Melany Knowles – Chair of Governors
I work in Children’s Services for Hertfordshire County Council and I’m responsible for education and childcare for under 5’s. I am passionate about ensuring that all children receive the best education possible, which is why I became a school governor. I have been a governor at three schools in Stevenage over the past 17 years and have been involved with Marriotts for eight years and chair of governors for nearly two years.
I am delighted to be the Headteacher of Marriotts School and am honoured to be able to serve our students and our community. The last eight years of my headship here have been incredibly enjoyable and I am proud of the sigificant success we have achieved. I believe passionately in the transformative power of education to change students’ lives and our society and will continue to strive to ensure that Marriotts students have the best possible opportunities and leave us not only with the qualifications, but also with the qualities and skills they need to lead happy and successful lives. My own education in Yorkshire, then at Cambridge University and the Institute of Education in London, enabled me to achieve my goal of becoming a Headteacher. As a member of the governing body it is my role to ensure that we lead Marriotts School forward so that all of our students can achieve their own dreams and goals.
I have been a Marriotts Governor for several years, my first permanent job was a science and games teacher in a comprehensive school. I moved to Stevenage in 1992 with more recent job experience in community development and as a policy manager. In May 2012 I was elected to Stevenage Borough Council where I serve on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee; Economy and Environment Select Committee and the Planning Committee. I am volunteer Secretary of Stevenage CTC – part of the national cycling charity; press officer and an assistant coach with Fairlands Valley Spartans running club; and a member of the Executive Board of the Herts Sports Partnership.
I have been involved in education for 25+ years in inner city, London secondary schools, where I have extensive experience and successful track record in education, both in schools and Initial Teacher Training. I believe that I possess the skills qualifications and vital experience necessary to make a very significant contribution to the role as a school governor. I am passionate about and committed to enhancing expectations and raising levels of achievement for all learners. I have an inclusive approach to education that emphasises equality of access, achievement and attainment very highly and celebrates the rich diversity of our society. My recent experience and knowledge of schools, as an Assistant Headteacher and in Initial Teacher Training are key strengths in creating effective strategic partnerships and learning opportunities for all parties as well as knowledge of the current legislation.
My Ofsted training for school overseas is almost complete. I have developed sustainable International partnerships with schools in Hungary and Grenada with the British Council. These continued links develop Teaching and Learning strategies, where I have delivered CPD to schools and universities overseas. Currently, I am working in Initial Teacher Training with School Direct as well as preparing to study for a PhD. I am also a governor in an inner city primary school.
My first experience of school governance was in the late 90’s as a staff governor, and although I no longer work in education I still enjoy the interest and challenge that comes with being around the school environment. I work at a local software company, managing a team of IT professionals.