Chair of Governors Keith Whittaker
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Remits : Full Board
I became a parent governor shortly after my two children started at Cheswick Green in foundation in September 2013. I am passionate about education, and about making learning fun. I am a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, so I teach students at the other end of the education timeline, but I hope many of my experiences will be relevant to my work as a governor. Aside from teaching, I am also Head of Education for my department at the University, which means I oversee curriculum development, feedback and assessment strategy and student engagement. On top of all that, I am a scientist, and that is where the fun bit comes in! I enjoy running, and generally being active outside. We already know that Cheswick Green is a wonderful School, and I believe that if parents, teachers and governors work together with and for the children, we can help the school thrive. I am a member of the curriculum, health safety and buildings, and extended school committees.
I have resided in the West Midlands since 1965. A qualified primary teacher, I served as deputy head in a Shirley school before being appointed in 1972 to a headship in Warwickshire. I continued to serve as a primary Head in two Solihull schools until my retirement in 1995.
I became a governor at Cheswick Green School in 1997 and have served on the Human Resources and Curriculum committees since that time.
I believe that parents, staff and governors should work together to provide a secure and happy environment in which children can develop and reach their full potential.
I have lived on Cheswick Green since 1970, one of the first people to live here. I taught at St Patricks and for a short time at Cheswick Green. I started 2nd Cheswick Green brownie pack which I ran for over ten years. I was also involved with setting up Cheswick Green Mother and Toddler Group.
After twelve years at home with my two children, I returned to teaching in Birmingham where I became a member of the senior management team with a special interest in mathematics. I was also the staff member of the governors. I have taught every age group in the primary school age group.
Since my retirement, apart from helping with my four grandchildren and being involved with their school, I have been looking for a way to use my skills and keep in touch with education and to help the local community. I have recently been appointed as a co-opted governor and look forward to serving the school to the best of my ability.
I have a diverse work experience. In the past I have worked for advertising agencies, corporates and schools. During my stint at a School as a Curriculum and Admission Counsellor; I had the privilege of working closely with senior management at school, educationists and teachers who were passionate to provide the pupils with the best possible learning facilities and learning environment.
Across all the industries that I worked there is one thing common, which is, change. So, I believe when change is inevitable it is extremely important that our children are educated in a way that they grow up into individuals who can adapt to changes and emerge as a winner in every situation. At Cheswick Green, I am a member of Curriculum and Performance Committee, and People and Building Committee.
In my spare time, I enjoy gardening and love growing my own vegetables. I was actively involved in the community activities to promote composting at home. Theatre always inspires me. I experiment a lot with cooking and get energised exploring new places.
I am the staff representative on the Governing Body.
I started working at Cheswick Green Primary School as a Teaching and Learning Assistant in 2000. I have worked in Foundation Key Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and I am currently supporting in Year 3.
I presently sit on the Curriculum Committee and have been on the Governing Body on previous occasions serving on a variety of committees.
I became a governor at Cheswick Green in 1996 as the governor nominated by Hockley Heath Parish Council. Parish Councils no longer have the right to nominate governors but I am now serving as a co-opted governor.
I was privileged to be Chair of the Board from 1997 until September 2011.
My working life (before school governance) was spent in the electricity supply industry where I spent thirty years endeavouring to keep the lights on. When the industry was privatised, those of us over a certain (relatively young) age were encouraged to take early retirement. I accepted the inevitable and complied in 1992.
My involvement with the school began almost forty years ago when my son was enrolled into the then newly opened nursery. Inevitably, I lost touch when he moved on but when my connection was re-established I realised that, although much had changed, the principle of working to provide the best all-round education for the children had not. Although I am no longer Chair of Governors I support the current Chair, as far as I am able, as he leads the team in its continuing work to ensure the best possible outcome for each individual child.
I am Chair of the Resources Committee and also serve on the Strategy Committee.
I have been a governor at Cheswick Green Primary School for many years and when the last of my three boys moved onto secondary school, I couldn't bear to leave too! So changed category from parent to co-opted governor. I really enjoy my role and the challenges it brings and believe it to be a real privilege. I have a true insight into how hard the children, parents, staff and governors work to make Cheswick Green Primary such a great school to belong to.
I am Chair of the People and Buildings Committee and through this role, I am often involved in interviewing new members of staff. I am also a member of the Strategies Committee and link governor for the Foundation Stage.
Outside of governorship, I am a part time teacher in a primary school for children with a wide range of special needs and/or autism, leading Forest Schools across the age range and up-skilling/enthusing staff about the benefits of Forest Schools. I am mum to three boys, one at university, one in sixth form and the youngest at Alderbrook. Any spare time I get, I love to do Pilates, am part of a book club, enjoy baking cakes, cycling and am an avid supporter of (and taxi service to) all my boys' various sporting activities!
I have worked in education for the whole of my career in a variety of roles. I have taught in a secondary school and in further education, worked as an education officer in two local authorities, worked as an Ofsted Inspector and spent 20 years as a senior manager in further education. As a teacher I taught English and maths and my last post before I retired in August 2013 was Deputy Principal of Leicester College of Further Education. As a senior manager I gained considerable experience of working with governors.
I have lived in the Solihull area with my family for 24 years and my three children were educated in Solihull schools.
I applied to become a governor at the school to be of service to the community and to continue my involvement with education.
I was elected Chair of Governors in July 2016.