Currently, Cantell has a Governing Body as listed below.
Ms Ruth Evans (Headteacher)
Two key messages in my family were that the greatest gift any child can have is “a good education” and when possible to take advantage of all opportunities that come your way.
These have greatly influenced my life and it is now my privilege to be able to positively influence lives of the students and staff in our community. I consider it my key responsibility to ensure that students at Cantell, have the best possible educational experiences and the opportunity to reach their potential.
I am supported in achieving this by a wonderful team of dedicated staff and the commitment and effort of our harmonious and happy students.
Our shared values, encapsulated in our Cantell Cs,
are lived out in our daily lives.
Ours is a community where the drive for challenge, creativity and commitment, is underpinned by co-operation and courtesy.
Mrs Elizabeth Hale (chair)
I have three children at Cantell now as my oldest has just finished year 11 and gone to Peter Symonds in Winchester. I want all students and parents to have a real pride in the school. I've been a governor for four years and know Cantell is a vibrant school, offering many different opportunities for an exciting learning experience. I am self-employed, helping organisations collect and use information to work out how to improve and to show their true value.
The school is on the right track and has some staggeringly good teachers. Their job is not easy so it helps when parents support them. Being a governor is one way to do just that, and to support the school overall in its journey to be outstanding.
Mr Stephen Kent (vice chair)
Mr Richard Harris
A trained teacher and first ever graduate of the Open University Richard took up a career in youth work and adult education retiring from Southampton City College as Senior Manager for Adult Education. For seven years he served as a City Councilor, two of which were as the Cabinet Member responsible for Education.
He has been a Governor in the City for nearly 30 years covering all phases of education from Infant School to Solent University. However he has been connected to Cantell for all of its existence and previously served as Vice Chair.
Both of his sons are former pupils, both being head boy in their turn. Richard is a Trustee of a number of charities and an active member of Avenue St. Andrews United Reformed Church in the Avenue. He states that he has always been proud of being connected to Cantell and is extremely honoured to be elected the Chair of Governors and share in its ambition to become an Outstanding School.
Mr Phil Hand
Phil Hand is in his second spell as a Governor at Cantell. His three sons came through the school, so in his own words he 'owes this school a lot'. He was Chair of Governors during the 2008-09 year, and is also a long standing Chair of Governors at a primary school in the city. He works professionally in the governance field, for Warwickshire County Council.
Dr Alan Hunt
I work as a scientist at the University of Southampton. I have been a Governor at Cantell since the late 90s, first as a Parent Governor when both my sons were students here, then as an appointed member of the Interim Executive Board during the period of Special Measures and latterly as a Community Governor on the reconstituted Cantell Board.
As an experienced Governor in the City I have served both as vice-Chair and Chair of Governors at Cantell and also served a 4 year period as Secondary Parent Governor Representative to the Local Authority elected from among all Secondary Parent Governors.
Cantell is keen to strengthen links with our feeder Primary Schools and I have recently been appointed a Foundation Governor at Highfield C of E Primary School which I hope will help contribute to effective co-operation between all schools in our cluster.
Prof Hazel Inskip
I have been a governor at Cantell since 2000 and have seen the school go through many changes. It is a privilege to be working with such a dynamic school that is improving so fast. I started as a Governor when my step-son was in Year 9 but stayed on after he left as I wanted to support the work that was being done at the school.
At various times I have been vice-chair of the governing body but currently I chair the Southampton Governors' Forum which enables governors across the City to meet each other and to liaise with the Local Authority. My job is as a statistician and researcher for the Medical Research Council, based within the University of Southampton.
I run a study called the Southampton Women's Survey for which we interviewed 12,500 young women when they were not pregnant and then studied over 3,000 of them through pregnancy and are following up the children. Our findings have led us to develop projects to improve the health of young people and their children, aiming to ensure that children get the best start in life. Some of these projects involve schools, as good education and good health are closely linked. Insights from my work have helped me as a Governor and vice versa.
Dr Avan Sayer
I started as a Parent Governor in 2008 and currently have 2 children at Cantell. There is undoubtedly a powerful air of improvement at the school and my aim is to contribute to the exciting changes that are occurring by working with the other governors, staff, students and parents.
