The Governing Body
Why do schools have Governors?
The Governing Body of a school is responsible and accountable for all the major decisions about the school and its future. We have a legal responsibility to make sure the school promotes high standards of educational achievement. We are responsible for appointing and reviewing the performance of the Headteacher, and are often involved in other staff appointments.
What do the Governors do?
Together with our Headteacher, we set the future direction for the school, decide how the school’s budget should be spent and monitor and evaluate the school’s performance. In doing this we make decisions on things such as performance targets, school policies, staffing, and the school’s development plan. We provide the Headteacher with support and advice, drawing on our knowledge and experience from outside school. We ask searching questions whilst respecting her position as professional leader of the school - this is often termed acting as a ‘critical friend’.
How do we operate?
The Governing Body recognises that it is a critical part of the Leadership and Management of the school. As a whole, and within sub-committees we operate as a professional body, in accordance with the policies and guidelines with regard to the current Governors Guide to the Law.
Who can be a Governor?
Anyone over 18 with an interest in education can be a Governor. We are all volunteers who attend meetings and visit the school in order to further the school’s development. Our Governing Body is drawn from the school’s community and includes parents; school staff; representatives of the Local Education Authority and the local community.
Parents (including carers) of registered pupils at the school (including the nursery) are eligible to stand for election for parent governorship at the school. ‘Parent’ is defined as including ‘any individual who has or has had parental responsibility for, or cares or has cared for, a child or young person under the age of 18’. It includes a person who the child lives with and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, and must be someone involved in the full-time care of the child on a settled basis.
Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors.
Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship. Staff governors are elected by the school staff and must be paid to work at the school – volunteers are ineligible. Any election that is contested must be held by ballot. The head teacher is a governor in an ex officio capacity.
Local Education Authority Governors
Authority governors are appointed by the LA. LAs can appoint any eligible person as an authority governor. A person is disqualified from appointment as an authority governor if they are eligible to be a Staff governor of the school.
Foundation governors are appointed by the Diocean Board of Education and the Perocial Church Council to represent these bodies on the governing body. The vicar of the parish is a Foundation governor in an ex officio capacity.
How often do Governors meet?
There are two full governors meeting every term, and we meet to look at specific areas such as Finance, Curriculum, Premises, Health and Safety and Buildings. The minutes of the meetings are available to read, on request from the School office. Governors visit the school at least once a term to spend time in the classrooms to see the school ‘in action’ and to engage with the children and staff. In addition the Chair and Headteacher will normally meet every two weeks or so to discuss and monitor school issues.
How do you contact the Governors?
We can be contacted directly by email, or through the School Office. Our email address is
Please note we are unable to respond to anonymous mail.
Alternatively, the school office will pass on any messages or letters. It is also normally possible to book an appointment to talk to a Governor at Parent Consultation Evenings.
When should you contact the Governors rather than the Headteacher?
Whilst we are always happy to hear from and talk with parents, the Headteacher is responsible for the day to day running of the school, so initially most queries and specific issues should be addressed to the Headteacher. Because we have a specific responsibility for reviewing complaints and exclusions it is sometimes important that we should not be involved in the first instance.
The Governors, Headteacher and Staff are all committed to making Northaw CE Primary School the best possible learning environment for the children and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Full Governing Body Meeting Minutes
The latest Full Governing Body Minutes are available here.
The Governors' Annual Report 2016 can be read here.