The Governing Body is the strategic decision-making body of the school. Its role is to:

  • set the schools overall strategic direction, and to then work with leaders to communicate this vision, ethos and strategic direction to the whole school community and develop a culture of ambition;
  • provide a balance of challenge and support to the school’s leaders, understanding the strengths and areas for improvement at the school;
  • understand the impact of teaching, learning and assessment on the progress of pupils currently in the school;
  • ensure that the school manages its finances effectively and that the school is properly using the pupil premium, primary PE and sport premium;
  • be transparent and accountable, including in recruiting staff, its governance structure, attendance at meetings and contact with parents.

Governors are volunteers who bring their outside experience into school to act as ‘critical friends’. Membership of the Governing Body is drawn from different parts of the community including parents, staff and co-opted members with specific skills.  The Governing Body meets six times throughout the school year.

All Governors may be contacted by writing to them directly using the school address or by contacting the school on Telephone: 01527 68430. 

Meet the Governors

Andrew Evans – Chair of Governors – Trust Local Governor

Andrew Evans

Chair of Governors – Trust Local Governor

Before acquiring a retail business, I previously worked in education for 17 years. After graduating from university, I trained as an English teacher. I held posts as a teaching assistant, teacher and assistant headteacher in secondary schools in Birmingham, before moving into Higher Education as a lecturer at the University of Warwick in 2012. Most recently, I was head of Initial Teacher Education at a university in south-west England. This involved overseeing teacher training for over 600 early years, primary and secondary teachers each year. I have experience as a governor at two other schools. My professional background has equipped me with a good deal of policy knowledge, which I hope to use to support the school in my role as governor – a critical friend helping the school to drive itself forward.

Mat Alsop – Vice Chair of Governors – Trust Local Governor

Mat Alsop

Vice Chair of Governors – Trust Local Governor

I have lived in Brockhill for the past 15 years and been a member of the Birchensale Governing Body since 2015 when my daughter first joined the school in year 5.

Originally starting my working career as an Environmental Health Officer and then moving into IT and Project Management, I now lead a team of project delivery professionals for a software house.

This background has led me to my involvement in Health & Safety within the school, as well as Science and I retain a keen interest in technology.

Kate Alsop – Trust Local Governor

Kate Alsop

Trust Local Governor

Originally from Yorkshire, I moved to the Midlands over 25 years ago and then settled in Redditch 15 years ago with husband Mat. I am a qualified accountant and have worked in the public sector in higher education and the NHS. I am currently finance manager at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. I have been a member of the Governing body since 2019 first as a parent and now that our daughter has moved to high school, as a Trust Governor. I was also a governor at Abbeywood First School for 4 years. Our daughter spent four happy years at Birchensale so I know the school well. I am also a great advocate of the 3-tier school system, having been through it myself many years ago.

Aaron Wood – Trust Local Governor

Aaron Wood

Trust Local Governor

Dominika Plenzler – Trust Local Governor

Dominika Plenzler

Trust Local Governor

I joined the Birchensale Middle School Governors team in November 2018, firstly as Co-opted and now a Trust Local Governor. This is all thanks to my son, who previously attended Birchensale Middle School. Our experiences with the school prompted me to put myself forward as a candidate for the role of Governor.  I was born in Poland and came to the UK over 16 years ago; my ‘education related experience’ differs from the one that I grew up in. I believe that my history, knowledge and cultural experiences makes the board even more diverse. My desire, passion and enthusiasm for education has been inspired and engrained by my father, a teacher of over 40 years.  Before I came to the UK, I was able to gain some experience within a Human Resources Department. Since then I have been working in various customer service roles across varying industries such as legal, banking and finance. Currently I work for the Legal Ombudsman as a Senior Adviser in the General Enquiries Team. I have also recently been selected as a Wellbeing Champion.   I have always loved to support others and to be an active member of the community that I live in.

Helen Smith – Parent Governor

Helen Smith

Parent Governor

I have spent most of my life in Redditch and went through the 3-tier education system, so really appreciate the importance of middle schools and the role they play in our children’s education. I have a son who attends Birchensale and twin girls who attend Holyoakes. I have the privilege of being a parent governor at both schools. It is a pleasure to support the school in any way I can during these challenging and turbulent times. I’m also a parent helper and enjoy listening to the children of Holyoakes read on a weekly basis. I run an IT consultancy company with my husband and have recently rekindled my love of foreign languages and am taking an online course in conversational French.

Emily Skyte – Parent Governor

Emily Skyte

Parent Governor

I have lived in the Bromsgrove and Redditch area all my life. As parents we chose Birchensale and the three-tier system for our daughter, who joined from her primary school in 2019. I believe happiness and a sense of belonging at school is important for every child; I wanted to join Birchensale’s governing body because I believe this sense of belonging is evident in the school’s vision and core values. My professional background is Finance, with experience in oversight, risk, and project management. I was a governor for three years at my daughter’s previous school, so come with an awareness of the responsibilities of school governors. Ultimately, I want to make a positive contribution in supporting the school; its pupils, staff and the community it serves.