I believe that a major part of my role is to feedback the experience of parents and carers to the governing body and would welcome your comments, thoughts and ideas.
Ms Claire Herridge
I began my teacher career in 1996 in a local Southampton school, where I was employed for 12 years. During those 12 years, I was Subject Leader for PE, a Head of Year and KS3 Learning Co-ordinator. I also served as a teacher Governor there for a 2 year period (1999-2001).
I was delighted to be appointed as KS3 Learning Co-ordinator at Cantell Maths & Computing College in July 2007. During the 4 years I have been employed at Cantell, my role has now developed into 11-19 Co-ordinator and I am proud to be a part of the Extended Leadership Team. As well as my Teaching and Learning responsibilities, I also regularly involve myself in
extra-curricular activities such as Rock Challenge and led World Challenge expedition to Tanzania in 2011.
Mr Rod Varley
I have a daughter in Year 8 and strongly support and believe in Cantell’s mission to provide an education that enables all students realise their full potential. I wish to help the staff, fellow Governors and students fully achieve this vision and for Cantell to continually improve and innovate, and be recognised as the outstanding school I know it to be.
My career has included Head of Film at the National Media Museum, founding Chief Executive of Harbour Lights Cinema and Managing Director of the Association of Photographers.
I have an MBA in Business Management and am a member of the Chartered Management Institute. Since 2005, I have been self-employed, providing business support in the arts and voluntary sector in the areas of strategic planning, evaluation and governance. I am also a photographer and video maker.
Mr Mike James
This is my first appointment as a Governor and I hope to be able to use the skills I have gained as a Chartered Accountant, firstly in professional practice and then (since 1996) as Finance Director in my own Construction Company, to help the Governors to realise the aspirations for all those connected with the school. Cantell's determined march to become an outstanding school has clearly quickened its pace and I want to contribute to its success.
I attended the school on the same site back in 1976 and have had a continuous involvement and interest as a parent since 2003. I currently have a child that has just moved into year 9 at the school.
Mrs Nicola Jefferies
I am currently a Learning Area Manager at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, with responsibility for Science, Health and Social Care and Childcare. As well as leading these curriculum teams I am the first port of call for the tutors in my area, supporting them in their role in ensuring their tutees succeed and progress. I also work with my line manager and the Deputy Principal to promote and improve where appropriate the quality of all aspects of the College. Since starting this role, we have introduced a new course review and action plan system that aims to assess the quality of each class on every course and improve them where necessary. In addition, I am now the liaison link with Cantell and this allows me to provide suitable transition for students moving from the School to the College.
Also, I am responsible for ensuring all of the students wanting a career in one of the subjects in my area have as many opportunities as possible. On this vein, our students this year have met Professor Robert Winston, helped out at Southampton General Hospital's Open Day, attended various events led by consultants and registrars at both the hospital and Southampton University and had the opportunity to join the hospital's Member's Council (two of our students are now on the council). These events have helped the students gain valuable insights into different career paths and strengthened their UCAS applications.
In my spare time I enjoy playing golf, watching MotoGP, reading Science journals, singing in and watching classical ensembles and travelling.
Mr Martin Boorman
I have always believed in supporting local education and through the experience of my two daughters who attend Cantell have come to believe strongly in how good a school Cantell is. This school has fantastic resources; the buildings and facilities but most importantly the teaching staff who care about the success of the school and development of our children.
As a governor I hope to support the dedicated people who work here and help the school become outstanding. I have previously been a parent governor in a local primary school and work locally for a company that many of you will remember as Pirelli, in a Sales and Marketing role.
All correspondence for members of the Governing Body should be forwarded to the Clerk to Governors at the address shown below:
c/o Miss M. Burt
Clerk to Governors
Cantell Maths & Computing College
The school's finances were a major item for discussion at our March meeting. All governors across the country have been required to do a detailed review of financial systems in their school and sign off that they are happy with the current arrangements, or put plans in place to make the necessary changes.
This is the first time we have had to do this, and it has been an important piece of work led by one of our parent governors. We have also reviewed the way governors organise meetings and committees and made some changes which will take effect from the summer term. This follows a very useful planning morning we held earlier in the month which identified a number of priorities.
In future, governors will work with a member of the senior team on those priorities. We did talk about students as well - we had another look at the progress students are making across the school, and predictions for GCSE results this summer. We are hoping for another year of improved results and so tracking progress regularly is important.
