‘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’
Contacting the Governing Body
Should you wish to contact the Chair of Governors (Maggie Hartley) please leave a message at the school office. Letters to the Chair of Governors should be addressed ‘Private and Confidential’ and can also be left for collection.
Ashdon Primary School’s Governing Body
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)
Miss Ewelina Krzywonos, Ms Shani Lewis, Mr Richard Peel, Mrs Tara Griffin
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)
Mrs Maggie Hartley, Mrs Cara Moss, Mr Charlie Saville, Mr Greg Wray, and 3 vacancies.
2 x Staff governors, including the Headteacher, (elected by school staff)
Mr Simon Rance (by virtue of office), Mrs Elizabeth Lunn
Individual governor responsibilities
Type of governor
Finance & Personnel / Link Governor
Chair of Governors / Chair of Curriculum
Chair of Finance & Personnel
Safeguarding / SEND / Chair of Pay / Curriculum
Chair of Premises
Finance & Personnel / Pay
- Together with the Headteacher, 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 Headteacher with support and advice, drawing on our own knowledge and experience
- We ask searching questions and respect the Headteacher’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, Maggie Hartley
- Finance and Personnel – current chair, Shani Lewis
- Pay – current chair, Lynn Nuttall
- Premises and Maintenance – current chair, Richard Peel
The sub-committees usually meet once every term and do the majority of the work. The full Governing Body (FGB) meets once every 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 (Sept 2017) 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. This information is detailed below;
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:
- Karl Wirrmann, Chair of Premises, left July 2019.
- Iain Clark, member of the Curriculum Committee, left September 2019.
The minutes of the governors’ meetings are available in the school office for viewing.