Netherbrook Primary School


Mr Nigel Smith

I am delighted to have been asked to be the new Chair of Governors at Netherbrook Primary School.

Having been a governor for the last three years I know already what a fine school Netherbrook is with passionate and dedicated staff and hard-working and talented pupils. I also know that the governing body is equally hard-working and committed to ensure that Netherbrook continues to improve and provide the best possible education for all its pupils.

So how does the governing body contribute towards continuous improvement? As a governing body we focus on three core responsibilities:

  • Ensuring that Netherbrook has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of the staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school, making sure we get value for money and stay within budget.

Of equal importance we act as a 'critical friend' to the school. We recruit and performance manage the Headteacher, we develop, maintain and review school policies and we ensure the school meets its statutory responsibilities. In order to do this we meet half termly as a whole governing body and also half-termly in a number of sub-committees which look at all aspects of school life.

Governors also have individual responsibilities to scrutinise various areas of the school, eg, special needs, early years, behaviour, attendance, safeguarding etc. To this end, governors visit the school regularly and report back on their findings.

This is a time of change at Netherbrook with the school recently becoming an Academy and part of a Multi Academy Trust with three other local primary schools. The governing body fully supported this change as we feel the benefits of working in partnership with these other schools will enhance the educational opportunities for the children at Netherbrook. However, our focus as a governing body will always be to do what is best for Netherbrook in order to help the school on its inevitable road to becoming outstanding.

Very best wishes,

Nigel Smith
Chair of Governors

Members of our Governing Body

Name Title/Role
Mr N Smith Chair of Governors, LA 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
Mr A Thompson 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 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.