‘Governors’, who are we…….?
Governors are volunteers from the school’s parent and local community who, as a governing body, work to support the school to provide the best possible education for its pupils.
“The governing body is the key strategic decision making body in the school, setting the strategic framework and ensuring it meets all its statutory duties. Raising achievement is at the heart of a governing body’s strategic role; every child has the right to attend a good school.”
“In law, the governing body is a corporate body which means:
- No governor can act on his/her own without proper authority from the full governing body.
- All governors carry equal responsibility for decisions made.
Although appointed through different routes, the overriding concern of all governors has to be the welfare of the school as a whole. Governing bodies should be alert to the risk of becoming dominated by one particular mind-set or strand of opinion.”
Extracts from ‘EES for Schools Code of Conduct for the Governing Body’
Ashdon Primary School’s governing body
|Name||Type of Governor||Committees||Date Appointed||Term ends|
|Gary Brown||Head Teacher||All||Ex-Officio|
|Adam Bastin||Co-opted||Finance and personnel||24/11/2015||24/11/2019|
|Iain Clark||Co-opted||Curriculum/pupil matters/SDP*||24/11/2015||23/11/2019|
|Cleo Ford (joint Chair of Governors)||Parent||Premises, pay||08/07/2013||08/07/2017|
|Shani Lewis||Parent||Finance and personnel||16/03/2017||15/03/2021|
|Elizabeth Lunn||Staff||Curriculum/pupil matters/SDP*||31/08/2010||31/08/2018|
|Lynn Nuttall||Authority||Curriculum/pupil matters/SDP*, Pay/Safeguarding & SEND||09/09/2013||09/09/2021|
|Gabrielle Smith (joint Chair of Governors)||Parent||Curriculum/pupil matters/SDP*||28/09/2009||28/09/2017|
|Richard Spencer||Co-opted||Finance and personnel, Pay||24/11/2015||23/11/2019|
|Jo Walters||Co-opted||Curriculum/pupil matters/SDP*||09/07/2015||08/07/2019|
*SDP = School Development Plan
Our Instrument of governance (dated 22/04/2015) states that 15 positions are available on Ashdon School’s governing body plus a clerk. The positions are split as follows:
|4 x Parent governors (elected by parents)||Mrs Cleo Ford (joint chair), Mrs Gabby Smith (joint chair), Mrs Shani Lewis and one vacancy|
|1 x Local authority governor (appointed by the LA)||Mrs Lynn Nuttall|
|8 x Co-opted governors (members of the local community appointed by the governing body)||Mr Adam Bastin, Mr Ian Clark, Mr Charlie Saville, Rev Richard Spencer, Mr Karl Wirrmann, Mrs Jo Waters, and two vacancies|
|2 x Staff governors, including the head teacher, (elected by school staff)||Mr Gary Brown (by virtue of office), Mrs Elizabeth Lunn|
- Together with the head teacher, we set the future direction for the school and decide how the school’s budget should be spent.
- As a governing body, we make decisions collectively on matters such as school policies, performance targets and the school’s development plan.
- We help monitor performance and progress and identify improvement strategies.
- We monitor expenditure, ensure value for money is obtained and risks are managed and budgets met.
- We engage with parents and pupils and represent their views.
- We report to parents on the school’s achievements and respond to inspection recommendations
- We hear appeals from pupils and staff, and consider any complaints that may arise.
- We provide the head teacher with support and advice, drawing on our own knowledge and experience
- We ask searching questions and respect the head teacher’s position as the professional leader of the school. This role is often called ‘being a critical friend’.
Level of involvement
As governors, we have individual responsibilities within areas of the school, for example: certain subjects in the curriculum; specific areas of monitoring in relation to the school development plan; and being part of one or more of the sub-committees mentioned below.
- Curriculum – current chair, Jo Walter
- Pupil matters/School Development Plan – current chair, Jo Walter
- Finance and Personnel – current chair, Adam Bastin
- Pay – current chair, Richard Spencer
- Premises and Maintenance – current chair, Karl Wirrmann
The sub-committees usually meet once every half term and do the majority of the work. The full governing body (FGB) meets once every half term, each meeting lasting two hours. The FGB makes its decisions based on the advice of the sub-committees. In a typical school term we expect to spend eight to ten hours on our duties.
