Netherbrook Primary School


Mr Thompson, our Chair of Governors.

I am pleased to introduce myself as the Chair of Governors and give a brief introduction to the nature of the work that we do.

The role of Governors is very important in the life of a school and being a Governor at Netherbrook is no exception. The Governors work hard to support the school in all aspects of its delivery and have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the school delivers its statutory functions to the very best of its ability.

However we are not the school’s managers and it is not the Governors’ job to be the people who run the day to day organisation of the school’s activities.

So, what do we do? The Governors could be best described as the 'Critical Friend' to the Headteacher and all the employees of the school whatever their role. We are also the guardians of the rights and entitlements of all of the pupils on roll at the school and take an active interest in ensuring that those rights and entitlements are at the very heart of the school’s provision.

These are responsibilities that the Governors take very seriously and in order to carry out our duties we have a number of committees that oversee such things as curriculum provision, school resources, the health and well-being of pupils and staff, quality assurance in respect of teaching and learning to name just a few.

In addition to the committees, the Governors also meet once each term as a full Board to discuss a wide range of reports received from both the school and the Local Authority. Those discussions with the leadership and management team of the school help to create the school’s vision for its future and help to determine the ways in which the school responds to the wide variety of expectations placed on it by the demands of legislation, Ofsted, the Local Authority and the community that the school serves.

As a Governing Body we are committed to making ourselves known to the school’s wider community and want to ensure that through a variety of ways we are both accessible to everyone and keep everyone informed in respect of the activities that we undertake on behalf of the school.

I look forward to a successful partnership with everyone connected with Netherbrook.

Best wishes,

Arthur Thompson
Chair of Governors

Members of our Governing Body

Name Title/Role
Mr A Thompson Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor
Mrs C Stringer Vice Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor
Mrs J Barfoot Co-opted Governor
Mrs A Bowen Co-opted Governor
Mrs R Fisher Co-opted Governor
(vacancy) Co-opted Governor
Mrs C Homer Parent Governor
Mrs R Morrison Parent Governor
Mrs T Parfitt Parent Governor
Mr L Salter Parent Governor
Mr N Smith LA Governor
Mr P Rawlings Headteacher
Mrs T Wilkes Staff Governor

Also see: Governor Committees and Interests (pdf)

Governor Profiles

Mrs Jayne Barfoot

Mrs Barfoot

I have been employed at Netherbrook Primary School for the last 19 years. Firstly as a Teaching Assistant and since 2011 as a Dance Practitioner. Netherbrook has played a very significant and important part of my life as my two boys attended Netherbrook from Nursery through to Year 6.

I have been a Staff Governor for 13 years and enjoy the role immensely. I live in the Netherton area with my husband and two children. My interests include dance, performing arts and sport.

I am passionate about all of the arts and giving young children at Netherbrook and the local area the chance to shine and to create memories they will never forget.

Mrs Andrea Bowen

Mrs Bowen

Having worked in education for over 27 years, I have been employed at Netherbrook Primary School for nearly 10 years, becoming a staff governor three years ago.

I live locally in Netherton with my husband and two grown up children, who both attended Netherbrook themselves. Therefore, Netherbrook has been part of our lives for many years!

I feel that my role within the school as Family Link Co-ordinator is both unique and a privilege. I am able to closely work alongside and support families in a range of activities including, Family Learning; Stay and Play; helping to organise our Parent Group – Friends of Netherbrook School (FONS) and monitoring Pupil Attendance. This has allowed me to work on the nationally recognised ‘Leading Parent Partnership Award’ to improve links with parents and promote parental engagement and show an ongoing commitment to our families. Being a staff governor gives me the opportunity to further support the whole school’s commitment to our children’s education.

Mrs Rachael Morrison

Mrs Morrison

I have been a parent Governor for about nine months. My son has attended Netherbrook since nursery and is in Year 4 now. I have been involved with the FONS group within school for about two years, raising money for the school and organising events for the children. As a family we love the outdoors particularly the beach and sunshine.

I work full time as an advanced nurse practitioner looking after critically ill children aged 0-16 years both within the region’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and our transport service. I am very privileged to work with children and families at the worst time of their lives. As part of my job I teach health professionals about providing the best communication to children, young people and families both within my hospital and nationally.

All of our children are so precious and this makes me passionate about helping as a Governor to work towards having the best school possible to give my child and your children the best start for their fantastic futures. I know how valuable parents feedback and ideas are so its a great privilege to be a Governor. If you have any views or ideas you want representing at Governors meetings please come and chat to me in the playground.

Mrs Teresa Parfitt

Mrs Parfitt

I have been a Parent Governor for five years here at Netherbrook, and previously to this I was a Governor at Sandwell for six years. I am currently Vice-Chair on the Curriculum Policies and Practices Committee. Both my children have attended this school with one remaining in Year 6.

My first impression of the school was how friendly everyone was and how the lessons were ‘alive’ with the children all participating rather than merely sitting passively. I knew then that this was the school where I wanted my children to be.

I am the Chairperson of the FONs (Friends of Netherbrook) group, and Mrs Bowen and I helped to set this group up. We have funded £2,000 for the school to purchase a variety of additional learning materials during the first year of fundraising events.

We all want the very best education for our children and it is vital that our school continues to provide this. Our team is approachable and the door is always open. We are very proud of our achievements here at Netherbrook, and of our committed and motivated team.

Mr Nigel Smith

Mr Smith

Most of my 38 year teaching career was spent in and around the West Midlands. I taught in a number of Dudley schools including Wren’s Nest, St Marks and Lapal Primaries. I have also taught in a number of special schools. The last 14 years of my career were spent as a Headteacher in three special schools - the last seven years at Old Hall School in Walsall.

I enjoyed my teaching career enormously but wished to retire at the same time as my wife in order to spend more time together and with our four grandchildren. I still wished, however, to be involved in education in some way and becoming a governor at a great school like Netherbrook has been ideal. As a governor I very much welcome the opportunity to work with everyone at Netherbrook, in any capacity, in order to try and make the school even more successful.

Mrs Carole Stringer

Mrs Stringer

I was a primary school teacher for over twenty five years in several schools in and around Dudley and became a Local Authority Governor here at Netherbrook in 2002 when I retired. Currently Vice Chair, I also sit on the Finance & General Purposes and the School Improvement and Standards committees.

Having previously lived nearby and taught locally I have strong ties to the area. I am married with three grown-up children and six grandchildren.

My particular interest is in the Early Years and I visit the unit regularly. Here our youngest pupils are given the very best start every child deserves in a stimulating and exciting environment.

It is a privilege to be part of such a motivated and committed team where staff, Governors and parents ensure Netherbrook continues to provide an excellent education for all children.