Mark Brazier – Headteacher – Ex Officio

Mark Brazier

Headteacher (Ex-Officio)

Amy Evans – Staff Governor

Amy Evans

Staff Governor

Rebecca Evans – Staff Governor

Rebecca Evans

Staff Governor

Pete Clifton – Associate Non-Voting Governor

Pete Clifton

Associate Non-Voting Governor

Rachel Smith – Associate Non-Voting Governor

Rachel Smith

Associate Non-Voting Governor

Pauline Begley – Associate Non-Voting Governor

Pauline Begley

Associate Non-Voting Governor

Local Governing Body (2021-2022)

NameAppointedTerm EndTermTypeAreas of Responsibility
Andrews Evans
Chair of Governors
13/10/202012/10/20244 yrsTrust Local GovernorFull Governing Body, Curriculum, Safeguarding
Mat Alsop
Vice Chair of Governors
16/09/202015/10/20244 yrsTrust Local GovernorFull Governing Body, Pupil Discipline, Hearings Panel, Appeals Panel, Finance, Premises, Personnel, Health and Safety, Science
Kate Alsop09/10/201908/10/20234 yrsTrust Local GovernorFull Governing Body, Chair of Finance Committee, Pupil Discipline, Hearings Panel, Appeals Panel, Pupil Premium, Numeracy
Dominika Plenzler15/11/201814/11/20224 yrsTrust Local GovernorFull Governing Body, Finance, Premises, Personnel, Pupil Discipline, Hearings Panel, Appeals Panel, Careers
Helen Smith09/10/201908/10/20234 yrsParentFull Governing Body, Chair of Curriculum Committee, Finance, Premises, Personnel, Pupil Discipline, Hearings Panel, Appeals Panel, SEN, LAC
Emily Skyte20/01/202119/01/20254 yrsParentFull Governing Body, Curriculum, Finance, Premises, Personnel
Amy Evans 19/09/2019 18/09/2023 4 yrs Staff GovernorFull Governing Body, Curriculum
Curriculum Lead
Rebecca Evans12/06/202011/06/20244 yrsStaff GovernorFull Governing Body, Finance, Premises, Personnel
Head of Year 5
Mark Brazier
Headteacher
N/AN/AN/AHeadteacher
Ex Officio
Full Governing Body, Curriculum, Finance, Premises, Personnel
Pauline Begley
School Business Manager
Associate Non-votingFull Governing Body, Finance, Premises, Personnel
Pete Clifton
Deputy Head Teacher
Associate Non-votingFull Governing Body, Curriculum
Rachel Smith
Assistant Headteacher & SENCO
Associate Non-votingFull Governing Body

Record of Pecuniary and Material Interests (2021-2022)

NameRelevant Business Interest to include
Name of Organisation
Nature of Business
Nature of Interest
Other educational establishments governedRelationship with this or other school’s staff to include:
spouse
partners
relatives
Mat AlsopNoneNoneSpouse to Kate Alsop (Governor)
Kate AlsopNoneNoneSpouse to Mat Alsop (Governor)
Dominika PlenzlerNoneNoneNone
Andrew EvansOwner of an independent retail businessNoneNone
Helen SmithNoneGovernor at Holyoakes First SchoolNone
Emily SkyteNoneNoneNone
Mark BrazierNone None Spouse to Kate Brazier (Staff)
Amy EvansHusband is a director of Electronic Recycling Ltd.None None
Rebecca EvansNone None None
Pauline BegleyNone NoneNone
Pete CliftonNoneNoneNone
Rachel SmithNoneNoneNone

Record of Attendance (2021-2022)

Full Local Governing Body

NameMeetings AttendedOut of a possible
Andrew Evans34
Mat Alsop44
Kate Alsop44
Dominika Plenzler34
Helen Smith44
Emily Skyte34
Mark Brazier44
Amy Evans44
Rebecca Evans44
Pauline Begley24
Rachel Smith44
Pete Clifton44

Education Standards and Staffing Sub-Committee

NameMeetings AttendedOut of a possible
Mark Brazier22
Pete Clifton22
Andrew Evans22
Amy Evans22
Emily Skyte22
Helen Smith22
Rachel Smith02

Operations and Compliance Sub-Committee

NameMeetings AttendedOut of a possible
Mat Alsop22
Pauline Begley12
Mark Brazier22
Pete Clifton22
Andrew Evans22
Rebecca Evans22
Dominika Plenzler22
Helen Smith12

Finance and Audit Sub-Committee

NameMeetings AttendedOut of a possible
Kate Alsop22
Pauline Begley22
Mark Brazier22
Andrew Evans12
Rebecca Evans22
Dominika Plenzler12
Emily Skyte12

Previous Governors

Wendy Rigby resigned 01/09/21. Full governing body attendance (2020 – 2021) – 2/6

Pattie Hill resigned 01/12/20. Full governing body attendance (2020 – 2021) – 0/2

Sue Amor resigned 31/08/20. Full governing body attendance (2019-2020) – 5/6

Tim Jones resigned 31/08/20. Full governing body attendance (2019-2020) – 6/6

Jim Preston resigned 31/08/20. Full governing body attendance (2019-2020) – 5/6

Mark Semens resigned 27/01/20. Full governing body attendance (2019-2020) – 1/3

Governor Records

Instrument of Governance