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Meet Our Governors

The Local Governing Body is the school’s accountable body.  It is responsible for the conduct of the school and for promoting high standards.  The governing body aims to ensure that children are attending a successful school which provides them with a good education and supports their well-being.

Accepting the office of a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy. Our Local Governing Body always has the well-being of the children and the reputation of the school at heart. You can find individual governor profiles for our Local Governing Body below.

Karen Smith

Karen Smith - Chair of Local Governing Body Godmanchester Bridge Academy 

How long have you been a Governor?

I was appointed as a Governor in July 2018. 

Why did you become a Governor?

I became a Governor as I am absolutely passionate about ensuring that all children, no matter their background or abilities, achieve their potential and have the opportunities provided by a world class education. I would like to play a part in that.   

Do you have any children at our school and if so, in what year/s?

No, not at the school.

Your role/s on the GBA governing body.

In my role as Governor, I will be leading on teaching and learning although this is the responsibility of all Governors.

A brief description of your skills and experience and how they are utilised on the GBA governing body.

After a lifetime in education, first as a primary teacher and then as Lead Literacy Adviser for Cambridgeshire, now retired, I feel I have the skills, knowledge and time needed. In particular, my expertise in teaching and learning and in knowing what good school performance looks like.

What do you enjoy about your role and what you’ve been involved in?

The Governors are a welcoming, committed and hard- working team so this makes the role enjoyable. And, of course, being part of the whole school community is very worthwhile.

What words of wisdom would you give to encourage anyone wanting to be a Governor.

I would encourage anyone who has the time and wishes to make a valuable contribution to the life chances of children to get involved. There’s a lot to learn but plenty of training, resources and support.

Caroline Crowther-Light

Caroline Crowther-Light - Governor - Local Governing Body Godmanchester Bridge  Academy 

How long have you been a Governor?

I became a governor in September 2017

Why did you become a Governor?

I applied to become a parent governor of the GMC Bridge Academy back in 2016.  All you could see back then were the foundations, but I knew I wanted to volunteer my time to this new Academy. 

I wanted to be actively involved the education system and especially the school that my daughter attends.

I want to use my professional and life skills to help shape a joyful, safe and challenging environment for all the children to learn in.

Do you have any children at our school and if so, in what year/s?

Yes, I have a daughter in Foundation/Reception Year.  She’s just about to move to year one.

Your role/s on the GBA governing body.

My current areas of responsibility are Policies and Pupil Premium.  

A brief description of your skills and experience and how they are utilised on the GBA governing body.

My professional background is in IT Project Management and Operations.  I have over 20 years of experience with one of the largest IT Consultancy companies in the world.   

What do you enjoy about your role and what you’ve been involved in?

As a Governor I am enjoying working with all the likeminded individuals who share the same values and desire to make the Academy the best it can be for all of the children and staff.  There is a lot to learn as a new governor and there is a lot of support from training, the excellent school team and other governors. 

What I am looking forward to the most is watching the children and teachers develop and enjoy their school.

What words of wisdom would you give to encourage anyone wanting to be a Governor.

It’s a volunteer role with lots of real ‘contribution satisfaction’.  You will be working with the school and community to help shape and deliver real results to lots of happy children – you can’t get more positive than that!

Nan Taplin

Nan Taplin - Governor - Local Governing Body Godmanchester Bridge Academy

How long have you been a Governor?

I became a governor in February 2016

Why did you become a Governor?

I have had a lifelong interest in Education. I have been in turn a pupil, a mother, a teacher, a grandmother, and a university administrator. As such, becoming a governor felt like a logical step. It gives me the opportunity to use the skills which I have learned – life skills as well as professional ones – to give something back to the community we live in, and in particular to help to nurture and to protect the youngest members of our society, on whom the future will depend in years to come.

Do you have any children at our school and if so, in what year/s?

No

Your role/s on the GBA governing body.

My special areas of responsibility are Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs.

A brief description of your skills and experience and how they are utilised on the GBA governing body.

My training and work as a teacher gave me some early insight into the life of a school and the vital role of a good solid education in the development of confident youngsters with the skills and the ambition to succeed. Bringing my own children up, and helping out as a parent volunteer in their schools built on this further. And while working at the university I was responsible for the support of students with special needs or disabilities. I am able to use the experiences which I have gained along the way to help me in my particular areas of responsibility.

What do you enjoy about your role and what you’ve been involved in?

There is a lot to learn as a new governor and I have enjoyed the training opportunities, not just the formal training courses but also the time I have spent with other more experienced governors, learning from them. I also enjoy my regular meetings with the Inclusion and Safeguarding Manager. But best of all are the visits I have made to the school, to see the teachers and the children in action.  

What words of wisdom would you give to encourage anyone wanting to be a Governor.

Don’t be daunted by the responsibility. There are plenty of people to help and advise you.

Jackie Woodward                                                                                                                         

Jackie Woodward - Governor - Local Governing Body Godmanchester Bridge Academy                                            Image preview

How long have you been a Governor?

I  joined the Governing Body in April 2019.

Why did you become a Governor?

Having been involved in education for many years, I hope my experience can help in the development of this exciting new school.

Do you have any children at our school and if so, in what year/s?

No, my children are all grown up.

Your role/s on the GBA governing body.

I will be focusing on Teaching and Learning but am happy to be involved in other aspects of school life as needed

A brief description of your skills and experience and how they are utilised on the GBA governing body.

I am a teacher of many years’ experience, now semi-retired. My specialist subject is English, across all Key Stages. Although based in one school, I have worked in many Cambridgeshire Schools on a Consultancy basis, both with the Local Authority and independently. I very much hope my knowledge of and passion for education will benefit the school.

What do you enjoy about your role and what you’ve been involved in?

Although very new to the role, I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know a brand-new school, the staff and the other members of the Governing Body. I am looking forward to meeting some of the pupils before too long.

What words of wisdom would you give to encourage anyone wanting to be a Governor.

Staff and pupils can benefit hugely from links to the wider community and it doesn’t have to mean giving a lot of time. I have found voluntary work to be extremely rewarding and even a small amount of time given can make a lot of difference.