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Welcome to information about our Governing Board.

The Governors

The Governing Board

Like all schools Alder Coppice has a Governing Board made up of governors from different backgrounds and interests. Governors do not run the School on a day-to- day basis - that is the Headteacher’s job. They play four very important roles in the life of Alder Coppice:

1. Strategic Direction

Working on behalf of the local community, they set the broad direction of the School. This includes the ethos of the School, that is to say its values and aims which underlie everything which the School does. Governors approve the School’s budget and the curriculum each year, and of vital importance to a successful School they appoint the Senior Leadership Team.

2. Critical Friend

The governors get to know the School well in various ways, and are able to give it their support as a ‘friend’. But they are also in a good position to have an honest ‘critical’ view of the School and be able to give constructive comments where it is needed.

3. Accountability

All Governors are accountable to the people who appoint them - and ultimately to parents and to the public. The Headteacher in turn is accountable to the governors for how he runs and manages the School.

4. Raising Attainment

The main role of any school is to enable the pupils to enjoy learning and to achieve their potential, whether that is intellectual, social, sporting or whatever. So governors must ensure that there are policies in place to raise the attainment of pupils each year and monitor those policies to see that they are being followed effectively.


Alder Coppice Primary School Governing Board

At Alder Coppice we are fortunate to have governors with a very wide range of experience and backgrounds. There are 5 types of governor:

  • Partnership: nominated by the Governing Board;
  • Parents:  elected by the parents from amongst themselves.;
  • Local Authority:  appointed by the Local Authority;
  • Staff: elected by the teachers and support staff also including the Headteacher as an ex-officio governor;
  • Co-opted:  nominated by the Governing Board.

All governors are appointed for four years at a time. Parent governors can complete their four-year appointment after their children have left school, but staff governors cannot continue if they leave the School.


Governor Duties

The Governing Board meets at least once each Term to conduct its business, when one of the major items is usually the Headteacher’s written Report. But in order to be effective in their work, the governors also serve on committees. 


Current committees include:


  • Resources
  • Pay


Staff and Pupil Discipline, Exclusion and Appeals committees meet when required.


As well as attending formal meetings, governors visit school to observe its life at first hand, so that they gain a greater knowledge of how it operates and the challenges it faces. This helps to inform them as they carry out their roles.



If you would like to contact the Governing Board or know more about what it does, please write to the Chair of Governors c/o the School.



Governing Board Composition 

Governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities.

All governors attend Full Governing Board meetings and School Improvement Meetings.


Mr Peter Mandelstam

Category of Governor: Staff/Headteacher

Term of Office: Ex-Officio

Full Governing Board and School Improvement

Committees: Resources & Pay Review (Advisory)

Responsibility: Safer Recruitment Governor



Mrs Jacqueline Blake

Category of Governor: Partnership Governor

Appointing Body: Governing Board

Term of Office: 06/12/2023 - 05/12/2027

Chair of Governors

Full Governing Board & School Improvement


I am a Co-opted Governor at Alder Coppice and have extensive experience of Governance in a variety of schools and the charity sector.  I am a retired education professional who, over more than 35 years has worked in music and the creative arts.    I am totally committed to ensuring that children and young people are offered the widest and highest quality opportunities to become the best they can.

On visits to Alder Coppice I have been extremely impressed by the children, the learning environment and the dedicated staff.



Mr Adrian Bowater

Category of Governor: Co-opted Governor

Appointing Body: Governing Board

Term of Office:  26/05/2021 - 25/05/2025

Full Governing Board & School Improvement

Committees: Pay Review & Resources

Special Responsibilities: Health & Safety Governor


I had 28 years in industry my last role being Finance and Sales Director of a small group of companies. I then joined the Project Team and Building Committee for the new build and first Academy School in England.  The Academy opened for students in September 2003, on time and on budget. I was one of the founders of the working group that worked with the Department for Education and the ESFA - the forum continues to flourish.

I am on the Governing Board of 2 Primary Schools, having previously been on the the GB of Milton Keynes Academy.


