire Service, after almost 31 years, where I was Head of Operational Training for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. I have used the skills and knowledge gained through my career and have been able to apply them to my role as Governor. This has included the management of Health and Safety across the school, an overview of the requirements for premises improvements and examining the financial aspects of the school. I have a passion for learning and developing others and see being a school Governor as the opportunity to give something back to the community, assisting in the lifelong learning and developing a growth mindset of our children in a safe, inspirational environment.


Jon Nichols


I was brought up in the local area, attending Poole Grammar School, then Staffordshire University, where I studied Film, TV & Radio production. After that, I moved to New York for a couple of years, where I worked for a small production company, before settling in London for the next ten years, working for the BBC and the Discovery Channel, among others.I got married in 2007 and we decided to move to Poole in 2008, to be nearer my family and of course the beach! We now have 2 girls, both currently at Courthill - Emily’s in Year 2 and Isla is in foundation.I run 2 small businesses locally, my primary focus is video production, the other is in property, so I’m pretty busy, but working for myself I am fortunate to have a fair bit of flexibility, so I try to help out at the school as much as possible, both with the PTA when I can, and more recently as a Parent Governor.


Christopher Collins


I have lived in Poole since 2009 having moved down from London through my work. I am married with two boys (2012, 2015) and first became involved with Courthill Infant School having sent my oldest here in 2016. Having seen my eldest successfully go through foundation year I was interested to see if I could help support the school. My background is in Finance, Business Analysis and IT (not education) and I was co-opted to be a member of the Local Governing Body in January 2018. In the short time I have been on the governing body  it has been excellent working with the senior leadership team and seeing first hand their enthusiasm for Courthill’s childrens' education.