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Patcham Infant School

We dream, we aspire, we thrive. Powerful learning for life


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.  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 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 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.



Andy Ahmad-Walsh

Co-opted Governor 9.12.15 - 8.12.19



Helen Emerson

Parent Governor 20.5.16 - 19.5.20

Wellbeing and PSHE

Andy Flowerday

Co-opted Governor 16.3.15 - 15.3.19


Ron Guilford

Chair of Governors

LA Governor 3.11.16 - 2.11.20



 Graham Kane

Parent Governor

6.10.17 -5.10.21




Irene Evans

Co-opted Governor 7.7.15 - 6.7.19

Vice Chair of Governors (Joint)

Broad and Balanced Curriculum



Helen Hawkins

Deputy Headteacher

Co-opted Governor 16.3.15-15.3.19

Curriculum and Safeguarding


Margaret Maslin

Co-opted Governor 16.3.15-15.3.19

Ethos and School Council

Thomas Rhodes

Co-opted Governor 6.7.16-5.7.20

Health & Safety/Premises


Chris Taylor

Headteacher Governor

03.9.14 -


 Nina Taylor

Vice Chair of Governors (Joint)

Parent Governor 9.12.15-8.12.19

IT/Website/Data Protection

Claire Wickham

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
 Andy Ahmad-Walsh None
Helen Emerson Dorothy Stringer School School  Employee - Teacher
Andy Flowerday

All Saints Church

PCC Trustees


 Employee - Vicar

 and Chair of PCC Trustees

Ron Guilford Carden Primary School Governing Body School Governing Body  Associate Member
Irene Evans

1. N Barrons

Trainer and Supply teacher for Brighton and Hove  Friend

2. Carden Primary School Governing Body

School Governing Body  Associate Member
Graham Kane Head of Performance for Sussex Police and Crime Commission (PCC) Police  Employee
Helen Hawkins Patcham Infant School School  Deputy Headteacher
Margaret Maslin None
Thomas Rhodes Philips Surveyors LLP Surveyors  Employee
Chris Taylor Patcham Infant School School  Headteacher
Nina Taylor

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 committees.  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 



What have 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.  

Meetings 2017/18

Full Governing Body  4th July 2018

Full Governing Body  16th May   2018

Full Governing Body  21st March 2018

Full Governing Body  21st February 2018

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 3rd May 2017

Full Governing Body 5th April 2017 Governors attended : AAW, HE, AF, RG, HH, IL, MM, TR, CT, NT and CW

ELA Committee (now disbanded) 8th March 2017

FRO Committee (now disbanded) 22nd February 2017 Governors attended: AAW, RG, HH, IL, MM, TR, CT, NT and CW

Full Governing Body 7th December 2016

ELA Committee (first meeting) 30th November 2016

FRO Committee (first meeting) 19th October 2016

Full Governing Body 3rd October 2016


Meetings and Minutes 2015/2016

Full Governing Body 6th July 2016

Learning Committee (last meeting of committee) 1st July 2016

Health Safety and Premises Committee (last meeting of committee) 25th May 2016

Full Governing Body 16th March 2016

Finance and Personnel Committee 15th March 2016

Learning Committee 4th March 2016

Health Safety and Premises Committee 10th February 2016

Finance and Personnel Committee 18th January 2016

Full Governing Body 9th December 2015

Health Safety and Premises Committee 26th November 2015

Learning Committee 16th November 2015

Finance and Personnel Committee 23rd October 2015

Full Governing Body 24th September 2015