Mrs. E. Hale
Chair of Governors
January 2013 - Meeting Report
At our January meeting an external advisor to the school, who has worked with Cantell for a number of years, provided an update on progress since our Ofsted inspection in February last year. She highlighted many improvements.
Her views are helpful for governors because she provides a ‘fresh pair of eyes’, which supports the information from school monitoring systems. Her key messages to us were to ‘keep up the good work’ and wherever we can focus on ‘consistency’. We also had a presentation on how Cantell and seven of our feeder primary schools are working more closely together in a ‘federation’.
The links between the schools are already in place– for example through joint training days for staff. In future we will try to get better value for money by sharing our resources.
We had our governor committee updates and looked at progress (or lack of!) on becoming an academy. This is still stuck, but we are hoping for more positive news by our next meeting.
Mrs. E. Hale
Chair of Governors
November 2012 - Meeting Report
Our November meeting was very varied and included two items related to staff.
The first was a presentation on a visit to New York from a member of staff as part of a national teaching leaders development programme. The approach in New York is very different, but there are parallels and ideas we can learn from.
We also had a presentation on new arrangements for teacher appraisal which have been introduced nationally. This builds on work we have done previously.
Another initiative from the Government is the Pupil Premium. This is additional funding to schools for students eligible for free school meals. It is given to schools to ‘close the gap’ – so these students make as much progress as those who are not entitled to free school meals. Cantell uses this money in a wide range of different ways – sometimes it is for additional help and support for small groups of students e.g. to help improve their English or Maths; intensive revision sessions, or funding our attendance officer who has helped us raise our attendance significantly in the last year. There is careful tracking of all students, and this will enable us to monitor if we are spending the additional funds in the most effective way to help these students. More information on this is on the Cantell website.
Finally, we had our regular update on safeguarding. This is a very important part of our governor meetings as we need to be confident that the school is doing everything it possibly can to keep all our students safe. These reports are supplemented by one of our governors meeting regularly with the safeguarding team to understand more about their work. And there is training for all governors on this area so we all understand our responsibilities.
This has been a very long and busy term. Our next meeting is in January.
Mrs. E. Hale
Chair of Governors
October 2012 - Meeting Report
October was another packed meeting with too much on the agenda.
We talked about the current GCSE English situation. Cantell is one of the schools affected by the changes to marking that have been highlighted in the press. The Headteacher has met with our two Southampton MPs – John Denham and Alan Whitehead – as well as the Shadow Education Minister – Stephen Twigg – to discuss our concerns. Cantell has joined a number of other schools and local authorities pursuing a judicial review of the marking done in summer 2012.
Meanwhile Cantell’s headline results for summer 2012 are now 53% of our students gaining 5 A*-C including Maths and English – which is just ahead of last year’s record breaking results. So this is a very positive position in spite of the English GCSE issues.
Another important item was progress with our move to become an academy and take more responsibility for our own finances. Our planned conversion date was 1 November, but as we had anticipated, the negotiations with the City Council and the Department of Education are complex. They are unlikely to be concluded before Christmas and we have not yet set a new conversion date. The key issues are about the funding gap for the PFI contract (which provided the Cantell building and our facilities management), and agreement on what would happen if one of the three PFI schools in the city had to pull out of the contract.
We also looked at a new way of reporting information to governors about progress of students, their achievements, attendance, exclusions and the quality of teaching. These are all important areas for us to monitor, and the new report makes this information clearer and more consistent.
Mrs. E. Hale
Chair of Governors
September 2012 - Meeting Report
This was an important meeting with two main items of business – the GCSE results and whether or not Cantell, should move to become an academy school.
We looked at the results in depth. The highlight was that our GCSEs overall were ahead of our target of 50% of students with 5 GCSEs with Maths and English we achieved 52%. The key disappointment was that this would have been higher but changes to the marking system that affected many schools meant some students did not get the English result they had expected. The changes were unexpected so we discussed how we could avoid this happening in future.