Mrs Lana Duffin

Category of Governor: Partnership Governor

Appointing Body: Governing Board

Term of Office: 06/12/2023 – 05/12/2027 

Vice Chair

Full Governing Board & School Improvement

Committee: Resources

Special Responsibilities: Safeguarding/Child Protection Governor


am delighted to take up my first Governor’s role at Alder Coppice Primary School.  I live locally with my husband and our two children, in our spare time we love sport!  I am currently an Assistant Headteacher and I have worked in various educational settings for 11 years engaging with many wonderful youngsters and their families. I am passionate about helping young people achieve their potential through education and ensuring all pupils have the best opportunities to succeed whilst growing into resilient and caring individuals.



Mrs Liz Rowe

Category of Governor: Local Authority Governor

Appointment Body: Governing Board

Term of Office: Joining Spring 2024

Full Governing Board & School Improvement

Committees: Resources


This will be my first role as a School Governor, and Alder Coppice is a fantastic place for me to start, as both of my children attended this excellent school some years ago.  I currently hold the role of Deputy CEO within a wonderful Charitable organisation, where I have worked for the past 16 years.  I also sit on the board of Trustees of another locally based Charity, who support vulnerable young people within the community.  The environment at Alder Coppice is supportive, nurturing and focussed on the children, and I can’t wait to be a part of the team.



Mrs Nikki Hayden

Category of Governor: Staff Governor

Appointing Body: Elected by School Staff

Term of Office: 13/06/2022 – 12/06/2026

Full Governing Board & School Improvement


I have taught at Alder Coppice since January 2004 and am in my second term as staff governor.  I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach in all year groups from 1 – 6; each of them bringing different experiences and many wonderful memories. (I honestly couldn’t choose a favourite year group!)

My own three children attended Alder Coppice and as a parent I feel that they have had a fantastic start, as the school holds dear principles such as; working hard, learning from mistakes and not giving up, thinking of others, being respectful and having good manners, and being kind.

Each and every day it is a pleasure to come to school.  Our children are wonderful and the staff are like a supportive extended family.  It is a privilege to work here.




Ms Danielle Johnson

Category of Governor: Co-opted Governor

Appointing Body: Governing Board

Term of Office:  24/03/22 - 23/03/26

Full Governing Board & School Improvement

Committees: Pay Review & Performance Management 

Special Responsibilities: SEND & Attendance Governor

I am one of Alder Coppice's parent governors. I am currently a member of the Performance Management and Pay Review Committees, and I am the Safeguarding and Child Protection link governor. 
I previously worked for a local building society as a Branch Manager, and currently support our family accountancy business whilst focusing on raising our two children. 
I have a real passion for child development and education, during my visits into school it's been inspiring to see such happy children flourishing in the positive learning environment provided by committed and experienced staff.




The following members of staff attend meetings in an advisory capacity.


Miss Melanie Boden

Strategic Finance Manager

Committee: Finance & Personnel.

Voting Rights: None


Mrs Maria Shee

Designation: Deputy Headteacher

Senior Leadership Team

Full Governing Board & School Improvement.

Voting Rights: None


Mrs Jo Randall

Designation: Assistant Headteacher/DSL

Senior Leadership Team

Full Governing Board & School Improvement.

Voting Rights: None


Mrs Jackie Podmore

Designation: Phase Leader

 School Improvement.

Voting Rights: None


Mrs Jo Bown

Designation: Phase Leader/DSL

School Improvement 

Voting Rights: None


Special Responsibility Governors


Safeguarding and Child Protection Governor


Mrs L Duffin


Attendance Governor


Mrs D Johnson




Mrs D Johnson


Safer Recruitment Governors


Mr P Mandelstam & Miss J Blake 




Mrs L Duffin




Miss J Blake


Achievement (including Pupil Premium)


Miss J Blake


Health and Safety  Governor


Mr A Bowater

*The DfE’s statutory guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education requires governing boards to:


ensure a member of the Governing Board, usually the Chair, is nominated to liaise with the LA and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Headteacher, the principal of a college or proprietor or member of Governing Board of an independent school.’


Clerk to the Governors


Naomi Lewis - contact via

Alder Coppice Primary School




Governing Board Register of Interests 


Governing bodies are under a duty to publish on their website their register of interests. The register sets out the relevant business interests of governors and details of any other educational establishments they govern. The register also sets out any relationships between governors and members of the School staff including spouses, partners and relatives.


This is a summary of our Governing Board and their responsibilities and register of interests.



Terms of Reference 2023 - 2024

Governing Board Register of Business Interests and Attendance at Meetings 2021 - 2022

Governor Application Form