What are governors?
"..They are the vision setters and strategic decision makers for their schools. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education that takes every child as far as their talents allow" says John Nash, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools in the foreword to the Governance Handbook 2017. He goes on to say: "Crucially, that means creating robust accountability for executive leaders by using and being familiar with objective data on the performance of pupils, teachers and finances to ask the right questions. It means ensuring resources are allocated to strategic priorities and safeguarding the highest standards of financial propriety..... It also means ensuring that schools prepare pupils for life.... I want everyone involved in governance to be confident in tackling underperformance, challenging mediocrity, and setting the highest of expectation; refusing to accept second best for any child."
What do governors do?
Governors are therefore strategic leaders of schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools, such as Patcham Infant School, this is reflected in law. They carry out their duties under a legally constituted Instrument of Government and regulations stipulated by various Acts of Parliament. In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic function
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of its staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Governors are unpaid volunteers that play an important part in overseeing the running of the school in the interests of the community it serves but the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school is with the headteacher and staff. Individual governors have no authority whatsoever; such powers as they have are vested in the governing body as a whole and their decisions are recorded and made available for anyone to see. They give direction and focus, drawing on other stakeholder views to assist their work. Governors appoint the headteacher and assist with the appointment of the senior leadership team and then work with them, making decisions about:
- Standards - ensuring a strategic and systematic approach to promoting high standards of educational achievement
- Curriculum - ensuring this is broad and balanced and supporting the school in making sure pupils are enriched with a wider cultural experience
- Policies - deciding how, in broad strategic terms the school should be run
- Finance - determining how best to spend the budget allocated to the school
- Staffing - deciding the staff structure and pay policy
- Discipline - agreeing procedures for staff and pupil conduct and discipline
They also support the headteacher by providing a friendly forum within which to discuss ideas, problems and opportunities.
Who are we?
Patcham Infant School Governing body comprises 12 full members: a headteacher governor; a staff governor; three parent governors; 6 co-opted governors and a local authority governor. There is also a clerk to the governors and an associate member. The parent governors are nominated from and elected by parents of pupils. The staff governor is nominated from and elected by the staff. The headteacher may choose to be a governor. The local authority governor is selected and appointed by the governing body with the approval of the local authority. Co-opted governors and associate members are appointed by the governing body on the basis of their skills and knowledge. The clerk is appointed by the governors and has no vote. All governors and any associate members have agreed to act according to the Patcham Infant School Governing Body Code of Conduct. With the exception of the headteacher all governors are appointed for four years at a time but may resign at any time.
The Governing Body 2017-18
Governors declare their interests at least annually and at each meeting it is checked whether they have an interest in any agenda item. If there is a conflicting interest then they do not vote on that item and the other governors decide whether it is appropriate for them to contribute to the discussion or need to withdraw.
Co-opted Governor 9.12.15 - 8.12.19
Parent Governor 20.5.16 - 19.5.20
Wellbeing and PSHE
Co-opted Governor 16.3.15 - 15.3.19
Chair of Governors
LA Governor 3.11.16 - 2.11.20
Co-opted Governor 7.7.15 - 6.7.19
Vice Chair of Governors (Joint)
Broad and Balanced Curriculum
Co-opted Governor 16.3.15-15.3.19
Curriculum and Safeguarding
Co-opted Governor 16.3.15-15.3.19
Ethos and School Council
Co-opted Governor 6.7.16-5.7.20
Health & Safety/Premises
Vice Chair of Governors (Joint)
Parent Governor 9.12.15-8.12.19
Staff Governor 6.7.15-5.7.19
Supporting Children with Medical Needs
Patcham Infant School Governing Body Declarations of Interest 2017/18
|Name of Governor||Name of business/Organisation||Nature of Business||Nature of Interest|
|Helen Emerson||Dorothy Stringer School||School||Employee - Teacher|
All Saints Church
Employee - Vicar
and Chair of PCC Trustees
|Ron Guilford||Carden Primary School Governing Body||School Governing Body||Associate Member|
1. Trainer and Supply teacher for Brighton and Hove
2. School Governing Body
2. Associate Member
|Graham Kane||Head of Performance for Sussex Police and Crime Commission (PCC)||Police||Employee|
|Helen Hawkins||Patcham Infant School||School||Deputy Headteacher|
|Thomas Rhodes||Philips Surveyors LLP||Surveyors||Employee|
|Chris Taylor||Patcham Infant School||School||Headteacher|
Lloyds Banking Group
|Claire Wickham||Patcham Infant School||School||Employee - Teaching Assistant|
Governors who have stepped down or whose term has expired in the last year:
Robert Lenton - Elected Parent Governor 24.6.2013 term expired 23.6.2017 - No interests declared
How are we organised?
Until April 2017 the governing body met four times a year and delegated some of its powers to committees, most recently the Finance Resources and Operation Committee and the Education Learning and Achievement Committee which sat at least termly. To better align their work with the school improvement plan the governing body has now reorganised its working and disbanded the full-time committees, although non-staff members are drawn from the whole governing body to form a committee to make decisions under the pay policy. The full governing body now meets at least twice a term. One meeting each term includes a focus on finance and the other on attainment and progress of pupils. For more information about the organisation of the governing body click here.
How can I be involved?
Ron Guilford, who chairs the governing body, is always willing to answer questions about the work of the governors. Our aim is to be approachable and available at all times should any parent or carer wish to discuss their concerns or suggestions relating to the school. If you are interested in becoming a governor at Patcham Infant School please contact Chris Taylor or Ron Guilford via the school office. Alternatively contact the clerk to governors firstname.lastname@example.org
What has the governing body been doing?
The minutes of meetings, which include a note of which governors were in attendance, will be posted below once they have been approved, providing they are not confidential.
Full Governing Body 4th July 2018
Full Governing Body 17th April 2018
Full Governing Body 21st March 2018
Full Governing Body FGB minutes 21.2.18.pdf
Full Governing Body 6th December 2017
Full Governing Body 15th November 2017
Full Governing Body 13th September 2017
Meetings and Minutes 2016/2017
Full Governing Body 21st June 2017
Full Governing Body 5th April 2017 Governors attended : AAW, HE, AF, RG, HH, IL, MM, TR, CT, NT and CW
FRO Committee (now disbanded) 22nd February 2017 Governors attended: AAW, RG, HH, IL, MM, TR, CT, NT and CW
Meetings and Minutes 2015/2016