The school is part of the Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Trust having become an academy on 1st August 2017 and whilst the Vine has a board of directors who are responsible for all the schools in the trust, our governors are responsible for the governance of our school, setting the annual budget, contributing to the school improvement plan and providing support for the teaching staff in a variety of ways. The governors play an important role behind the scenes in monitoring standards and contributing to the ambience of the school.
Just as teaching and learning are inspected by Ofsted, so too are the governors and the role they play in holding the school to account.
Brian was appointed a Governor in December 2015 and took over as Chair in September 2016 of the Ridgewell C of E Primary School Board of Governors. As of February 2019 the Local Governing Board of both Ridgewell and Belchamp have merged to make one LGB across both schools, of which Brian Vidler continues to Chair.
Brian has a range of experience in schools, as a teacher, deputy and head. Before retiring he was a Leading Information and Communication Technology Teacher in Essex as well as an independent Computers in Education Consultant, speaking at national conferences and exhibitions around the country.
Married with two children, both teachers, and three grandchildren. Brian enjoys family gatherings, walking and reading. As a lifelong member of the Church his position as Deanery Lay Chair led to his appointment as a Lay Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral in 2015. Brian regularly leads Collective Worship at both Ridgewell and Belchamp schools.
If asked why I enjoy being a school governor, my answer would focus on the satisfaction gained by contributing to the life of the school. As a retired police officer living in Belchamp St Paul, I have the time and commitment necessary to support the staff at school who in turn, teach and guide an increasing number of children through their primary school years.
I have been a governor at Belchamp school for 11 years, 7 of those as chair of governors.
Married with 2 grown up children, I thoroughly enjoy travel, in both the UK and abroad – my biggest adventure was taking 4 months to travel around the world on container-ships. I am actively involved as a Vice President of the River Stour Trust and as a Churchill Fellow, having been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 1988 to study airport security. I also enjoy photography, drawing and DIY.
I firmly believe children benefit by having a broad education in which travel plays an important part. The education that children receive at Belchamp provides an excellent foundation of learning and gives them confidence to move on to the next stage of their lives.
Kirsty took the role as Head of School over Belchamp St Paul and Ridgewell in September 2018. Prior to that she joined Ridgewell in 2010 as a class teacher.
Kirsty is originally from South Yorkshire where she taught in another Church School.
In her time as a class she enjoyed teaching all elements of the curriculum but most especially Art and Forest School. She loves to paint and draw, read books and cycle (but not all at the same time!)
Kirsty is happiest when outside and loves to organise and plan school trips. Every two years she has taken the Year 5/6 at Ridgewell on a residential trip, camping on Mersea Island. Her love of camping started when she was young and spent family holidays under canvas.
Jonathan joined the Governing Body of Ridgewell Primary School in 2013 and is the Vicar of the Two Rivers Benefice, which comprises Steeple Bumpstead, Helions Bumpstead, Ridgewell, Ashen, Birdbrook and Sturmer. In addition to Parish ministry, Jonathan is also a serving Army Reserve Chaplain, currently with 254 (East of England) Medical Regiment. Additionally he is Area Dean and a Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral.
Prior to entering ministerial training in 2008, he worked in the London insurance market in variety of roles encompassing strategy, planning, finance, compliance, customer services and operations. He finished his City career as Managing Director of Lloyd's Reinsurance Company
Jonathan is married to Theresa and they have two wonderful daughters. Outside of work, he enjoys reading historical fiction, is a keen runner and a lifelong West Ham United supporter.
Nigel was elected to the Ridgewell Governing Body in March 2018 and lives in the village with his wife, and three of his daughters who attend Ridgewell Primary School. Nigel is an officer in the British Army who has deployed on operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and served in various parts of the UK, Europe and the rest of the World. He currently works in Westminster planning the Army's strategic engagement and communications. Nigel brings a wealth of experience in education including the last three years educating the senior officers of the Canadian Forces in Toronto and previously commanding an Army training school in Hampshire. He is an operational planner and recently delivered the Government's Afghanistan flagship project, an Army Officer Academy in Kabul.
Nigel is a keen sportsman and is seen on Saturdays playing rugby for Haverhill RFC. An advocate of continuous professional development, he holds two Master of Arts degrees in Business and Defence Studies and professional qualifications in Project Managment. Free time is spent with his family. His interests include skiing, politcal studies, military history, theatre and Arts.
Maureen lives with her husband in Ashen and is Church Warden for Ashen Church. They moved from Chelmsford nearly nine years ago having lived there for 35 years. They have two grown up sons.
Most of her working life has been in education. She worked as a Lecturer in Adult Education at Chelmer Institute Catering Department, for 15 years in a secondary school as a Senior Teaching Assistant and Deputy SENCo and for 10 years worked as a tutor and as an NVQ assessor for school support staff. The latter taking her into many primary and secondary schools.
Maurren has been a member of the Scout Association since she was 16 years old and has held many roles, as a Leader, Assistant County Commissioner for Cub Scouts and Adult Training. At the moment her role is as an Explorer Scout Leader looking after the training of Young Leaders and also is involved in some Adult Leader training. In her spare time Maureen likes cooking and gardening.
When my eldest first joined the school I enquired about being a Governor. I was told there were 4 vacant positions that needed filling immediately and the rest is history!
I have worked with many many schools in my career in design and marketing. I thought I might be able to offer some of that experience to BSP. My other strength is working out a suitable range of strategies for a desired set of objectives and Schools have no choice but to operate in this way.
I had no idea how much work would be involved, but I also had no idea how rewarding and diverse the governor role could be. If I stay as long as I have children at the school, by the time No 3 leaves, I could be there as long as 15 years...
I became a governor at BSP in February 2016 because I believe that a good start in education can be the difference to ensuring that all children get the best opportunities in life regardless of their background and needs. I have a particular interest in children’s literacy and special educational needs. I also believe that our school has an important role to play in the heart of our rural community.
Following a period of admin work and travel, my employment background was primarily in adult education and management. I worked at a local charity for adults with learning disabilities, initially as Basic Skills Tutor before becoming part of the senior management team with responsibility for overseeing all training courses, in addition to strategic and operational responsibilities.
I have lived in BSP for over 20 years. I love the village and surrounding countryside where I regularly walk my dog. Away from school my time revolves around family life. I prefer to be outside to inside and have a passion for gardening, countryside and wildlife conservation. I also enjoy cycling, cooking and going to see live music.
I believe a good school is reflected in the happy faces that come to school in the morning. We all have good and bad memories of our school years! So I look forward to working with you to make BSP good memories for our children. You will find me at school every day as my son attends the school and I am also a Teaching Assistant in Class 1 every morning. Most afternoons I will be in the playground for pick up, so do come and chat if you have any questions. I am also an active member of FOBS.