As governors, we visit the school regularly to provide support and representation at organised events (such as Fridays’ Sharing Assemblies and open mornings for new parents), on an ad hoc basis to speak to staff, parents and pupils and to monitor the implementation of the School Development Plan (SDP) and the effectiveness of policies.
Training and support
All our governors are volunteers and are not paid to perform the role. Even though we may have experience in other areas of work, we all need some training. The governor responsible for co-ordinating training encourages new and existing governors to attend courses which will help them undertake their roles more effectively. Courses are usually held in the evenings or on Saturdays in local primary or secondary schools and last a couple of hours.
Our latest Ofsted Inspection (Oct 2013) highlighted a great many of our strengths and the school and the members of the governing body were happy with the ‘Good’ outcome. However we are all striving for ‘outstanding’ and have excellent plans in place to take the school forward.
How to become a governor
Anyone over 18 can be a school governor – you do not have to be a parent with a child at the school.
The most important qualities for being a governor are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. You don’t need teaching experience, but it’s useful to bring skills from areas of your life
“For governing bodies to carry out their roles effectively, governors must be:
- prepared and equipped to take their responsibilities seriously
- acknowledged as the accountable body by the lead professionals
- supported by the appropriate authorities in that task
- willing and able to monitor and review their own performance.”
EES for Schools Code of Conduct for the Governing Body
If you would like to find out more about being a school governor, please speak with any of the current school governors who will be more than happy to talk through what is involved. Alternatively, please visit www.essexcc.govuk/governors or leave your name and number with the School Office and a governor will contact you.
As of the 1st September 2015 the school is required to publish information about its governors and any person at the school who has financial responsibility
|Name||Current Employment||Company Directorships||Charity Trusteeships||Any other conflict||Personal Interests|
|Adam Bastin||ARM Limited||Pragmatic Printing Ltd, Geomerics Ltd, Trustonic Ltd||None||None|
|Gary Brown||Headteacher – Ashdon Primary School||None||None||Wife is a qualified teacher||wife has worked as a teacher at Ashdon previously|
|Mr Ian Clark||Performing Arts Tutor||Lane Clark Davey Ltd||None||Provision of music teaching at Ashdon School|
|Cleo Ford||Director of a Building Company and a Consulting Business||Cleo Nicolaou Ltd, Ford Construction Ltd||None||None|
|Shani Lewis||The Bank of New York Mellon||None||None||Ashdon Primary School PTA member|
|Elizabeth Lunn||Senior Teacher Ashdon Primary School||None||None||None|
|Brian (Charlie) Saville||Builder and decorator||None||None||None|
|Gabrielle Smith||Consultant||None||Friends of Ashdon School Trustee||None|
|Rev Richard Spencer||Retired – Team Vicar, Ashdon||None||None||Committee member Ashdon Forest School|
|Jo Walter||Local Government Officer for specialist teacher team that supports Ashdon Primary School||None||None||Local Baptist Ministers wife|
|Karl Wirrmann||Managing Director||Handy Candy Ltd||None||Ashdon Primary School PTA (treasurer)|
|Tamsin Foote||Teacher Ashdon Primary School||Footstones Ltd||None||None|
|Nicky Heathcote||Premises & Finance Manager Ashdon Primary School||None||None||None|
|Lorraine Smith||Clerical staff Ashdon Primary School||None||None||None|
|Sarah Smith||Consortium Manager||None||None||None|
|Hilary Dewell||Office staff Ashdon Primary School||None||None||None|
Below are details of governors have left the governing body within the last 12 months, along with the committees and positions they held on the Governing Body
- Abigail Lewis – Premises and Maintenance Committee – resigned 01/12/2016
- Hilary Dewell – Finance and Personnel Committee Chair, Pay Committee Chair – resigned 06/07/2017
The minutes of the governors’ meetings are available in the school office for viewing.