Introduction to the Governing Body
“Enjoy, Respect, Achieve!”
The Governing Board of St. Andrew's Junior school works in partnership with Mr. James and the school staff. Working together, we strive towards our mission:
To achieve high standards of learning and to establish a feeling of well-being, enjoyment and responsibility in a caring, Christian school community, reflecting our Christian values.
We do not become involved in the day to day management issues of running a school – that is the role of the headteacher, Mr. James. However, in the background, governors are looking ahead; agreeing policies and priorities; setting objectives through the School Development Plan; and monitoring whether these are achieved.
Who are we and what is the role of the Governing board?
Our governing board consists of:
- Head teacher – Mr. James
- Parent Governors- elected by the parents
- Staff Governors – elected by the staff
- Authority Governors – nominated by the local County Council
- Foundation Governors – appointed by the diocese or the local church.
- Co-opted Governors - invited by the Governors to join the Governing Board.
- Associate members – invited to attend by the Governing Board.
The Governing Board has three main roles:
To be strategic:
We ensure that the school has clear aims and values that are supported by the whole school community.
- We decide with the Headteacher, the staff, the parents and the pupils, the direction of the school through the School Development Plan.
- We help to set and keep under review the policies that provide a broad framework within which the Headteacher and the staff run the school.
- We focus on raising standards in all areas and we review progress.
To be Critical Friend:
- We recognise and celebrate the achievements of the school.
- We provide support and encouragement when strategies to bring about improvement are being explored.
- We aim to strike an appropriate balance between support and challenge.
To be Accountable:
- We have the right to discuss, question and refine proposals, respecting that the professionals in the school have day to day management responsibility for the school.
- We must be prepared to account for the school's overall performance and explain our decisions and actions to parents and the local authority.
- When Ofsted assesses the overall management of the school the performance and involvement of the Governors is taken into account and does have an impact on the overall grading for 'management'.
How does it work and terms of reference of committees
Our governing board carries out its work through the following meetings:
- Full Governing Board meetings take place twice in the autumn term and once in each of the spring and summer terms. All governors attend these meetings. The Full Governing board meetings are chaired by Mr. Derrick Louis with Mrs. Emma-Jane Sharocks sitting as vice chair.
- Finance, Personnel and Premises (FPP) Committee meetings deal with finance, personnel and premises issues. This committee has the responsibility of the overall financial position of the school, including the strategic plan. It meets once per term and is chaired by Dr. Virginia Craig with Mrs Emma-Jane Sharrocks sitting as vice chair.
- Curriculum and Pupil Matters Committee keeps a watching brief, monitoring and reviewing schemes of work, policies and changing curriculum requirements; it analyses test results which indicate how well the school is ‘performing’. This committee meets once per term. This committee is chaired by Mr. Graham Slader with Mr Paul Strong sitting as vice chair.
Most governors sit on either the FPP or the Curriculum committee although they are welcome to sit on both if they wish. Most of our work is done through these two committees and the full governing body meetings.
We also have a number of committees which deal with specific issues. Membership of and terms of reference for these committees are reviewed annually at our full governing board meeting in September. Many of the committees (marked *) are only staffed if needed.
The committees are:
- Admissions Committee
- Committee for Appeals against Capability Warnings*
- Staff Pay Committee
- Staff Pay Appeals Committee*
- Pupil Discipline (Exclusions) Committee*
- Staff Disciplinary/Dismissal Appeals Committee*
- Staff Disciplinary/Dismissal Committee*
- Staff Grievance Committee*
We also set up working parties occasionally to deal with specific projects. These working parties report back to the committee that initiated them.
We all work very much as a team for the benefit of the school, respecting each others' points of view but always acting as a corporate body. We accept the decisions reached by the majority on the rare occasion we are unable to reach a unanimous conclusion. Our relationship with Mr. James and the school staff is excellent and all governors are committed to maintaining this – it is an essential part of our success.
If you would like to know when our committee meetings are taking place click on the link on this site headed “Governor meetings“. You will also be able to view copies of minutes or key notes of all meetings.
How do Governors know what is going on in the school?
We are always keen to hear the views of the children, parents, prospective parents, and members of our local community and take these views into consideration in our work. We listen to children’s views through school council and also through our frequent visits to the school; we talk to parents and prospective parents at open and parents evenings as well as on an as-needed basis; and we all act as ambassadors for the school within the local community – listening to the views of others, explaining the school’s position, and bringing back feedback where necessary.
Who should I contact about a question relating to the school?
Generally, questions relating to:
- Your child’s progress or welfare should be directed towards your child’s class teacher
- The day-to-day organisation and management of the school should be directed to Mr James, (on wider policy issues to the governors)
- Admissions, Health and Safety, school buildings, communication, or the school community should be directed towards the governors.
- Fundraising and events should be directed towards the Junior School Association (JSA).
Questions relating to your own child should first be directed to your child’s teacher and not governors. If you need to discuss the matter further or need more advice, contact Mr. James by making an appointment through the school office.
If you have a general question related more to the policy of the schools regarding a particular issue, then you may wish to talk to one of the governors sitting on a relevant sub-committee or a teacher.
How to become a Governor
There is no such thing as a 'typical governor'. You do not need any formal qualifications, just an interest in the school, some energy, enthusiasm and some time to commit to the role.
Who can be a governor?
- Almost everyone over 18 can become a governor
- Governors are volunteers from all walks of life - everyone has experience and skills to offer.
- An effective governing body has people from different backgrounds with a mix of skills.
- Governors are not education experts - they are there to bring a fresh perspective.
- No formal qualifications are needed.
What makes a good governor?
- Common sense.
- The ability to work in a team.
- An interest in education and a commitment to the school.
- Patience, energy, enthusiasm and some spare time.
- A willingness to listen, learn and to spend time in school.
- A willingness to undertake training.
If you are a parent of a child in the school; live or work in the local community and would like to chat about becoming a governor, please call or e-mail Mr. Derrick Louis, Chair of Governors on:
How to contact a Governor?
Please contact us if you would like to chat about the school. You can make contact with the Governors through the Chair or by telephoning the school office on 01245 380131.