We then went on to talk about if becoming an academy would help Cantell in its journey to be outstanding. This follows a consultation where other schools, colleges, the university along with parents and students sent in their views. We had a long discussion with lots of questions, comments and different views. After that we voted and agreed that we should seek to become an academy. Our planned date for transfer is 1st November, but this may be delayed due to complex negotiations about our PFI building which are continuing between the city council and the Department for Education.
Mrs. E. Hale – Parent Governor
January 2012 - Meeting Report
This evening’s Governors meeting saw a jam-packed agenda with a lot to cover. I have highlighted some of the key areas discussed.
We had an update on how the Academy working group was progressing. This area seems to be developing well with a number of key areas being explored. A number of companies had presented to the school so that we could get the company that best meets our needs to support us in exploring the possibility of becoming an Academy and discerning if this is the correct next step for our school.
We received a fantastic presentation regarding the Future Leaders programme visit to Chicago. This was very informative and focused on the differences in the culture and aspirations of young people. It was reported that teaching and learning in Chicago is very different with alternative methods and styles of engaging the students. It also highlighted how inclusive the UK approach to education and how this is not replicated in some of the settings in Chicago.
We had a presentation regarding the house system that is now used in school. Mr Curtis reported that the change has largely been a success and that there has been far greater participation from students and that they want to be part of their house, which is positive. It was noted that the use of vertical tutoring (a number of different year groups in the same tutor group) was creating a supportive environment. Staff are also engaging with the process and this allows the fun side to teaching and learning to flourish. It also enables the communication of key messages and students to have corporate responsibility for their house.
We reviewed the OFSTED framework and had discussions around how Cantell and be the best it possibly can be.
Mr. P. Atkinson - LA Governor
October 2011 - Meeting Report
Our meeting last night focused on just one thing – deciding whether or not we should find out more about becoming an academy. So, it was an unusual meeting in two ways – normally we have lots of different things to discuss, and it’s not often we formally vote on a decision either.
Last night we decided we will start in a formal way to explore what becoming an academy would mean for Cantell. We have already received lots of information about this and heard views for and against this change. At some point in the future we will take the important decision of whether or not to become an academy. As part of our process of finding out more, we will ask the views of parents, staff, other schools in the area and any others who might be affected by the change.
We also agreed a small group of governors will work with the school business manager, the head teacher and other staff on the process to decide if Cantell should become an academy. We usually meet once every half term, but for a number of reasons we have had three meetings already this term, and our next meeting is not until the end of January. So this smaller working group will make sure all governors are kept up to date with information about this academy process.
Mrs. E. Hale – Parent Governor
October 2011 - Meeting
It is a rare treat to see our students at governors’ meetings, and on this occasion we were delighted to hear from Ella Peebles and Casey Keenan, who with their teacher Claire Herridge used a DVD, some talking, and answers to questions to tell us about the college trip to Tanzania in the summer. We heard about the project to develop a school, the climb up Mt Kilimanjaro, and a change in attitude to eating vegetables.
The meeting then went on to discuss ways our College is improving. Our School Improvement Committee reported back on Languages and Music, and we were pleased also to hear that attendance had risen and recently peaked at 96% - a real improvement
The Resources Committee reported how staff levels are being carefully managed in a time of very tight budgets. There will be reductions in staffing and we hope that they will be achieved through voluntary means.
Finally we discussed the pros and cons of academy status for Cantell, with a decision whether to go forward in ‘expressing an interest’ to be made on 31 October. If this is agreed, parents and staff can expect a consultation process to follow. No final decision about academy status will be made until after that.
Mr. P. Hand – Parent Governor
September 2011 - Meeting Report
We had our first full governors’ meeting of the new school year last night. These meetings usually take place between 6pm and 8pm, though sometimes they overrun a little. The turnout last night was excellent, with 3 members of the senior leadership team as well. They came along for the main agenda item which was to update us on the GCSE results. We see how hard all the staff work to help our students achieve the best possible results. And last night it was very good to find just how well this has paid off. The results are the best the school has ever had - which is just fantastic. Some highlights for me are:
the improvement can be seen year on year
strong results for all our students
girls are now closing the gap on boys
Attendance – if students have good attendance they are so much more likely to get good results.
It was an unusual meeting because we didn't have many other items on the agenda – just election of the chair and sorting out the membership for our committees. We also discussed training, thinking about the possible move to an academy, and making sure governors have key dates in our diaries for the term ahead.