Warm and caring
A team committed to excellence for our children.

Our Governing Body

What our Governors do

The Governing Body of The Wandsworth Federation of Maintained Nursery Schools is made up of representatives nominated by the Local Authority, parents and staff from Balham, Eastwood and Somerset Nursery Schools and co-opted members from the local community. The Full Governing Body and all Committees meet at least once a term but individual Governors also make focussed visits to the school throughout the year. The Chair of Governors meet the Executive Headteacher regularly to share any concerns or discuss any new developments in the schools.

The Governors are responsible for seeing that the schools are properly run and that the buildings are safe and adequate for all the children’s needs. They are involved in safeguarding, financial management, the appointment of staff and the delivery of the curriculum.

Our Chair of Governors is Adam Ockelford.

Our Vice Chair of Governors is Clive Landa

Our Designated Governors for Safeguarding and Child Protection are:
Melanie Pollett (Safeguarding Governor - Balham Nursery)
Adam Ockelford (Safeguarding Governor - Eastwood Nursery)
Helen Tovey (Safeguarding Governor - Somerset Nursery)

Our Designated Governors for Special Educational Needs and/or Disability are:
Lotte Lydon (Teaching and Learning Committee Chair, SEND Governor - Balham Nursery)
Helen Thouless (SEND Governor - Somerset Nursery)
Maria Begoña Pichel Gonzalez ( SEND Governor - Eastwood Nursery)

Our Designated Governor for Health & Safety is Valentine Obichigha

If you wish to contact Adam or any of the Governors, please contact the school office.

Governing Body structure

The Governing Body has two Committees:

  • Resources Committee 
  • Teaching and Learning Committee 

All committees report directly to the Full Governing Body.

Each Committee has their own Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegation, reviewed and updated annually, which ensures that the responsibilities of the Governing Body are undertaken appropriately.  

Relevant business and pecuniary interests

Every year all Governors and members of the Senior Leadership Teams complete and sign a register of business and pecuniary interests and at present there are no interests to be declared. 

Governance roles in other educational institutions

At present we do not have any Governors who have roles in other educational establishments.

The Governors

Following the formation of The Wandsworth Federation of Maintained Nursery Schools, our Governing Body comprises:

Chair of Governors
Adam Ockelford (Chair of Governors) (LA Governor) (Safeguarding Governor - Eastwood Nursery)

Vice Chair of Governors
Clive Landa ( Eastwood Day Nursery Governor)

Co-opted Governors
Fiona Coombe
Lotte Lydon (Teaching and Learning Committee Chair, SEND Governor - Balham Nursery)
Helen Thouless (SEND Governor - Somerset Nursery)
Francois Marshall
Khushroo Dastur (Resources Committee Chair)
Helen Tovey (Safeguarding Governor - Somerset Nursery)

Parent Governors
-Melanie Pollett (Safeguarding Governor - Balham Nursery)
-Susanna Giustiniani
-Valentine Obichigha (Health and Safety Governor)

Staff Governors
Russell Howard
Fiona Treadaway
Maria Begoña Pichel Gonzalez (SEND Governor - Eastwood Nursery)
Executive Headteacher
Emma Williams

Associate members
Camilla Alton
Kitty Devaney (Safeguarding Governor - Balham Nursery)

Annual Governance Impact Statement - Balham

BNSCCS Governing Body 2019-2020

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of Balham Nursery School and Children’s Centre (BNSCC) Governing Body are:

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

As a Governing Board, we pay special attention to what we view as the core ethos that lies at the heart of everything we do at BNSCC: To place the children at the centre of any decisions that are made and to work together as a family of leaders, staff, children, parents, carers, governors and the local community to achieve the best learning outcomes for the children at BNSCC.

Governance arrangements
The Governing Board of BNSCC was re-constituted in June 2015 with a total of 14 governors. Of the 14 positions on the Governing Board, 2 are staff governors, 6 are co-opted governors, 1 is a Local Authority governor and 2 are parent governors. There are currently three vacancies on the Board.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
The Governing Body has a programme of meetings throughout the school year. We meet as a Full Governing Body once a term and call extraordinary meetings if there are developments that require urgent attention. We also have a committee structure that focuses on specific areas of governance. We currently have two committees that meet on a termly basis:
• Finance, Premises and Personnel (FPP) Committee
• Teaching, Learning, SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disability) and Extended Services Committee

Attendance record of Governors
A record is kept by the clerk to the Governing Body of governors’ attendance at meetings. Meetings need to be ‘quorate’ to ensure that decisions can be made. We are pleased to report that governors are fully engaged with the work of the school and all meetings held throughout the year were quorate.

