Governor Information

The role of a Governor

The purpose of a Governing Body is to help provide the best possible education for pupils. Governors meet regularly with the Headteacher and staff to decide the school’s aims and policies, and to oversee the efficient running of the school. The Governors work in partnership with the school and local authority and have particular responsibility for:

  • Setting aims and planning for the future of the school
  • Agreeing targets to raise standards of achievement
  • Ensuring that the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils
  • Monitoring the school budget
  • Staffing issues, including appointing the Headteacher and other staff, and determining salaries
  • Deciding the school’s policies
  • Making sure all pupils have equal opportunities within the school and providing for pupils with special educational needs
  • Challenging and supporting the Headteacher, as a critical friend
  • Ensuring the school site is well maintained, safe and secure
  • Dealing with complaints about the school

The Governing Board of Henleaze Infant School meet at Full Governing Body meetings.  In addition, a Resources Committee meeting is held once per term. 

The Governing Board is made of staff at the school, parents and people appointed by the Governing Body because of their professional skills and experience.

How to contact the Governing Body

The Joint Chairs of Governors welcome contact with members of the school community.  They can be contacted via the Clerk to Governors

Leanne Sowersby – Clerk 
Leanne can be contacted via the following email address:

Please view the details of our Governing Board below:

Current Governing Board

Nominating Authority First Appointed Voting Rights Term Start Term End
Co-opted Governors
Jude BramtonGov board21-Oct-22Yes21-Oct-2220-Oct-26
Melissa FinchGov board13-Jul-21Yes13-Jul-2112-Jul-25
Mrs Ania Kopel-HannaGov board18-Oct-21Yes18-Oct-2117-Oct-25
Rebecca LawrenceGov board21-Oct-22Yes21-Oct-2220-Oct-26
Richard LukesGov board13-Dec-18Yes13-Dec-2212-Dec-26
Emilie Poletto-LawsonGov board21-Oct-22Yes21-Oct-2220-Oct-26
Alarna  SamarasingheGov board13-Jul-21Yes13-Jul-2112-Jul-25
Amar ShahGov board04-Feb-19Yes04-Feb-1903-Feb-23
Janet BremnarGov board20-Oct-23Yes20-Oct-2319-Oct-27
Gemma Fricker1-1-19Yes1-1-19
Local Authority Governors
Dr Vincent Smith10-Jan-17Yes18-Oct-2117-Oct-25
Parent Governors
Louise WaltonParents15-Oct-21Yes15-Oct-2114-Oct-25
Luke DormehlParents12-Jan-24Yes12-Jan-2411-Jan-28
Staff Governors
Sallie Wood1-Sept-23Yes1-Sept 2331-Aug 25
Other Governors
Lauren OramAssociate Member19-Apr-21No19-Apr-2119-Apr-25
Leanne SowersbyAssociate Member – Clerk to Governors10-Oct-22No10-Oct-2210-Oct-26

Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body meetings 2022-23

Henleaze Infant School Committee Terms of Reference 

Governor profiles

Ania Kopel-Hanna 

Ania is a co-opted governor, a member of the Curriculum Committee, link governor for attendance, PE, PSHE, RWV, wellbeing, mental health and SEND. Both of Ania’s children attended HIS. She strongly believes that inclusion and outstanding education for all children during their infant school years give them the best start in life. Ania is keen to contribute her time and experience to participate in the strategic management of the school and making the school a safe and enjoyable environment for all HIS children.

Richard Lukes

I became a parent governor at the end of 2018 and took on the role of co-Chair in 2021. I started my second governor term in December 2022, this time in a co-opted position. I find the role of being a governor challenging and rewarding, and it is a pleasure being part of a board that strives to make the school a fantastic place for all children. I have a background in engineering and now work as an airline pilot. My part-time work pattern gives me the time on non-work days to focus on my governor role, as well as hobbies including cycling and looking after our family allotment.

Amar Shah

I was voted on to the governing board as a local authority governor in 2019 and have since become co-vice chair and this past year co-chair. 

It has been a steep learning curve, with a lot of new acronyms and vocabulary to get my head around but it has been great working out of my comfort zone in healthcare. I am fortunate enough with not having to work full time to be able to dedicate some specific time to this role but certainly couldn’t deliver it without the support of my co chair. I have a child in year 2 at the moment and one joining in reception next year (Sept 2022) – they keep me out of mischief but in my own time I enjoy live music, cycling and a bit of running. 

Vincent Smith

I have been a Governor at HIS since 2017. Both of my children attended HIS in the 1980s, and when they moved to secondary school, I was a parent governor and chair of governors at Monks Park School from 1988 to 1992. One of my grandchildren moved from HIS to HJS last year, and the other one is currently at HIS.

I was a University Lecturer, and later Reader, in Physics at Bristol University for over 50 years (and I have a medal to prove it!). After retirement,  I was able to continue as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Physics. In research, I am part of one of the big collaborations at CERN in Switzerland, and so I am one of the thousands who collaborated in the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

After retirement from teaching at Bristol, I taught part-time for a few years at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), and now occasionally at Jaffna University, Sri Lanka.

I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for physics by giving many talks to school and other groups (over 100 times in the past five years.) An example can be seen at  (skip the advert at the start.)

Louise Walton

Since my childhood days of taking the register to see if all of my teddies and dolls were present, I have always had a real love for and interest in the world of education. I have been a Modern Languages secondary school teacher for nineteen years and have been head of department for sixteen years. I have enjoyed nurturing and improving outcomes for a wide range of young people in comprehensive, grammar and independent schools. I have seen first-hand how a supportive yet appropriately challenging relationship with the governing body can help to enhance the professionals within a school and therefore the day-to-day lives of the children. I run the Learning and Teaching group in my current school, showing my commitment to lifelong learning and self-reflection. 

Jude Bramton

I am currently a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol. I have a background in engineering management in industrial as well as outreach education. My husband and I moved to Henleaze in 2020, just around the corner for HIS, and I was really keen to get involved in the local community. For this reason, I volunteered to be a governor. Ultimately, I’m passionate about education, and setting up our children for the best start in life. I am especially interested in getting young people interested and inspired in STEM subjects, as well as initiatives around sustainability and inclusivity.

Emilie Poletto-Lawson

Born and raised in the South West of France, I have been lucky to find a welcoming community in Bristol. I started my professional life as a French language assistant at university and in schools to try to get my head around the educative system (I am still working on it and its numerous acronyms!). I am interested in everything teaching and learning and while my day job focuses on higher education at the Institute for Learning and Teaching at the University of Bristol, it is inspiring to hear of the fantastic work taking place at HIS. I joined just before Christmas 2022 and I am link governor for writing as well as phonics and reading. When not at work or volunteering you will find me sewing, at the allotment and/or trying to keep up with my 21 months old!

Minutes from Governors Meetings

15/03/2024         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting March 2024

13/12/2023         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting December 2023

20/10/2023         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting October 2023

12/07/2023         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting July 2023

26/05/2023         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting May 2023

07/12/2022         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting December 2022

21/10/2022         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting October 2022

11/07/2022         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting July 2022

16/05/2022         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting May 2022

21/03/2022         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting March 2022

09/12/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting December 2021

18/10/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting October 2021 

15/07/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting July 2021 

18/03/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting May 2021

30/03/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting March 2021

08/02/2021         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting February 2021

09/12/2020         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting December 2020

19/10/2020         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting October 2020

15/07/2020         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting July 2020 

18/05/2020         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting May 2020

24/02/2020         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting February 2020

11/12/2019         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting December 2019

21/10/2019         Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting October 2019

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