The Governing Body

Chair of Governors/Co-opted

Mr Angus Kirk – Term expiry date 20.09.19

Vice Chair of Governors/Co-opted

Mr Matthew Evans – Term expiry date 20.07.19

Local Authority Governor

Mr Terry Boston – Term expiry date 03.04.19

Parent Governors

Mr Matthew Evans – Term expiry date 20.07.19

Mrs Gina Parsons – Term expiry date 28.02.19

Mrs Felicity Elkington – Term expiry date 28.02.19

Staff Governors

Mrs Karen Jones – Term expiry date 22.09.19

Co-opted Governors

Mr Angus Kirk – Term expiry date 20.09.19

Rev Ann Lett – Term expiry date 21.07.19

Mr Steven Guilliatt – Term expiry date 25.05.19

Mrs Lynsey Grove – Term expiry date 27.03.21

Head Teacher

Miss Helen Duckett

Clerk to Governors

Mrs Amanda Pickworth

 

Governors serve on a variety of sub committees:  Finance/Resources, Teaching & Learning/Curriculum, Attainment/Standards, Performance Management and Special Educational Needs.  Governors are appointed for four years; the Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually.  Full Governing Body meetings are held a minimum of once a term (6 a year) as are the sub committee meetings (for Finance/Resources and Teaching & Learning/Curriculum).

Below is a downloadable document setting out the roles of our Governors, their terms of office and if they have any register of interests.  Blank means that they have no register of interests.

Instrument of Government

Below is a downloadable document setting out the Instrument of Government 2016-17.

Categories of Governor explained:-

Parent governors – Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school.  Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor.  Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.

Local authority governors – Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body.  The local authority can nominate any eligible person as a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set.

Staff governors – Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors.  Staff governors are elected by the school staff.  They cease to hold office when they cease to work at the school.

Head teacher – The head teacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office.

Co-opted governors – Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body.  They are people who in the opinion of the governing body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

Governing Body Requirements for all maintained schools as set out in “The constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools” August 2015.

The governing body must not be smaller than seven members and must include:-

  • at least two parent governors (we have 3);
  • the head teacher unless the head teacher resigns as a governor;
  • one, and only one, staff governor (we have 1);
  • one, and only one, local authority governor (we have 1); and
  • the governing body may appoint as many additional co-opted governors who are eligible to be elected or appointed as staff governors under Schedule 2 must not, when counted with the one staff governor and the heat teacher, exceed one-third of the total membership of the governing body.

There is no upper limit but governing bodies should have a regard to this statutory guidance in deciding their size.

Below shows governor attendance at the Full Governing Body meetings in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Name of Governor Governor Attendance for 2014/15 Name of Governor Governor Attendance for 2015/16
Angus Kirk 6/6 Angus Kirk 6/6
Terry Boston 6/6 Terry Boston 3/6
Helen Duckett 6/6 Helen Duckett 6/6
Ann Lett 6/6 Ann Lett 2/6
Karen Jones 6/6 Karen Jones 6/6
Matthew Evans 5/6 Matthew Evans 6/6
Andrea Kirk 4/6 Andrea Kirk 1/4 then resigned
Steven Guilliatt 5/6 Steven Guilliatt 4/6
Felicity Elkington 6/6 Felicity Elkington 6/6
Gina Parsons 6/6 Gina Parsons 5/6

The Role of the School Governor

School Governing Bodies

All state maintained primary, secondary and special schools, are accountable to their governing bodies, which in turn are accountable to parents and the community.  Parent and staff representatives are elected to the governing body; the local authority appoints governors to the governing body.  In addition, the governing body can appoint its own community governors and it is traditionally these posts which the governing body uses to cover skills gaps, hence these posts often being offered to governors from the business community.  Increasingly local authority appointment panels also look to the skills set of their appointees.

The Value of School Governance

Governing bodies make decisions which are in the best interests of the children and young people.  Keeping the decision making as close as possible to those that are affected by the decisions makes for sound and efficient leadership and governance.  The current government’s commitment to the “Big Society” supports this and the school governance model fits into this concept neatly.  Fulfilling the role of a school governor is, therefore, both a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding.  Not only do governors bring their own knowledge and skills to the role, but, in learning how schools are run, they often develop their understanding of leadership.  The majority of employers appreciate this and are supportive of their staff taking on the responsibility.  In addition, contributing to the growth and development of a school and seeing tangible improvements in the attainment and well being of the children is a satisfying and important contribution to the local community.

The Role of the Governing Body

The governing body is responsible for the conduct of its school and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school.  It is the school’s accountable body and as such:

  • provides a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purposed and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework.  It appoints and performance manages the head teacher, agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structures;
  • monitors and evaluates the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the head teacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy;
  • signs off the self evaluation process and responds to school improvement service and Ofsted reports as necessary.  In addition it holds the head teacher to account for the performance of the school and ensures that parents are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate, with information to the community being made available as required.

In order to do this, governors need to gain knowledge of how their school operates through training, by attending meetings and by getting to know their school community, for example through a small number of visits to the school during the school day.

Governors need to work as a team, under the leadership of the Chair of the governing body.  Most governing bodies require their governors to sign a code of practice.

Meetings

Governing bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year.  Meeting dates are usually set well in advance and meetings generally last between two and three hours.  Governors are expected to be well prepared for these meetings and attendance is expected, with apologies only for good reasons.

Other Commitments

Many governing bodies meet more frequently than this and most also delegate work to committees and /or working parties and task groups which meet between the governing body meetings.  Governors will be expected to play a full role in agreeing how their governing body works and then in supporting this.  In addition some governors volunteer to fulfil specific roles, such as being the Special Educational Needs governor, or the Health and Safety governor, or the link governor for a particular year or subject.

Most governors arrange a couple of shorter visits to school and classrooms focusing on key priorities so that they can see how the school is addressing issues identified for development.  In addition, informal visits to special events such as drama productions and sports day are generally encouraged.

Skills and Training

Governors do not need specific skills, but many of the tasks they are required to undertake can benefit from general business knowledge such as understanding management systems, budget planning and HR functions.

Local authorities are required to ensure that training for governors is available and most governing bodies buy into their local authority training packages (which may include online learning) to ensure that governors are properly inducted to their role and trained for specific tasks such as appointing the head teacher and then carrying out the head teacher’s performance review.  In addition a number of other training opportunities are available through a range of providers including Teachers TV which broadcasts programmes specifically aimed at governors.

Many governing bodies also belong to a local independent governor association and join the national representative body, the National Governors’ Association.  It is often through these channels that governors develop their knowledge of wider issues affecting schools.

Support for Governors

Each governing body must have a clerk who both advises and services the governing body.

All governing bodies should have a comprehensive expenses’ policy which covers out of pocket costs including those incurred caring to dependents.  Loss of earnings is not covered, but employers are required to release employees in order for them to conduct their governor role.  Release may, however, be unpaid.

 

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