The Work of the Governing Board
Following the successful merger with Fayland Children’s Centre, Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) undertook a reorganisation of the children’s centres and early help services across the borough as part of their THRIVE strategy. This involved WBC re-employing all children’s centre staff at both Balham and Fayland sites from October 2019 and taking control of the management and operation of children’s centre sessions.
With the management of Fayland Children’s Centre no longer coming under our control, we also took the difficult decision to hand over the management of the 2-year old provision at Fayland to WBC from October 2019.
Reductions in the funds available from local and central government led to the introduction of an early entry scheme for children to enter the nursery before their third birthday and a top-up scheme to enable parents to pay for additional hours of childcare above their statutory entitlement. The schemes proved popular, but the income received did not match our ambitious targets. Nevertheless, the school is full and admission levels continue to be high.
From September 2019, BNSCC Headteacher, Emma Williams, took on the role of Executive Headteacher for both BNSCC and Eastwood Nursery School Centre for Children and Families. The Governing Board fully supported this move and has entered into discussions with WBC and with Eastwood Governing Board for this arrangement to be formalised into a federation, subject to consultation with stakeholders and the wider community.
In 2020, BNSCC staff and governors have also had to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. The governors would like to give a big vote of thanks to Emma Williams, the members of the senior leadership team and other staff who have managed the crisis with great care and expertise; keeping the school open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children throughout; and more recently reopening in line with government guidelines.
As governors we provide oversight and support for the senior leadership team and staff. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a governor is visiting the school in the context of a ‘governor school visit’ in which individual governors spend a few hours with the senior leadership team, the staff and children and focus on a specific topic. This year, we carried out several visits, including attending INSET days with the staff. In addition to the more formal school visits, we also enjoy participating in the fun school activities throughout the year such as the Christmas fayre. Several members of the Governing Board have helped at these events in various ways, for example meeting and greeting our families and friends.

The following quotes are comments made by the governors on their visit:

This was an unusual visit, falling as it did towards the end of the formal Covid-19 lockdown period but nevertheless shortly after the start of the Summer Term under new social distancing measures. It was inspirational to see the school very much in action under these new circumstances.
That said, it was clear to me how challenging it was for staff to support more vulnerable children and families in this new situation. From what I could see, the nursery continued to go above and beyond their remit, working hard to maintain communication with these families, to support them and to stay in touch with the children. In a couple of instances, staff had spoken to children themselves on the telephone.

The nursery keeps to the highest standard of Health and Safety for all that come into the building. They are also very vigilant when there has been issues making sure issues get sorted quickly.

Annual Govenance Impact Statement - Balham (Contd.)

We also conduct ‘parent exit interviews’ at the end of every year to find out what has worked well throughout the year and what could work better, so that we can strive to improve wherever possible. The feedback at the end of the 2018-19 school year was incredibly positive with 100% of respondents saying they would ‘recommend BNSCC to a friend, neighbour or relative’.
Additionally, the governors held some ‘meet-and-greet’ sessions in the mornings throughout the year.
We are pleased to report that safeguarding practice continues to be strong at BNSCC. The staff and leadership team continue to provide bespoke and highly professional ongoing support to a small number of families and children for whom safeguarding is a concern. In the Covid-19 Section 11 Audit return, the response indicated a very high level of awareness and confidence among staff at BNSCC in how to manage Safeguarding issues. As a result, there are only a few actions outlined in the Action Plan which will be addressed in the 2020/2021 academic year.
As a Governing Body we will continue to monitor safeguarding practice at BNSCC on a termly basis and we are pleased to say that governors have undertaken safeguarding training either in person at the January whole school INSET day or in the form of online courses or training sessions offered by the Wandsworth Local Authority.
The children at BNSCC continue to make excellent progress in key learning areas. We monitor progress and attainment closely in our termly Teaching, Learning, SEND and Extended Services Committee meetings. We analyse data collated and presented, whilst always keeping in mind that progress and attainment data is only one way to look at how children are doing at BNSCC.
BNSCC has a dedicated SEND Coordinator (SENDCo) who supports families at whatever stage of referral/assessment their child may be. The SENDCo plays a vital role in ensuring the best outcomes for our children with SEND needs. The Governing Board would like to extend our thanks to the tireless efforts of Camilla Alton in this role in a particularly challenging environment.
We have also been working closely with our Executive Headteacher, Emma Williams and the entire senior leadership team, to ensure that the voice of our children and community is heard beyond BNSCC.
All of our work is captured in approved minutes of the Governing Body, which are available through our School Business Manager, Bryanna Patterson, on request. Bryanna also deserves particular recognition this year for successfully implementing the changes introduced by WBC Finance to budgeting and forecasting. This has helped the Governing Board keep on top of the school’s finances in the face of ongoing change management.
Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the entire BNSCC community and especially to our leadership team and staff, not least to Emma, for their commitment and hard work in making BNSCC an educational space in which every voice is heard.

How to contact your Governing Body
We always welcome feedback, comments or suggestions. You can contact the Chair of the Governing Body, Fiona Coombe, via the school office, email: admin@balham-nursery.wandsworth.sch.uk.

Federation Governing Board Biographies

Coming soon!