The governing board exists to provide strategic leadership to the school to ensure that the school is accountable for its educational and financial performance.

The board at The Observatory School meets twice per term with extra meetings when required.

The core functions of the board are :

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

Some of the functions that can be covered in our meetings include :

  • Admissions
  • Behaviour and exclusions
  • Curriculum
  • Finance
  • Parents and community engagement
  • Health and safety
  • Pupil wellbeing
  • Safeguarding
  • Special education needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Staffing and staff wellbeing
  • Pay and appraisal
  • Careers
  • Premises
  • Resources
  • Compliance with legislation

The board members all sign a Code of Conduct and agree to be compliant with the Nolan Principles of Public life – Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.

Chair of the Board, Mrs Jane Owens, can be contacted via the school office.


Related Documents

Attendance Log The Observatory School FGB

Governor Terms Of Office

Declarations Of Interest Register

Greg Chiswell – Headteacher
Matthew Lord – Co-opted Governor
Jacqui Kearney – Co-opted Governor
Kevin Smith – Co-opted Governor
Linda Smith – Co-opted Governor
Kishan Bhalsod – Staff Governor
Kerry Menzies – Parent Governor
Vacancy – Parent Governor



Jane Owens MBE  FRSA

Jane Owens MBE FRSA


I first joined The Observatory School as the chair of the Interim Executive Board in September 2016. A full governing board was formed in December 2017 and I have remained as chair since that time. I am also chair at a Wirral primary school and at a Liverpool secondary school.

I also chair at Wirral Multi- Academy Trust comprising 6 primary schools and a Wirral Single Academy Trust. I am a National Leader of Governance and work with governing boards both locally and nationally giving advice and guidance on good practice. I formed my own company in 2014 in order to provide information on my services.

I am a director at Edsential (, a community interest company formed between Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester councils. Edsential provide a wide range of services to schools.

I am affiliate member of the ICSA – The Governance Institute and a member of NASEN which promotes the advancement and development of all individuals with SEN or ALN and has recently joined one of their advisory groups. I am a personal member, and a member through my schools, of the National Governance Association and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Professional Affiliate of the Chartered College of Teaching. Membership of these organisations help to provide advice and guidance to ensure I keep up to date with current legislation around governance good practice.
I was delighted to have been awarded an MBE for services to education in Wirral in 2016 and the Wirral Award also for services to education in Wirral.

Duncan Haworth MBE

Duncan Haworth MBE

Vice Chair

Duncan Haworth is an experienced NLG based in Cheshire West. He is chair of an outstanding 420 pupil primary school, a governor at a large 1700 pupil converter Academy and recently finished as a member of an IEB, moving the school from special measures to good in 8 months. Being an Officer of the Local Governing Body Association for more than 15 years, sitting on School Admission Appeals and on Exclusion Independent Review Boards has helped to give a rounded knowledge of schools and school governance. Duncan has been trained and carried out External Reviews of Governance across the North West of England and West Yorkshire since 2013.

He is a Board Trustee of the National Governors Association and has been a trained, registered lay inspector of schools in Wales since 2010. By background Duncan is a polymer chemist but “headhunted” senior managers for new positions in the chemicals, polymers and associated industries from 1996 to 2012. He has been self-employed since 1996 and has appropriate professional indemnity and public liability insurance as well as being DBS checked.

Kevin Smith

Co-opted Governor

My name is Kevin Smith and I work for the American owned company WABTEC Faiveley UK, that has been based on the Wirral since the early 1960’s. After an invitation to visit the school five years ago, to see the good things that the children of the school achieve, my company has enjoyed a close relationship with the school.

I am a career engineer, in the Railway industry and currently employed as a Business Development Manager. My experience, knowledge and skills, are working in multi-disciplined teams, with cross-cultural backgrounds, working to project plans, budgets and high industry standards.

My first meetings were extremely interesting, there was a lot to take in, especially a new set of acronyms to come to terms with. I was impressed with the school, the reception I have received from staff, pupils and fellow governors. I will make it my responsibility to increase my knowledge and competence in the Governor role, ensuring I make a positive contribution to the school and the education of the pupils. I am also a co-opted Governor at another local school on the Wirral.

Matthew Lord

Co-opted Governor

I have been involved with The Observatory School as a governor for two years. I am a lawyer and run my own law firm in East Manchester. I work exclusively in cases involving children where I represent children and parents. This is usually court applications made by Local Authorities.

I live in Northwich with my wife and three boys who all attend local schools and I am on the MAT Board for Weaver Trust Academy. Within that role, I have gained lots of experience in dealing with both the day to day, and the big strategic problems that exist in schools today. In my work, I am involved daily with families who face challenges with the care of children with special behavioural needs, Being a member of the Governing Board at The Observatory is a great opportunity for me to bring my professional knowledge and experience into a community environment.

Linda Christian

Co-opted Governor

Linda was delighted to join the Governing Board of The Observatory School as a co-opted Governor in 2018.
She is a very experienced Governor having served on a number of Governing Boards of Secondary and Primary Schools in the Merseyside area.  
She is currently the Chair of Governors of a Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School and Chair of a Local Governing Board as part of a Multi-Academy Trust locally.  
Linda was involved in education all her working life having trained in Liverpool and taught Technology for over 30 years at secondary level in a number of schools.  



She is looking forward to working with and supporting the Headteacher, staff and fellow governors as we all strive to ensure our pupils leave the school prepared for the next phase of their lives.  



Jacqui Kearney

Co-opted Governor

I have been Chair of Governors at my son’s Primary school moving on to be Vice-Chair of governors in a High school where I had responsibility for SEN and Safeguarding prior to being invited to be a Governor here at The Observatory School.

I am Level 3 Safeguarding trained, a CEOP ambassador (Child Exploitation Online Protection) trained. At a no-notice Ofsted targeted inspection in my previous High School the inspector stated I was both knowledgeable and skilled in safeguarding, and governors where described as “on it”; when it came to supporting the school in this area. I have worked strategically with SLT, SEN lead teachers, TA's and well-being teachers to develop robust policies in all areas.

For the last 20 years, my day job has involved both Health and Education for 17 years I worked as a Senior Health Advisor for the NHS as a Healthy Schools Project Officer in Wirral which also entailed working with the UK’s National Team to develop the National Healthy School Standards. I currently work as a Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Practitioner with a specialist role of supporting young people.


Kishan Bhalsod

I am an elected staff governor and I have worked at The Observatory School since November 2013. I am passionate about working in the SEND sector and helping young people overcome barriers to their education.

My specialism is in Mathematics which I teach across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Having served on the governing board for 3 years I have been able to provide insight into the quality of education to other board members. Being a Mathematics specialist I am also keen to promote STEAM (Science, Engineering, Art and Maths) working closely with colleagues and external industry professionals to run exciting Engineering projects.


Kerry Menzies

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We currently have a vacancy for another parent governor. If you are interested please get in touch.