This information gives an overview of an academy governor’s responsibilities.
Governors have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Principal to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Governors are appointed to provide:

  • strong links between the academy and the community we serve
  • a wide experience of the outside world
  • an independent view
  • a focus on long term development and improvement
  • accountability to the community for the use of resources and the standards of teaching and learning within the academy
  • support for the Principal and staff
Governors are expected to:

  • attend meetings of the governing body
  • work as a member of the governing body (not as an individual) in the best interests of the academy
  • show an interest in academy activities
  • become well-informed about education in general and about our academy in particular
  • become familiar with the rules of academy governance
  • keep up to date with changes in education legislation
  • attend training courses, where appropriate

Governors are involved in the following activities:

  • senior staff appointments
  • the financial management of the academy
  • pupil discipline
  • the curriculum
  • community links


Mrs Karen Elen

(Chair) Governor

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Karen currently has two roles in life; one is being a mother, and the other is administering her family business. She has three children; the youngest two still attends Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre. Before having children and moving to Gloucestershire, Karen worked in the Financial Services sector in London as a Human Resources Manager.

Karen has always, where possible, tried to get involved in the playgroups and schools that her own children have attended. She organised a mother and toddler group, chaired a playgroup committee, helped in the classroom and on school trips, and has four and a half years’ previous experience as a governor at the infant school that her children attended. Karen still helps out in the classrooms of her younger child on a weekly basis.

Mrs Candida Spedding

( Vice Chair) Parent

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The role education plays in enabling young people to reach their full potential is something I feel passionate about. I settled in Gloucestershire after graduating university. My professional background is in retail management. I have a strong ethos in the value of volunteering and giving your time and skills back to communities and governance is one way to do this. I have previously been a Chair of Governors at a Gloucestershire Primary school and understand how strong and effective governance partners driving school improvement. I’m looking forward to offering my time to Newent Community School. In my spare time I volunteer for BfN charity and help coordinate a drop in, here in Newent, for local mothers seeking support.

Mr Chris Germaine


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Chris has lived Newent for 23 years and has a close association with the Town.  He spent the early part of his career at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre and, therefore, feels passionately about education and the quality of education that Newent provides for local students.  Chris is a keen cricketer and is Chairman of Newent Cricket Club.  He coaches the junior members, many of which attend Newent School.   Chris is also involved with cricket development at County level, and is Manager of the County Under 15 side.  Chris has recently started to run and is a member of Newent Runners and has recently taken his leadership in running qualification.

Chris chairs the Governors Community Development Group and ids a member of the Strategic Group.

Mr Mark Lake


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Mark became a governor at Newent Community School in May 2019, he has one daughter at the school and his youngest son is due to start in Sept 2019.   Mark was a pupil of Newent Comprehensive many years ago and his eldest son also attended 6th form here 10 years ago. Mark has worked his entire adult career in the telecoms sector having started in the RAF before moving to the civilian side where he is currently an Implementation manager for an international Telecommunications company. 

He spent nearly 18 years as a adult leader in the Scout movement leading activities, camps and expeditions for young people around the UK and Europe. He has held a number of outdoor activity qualifications and understands that sometimes a more vocational approach to education suits some young people better than a purely academic one particularly those from a disadvantaged background helping them to achieve more in life.

He has also been involved with other organisations supporting young people. Mark is also a governor at a primary school in Gloucestershire having held a position here for 5 years, his current role is vice chair. In his little spare time he enjoys being outdoors, cycling off road and exploring historical & industrial monuments.

Mr Guy Bodger


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Guy has lived in the area for 27 years. He is a Director of an online business, previously to that he was an IT Director and then a Senior change manager within local government in New Zealand for 5 years. He is currently a Trustee for the ICBP charity and has previously been a Governor at Newent Academy. Guy is married and has three sons.

Mrs Helen Kelly


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Helen has lived in Newent for 7 years after relocating from Hull. Helen is a solicitor and will have two children in the school from September 2015. She joined the Governing Body in April 2015 in order to involve herself with the school on a formal basis and to hopefully help develop the school as a central part of the Newent community. In the little spare time Helen has she enjoys running, cycling and swimming.

Mrs Jennifer Niland


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My daughter joined Newent School in September 2018 and I was keen to volunteer to become a Governor. I live in Gloucester and felt that I would be able to provide a viewpoint of the wider community surrounding the school. I wanted to play a role in my daughters education and offer any support I can. I also have a young son and am working part-time in business consultancy so am fortunate to have the time to fully commit to being a Governor.  
My background is within business and hospitality, specifically in operational change, people and strategic management. I am also very keen on education and previously have volunteered at community events and youth projects. I look forward to my tenure as a Governor and am proud to be working with Newent School. 

Mr Sanjeeva Karunaratne


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Sanjeeva has been teaching Computing and ICT for over 16 years and has been at Newent since September 2017. He has previously been a staff governor at another school in Gloucester and has worked in a variety of different types of secondary schools throughout the country. 


Sanjeeva is currently Head of Computing and ICT at Newent School with a keen interest in technology.  He is keen to develop the literacy and maths skills of all pupils at Newent and developing pupils to ensure they all meet their potential.

Mrs Ann Price

Business Manager / Company Secretary

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Telephone: 01531 820550

Mrs Jodie Gourlay

Clerk to the Governors

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For all Governor enquiries please contact the Clerk:


Telephone: 01531 828923

Governance Structure

2016 / 2017

2018 / 2019

2017 / 2018

Declaration of Interests
2018 / 2019