Governing Body

Graham Ferguson

Chair of Finance

Mary Temperton

Chief of Learning
& Progress

Liz Cook

Headteacher

John Bullen

Co-opted Governor

Mark Hooper

Vice Chair

Billie King

Co-opted Governor

Chantel Picton

Parent Governor

Rene Rastall

Chair of Governors

Janet Sumner

Chair of
Student Support

Mark Glanville

Co-opted Governor

Marc Mosthav

Co-opted Governor

Alison Evans

Associate member for Staff Governor

Matt Hall

Associate Member / Deputy Head Teacher

Claire O’Brien

Associate  Member / Deputy Head Teacher

Penny Thompson

Clerk to the Governors

Code of Practice

What does a governor do?

Role of a school governor

To contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school by:

  • Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Activities

As part of the governing body team, a governor is expected to:

  1. Contribute to the strategic discussions at governing body meetings which determine:
  • the vision and ethos of the school;
  • clear and ambitious strategic priorities and targets for the school;
  • that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum;
  • the school’s budget, including the expenditure of the pupil premium allocation;
  • the school’s staffing structure and key staffing policies;
  • the principles to be used by school leaders to set other school policies.
  1. Hold the senior leaders to account by monitoring the school’s performance; this includes:
  • agreeing the outcomes from the school’s self-evaluation and ensuring they are used to inform the priorities in the school development plan;
  • considering all relevant data and feedback provided on request by school leaders and external sources on all aspects of school performance;
  • asking challenging questions of school leaders;
  • ensuring senior leaders have arranged for the required audits to be carried out and receiving the results of those audits;
  • ensuring senior leaders have developed the required policies and procedures and the school is operating effectively according to those policies;
  • acting as a link governor on a specific issue, making relevant enquiries of the relevant staff, and reporting to the governing body on the progress on the relevant school priority; and
  • listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders: pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers.
  1. Ensure the school staff have the resources and support they require to do their jobs well, including the necessary expertise on business management, external advice where necessary, effective appraisal and CPD (Continuing Professional Development), and suitable premises, and that the way in which those resources are used has impact.
  2. When required, serve on panels of governors to:
  • appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders;
  • appraise the headteacher;
  • set the headteacher’s pay and agree the pay recommendations for other staff;
  • hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters;
  • hear appeals about pupil exclusions.

Thinking and questioning - not a doing role.

A governor does NOT:

  • Write school policies;
  • Undertake audits of any sort – whether financial or health & safety – even if the governor has the relevant professional experience;
  • Spend much time with the pupils of the school – if you want to work directly with children, there are many other voluntary valuable roles within the school;
  • Undertake classroom observations to make judgements on the quality of teaching – the governing body monitors the quality of teaching in the school by requiring data from the senior staff and from external sources;
  • Do the job of the school staff – if there is not enough capacity within the paid staff team to carry out the necessary tasks, the governing body need to consider and rectify this.

As you become more experienced as a governor, there are other roles you could volunteer for which would increase your degree of involvement and level of responsibility (e.g as a chair of a committee). This document does not cover the additional roles taken on by the chair, vice-chair and chairs of committees.

In order to perform this role well, a governor is expected to:

  • get to know the school, including by visiting the school occasionally during school hours, and gain a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses;
  • attend induction training and regular relevant training and development events;
  • attend meetings (full governing body meetings and committee meetings) and read all the papers before the meeting;
  • act in the best interest of all the pupils of the school; and
  • behave in a professional manner, as set down in the governing body’s code of conduct, including acting in strict confidence.

Time commitment

Under usual circumstances, you should expect to spend between 10 and 20 days a year on your governing responsibilities; the top end of this commitment, which equates to about half a day per week in term time, is most relevant to the chair and others with key roles, such as chairs of committees. Initially, we would expect your commitment to be nearer 10 days a year. However, there may be periods when the time commitment may increase, for example when recruiting a headteacher. Some longstanding governors may tell you that they spend far more time than this on school business; however, it is fairly common for governors to undertake additional volunteering roles over and above governance.

Under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, if you are employed, then you are entitled to ‘reasonable time off’ to undertake public duties; this includes school governance. ‘Reasonable time off’ is not defined in law, and you will need to negotiate with your employer how much time you will be allowed.

Expenses: Governors may receive out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of fulfilling their role as governor, the school does have a Governor Allowances Policy. Payments can cover incidental expenses, such as travel and childcare, but not loss of earnings.

Code of Practice for Governors of EPCS

  • Governors should recognise that:
  • The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, delivery of the curriculum, and implementation of policies and the strategic framework established by the Governing Body.
  • Their priority is to provide vision and direction, ensure statutory responsibilities are met, challenge and support the senior management team, and know the strengths and weaknesses of the school.
  • They need to maintain an appropriate balance between being supportive and challenging the actions being taken to improve the school.
    • All governors have equal status and that there is no legal authority to act individually or speak on behalf of the school, except when given delegated authority to do so. Governors should accept that:
    • They have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice with an over-riding concern for the welfare of the school as a whole whilst considering carefully how decisions may affect other schools.
    • They have a commitment to be actively involved in the work of the Governing Body and getting to know the school.
    • They have a responsibility to assess their own development requirements and to keep abreast of developments in the world of education.
    • In carrying out their duties governors should:
    • Strive to work as a team and to develop effective working relationships with the Headteacher, staff, parents, LA and other relevant agencies, and the community.
    • Observe complete confidentiality when required or asked to do so and exercise prudence when discussing outside the Governing Body potentially contentious issues affecting the school.
    • Recognise the school’s successes, ask questions that are probing without being confrontational, and be prepared to be critical when necessary.
    • Encourage the open expression of views, support and encourage each other, and accept collective responsibility for all decisions taken by the Governing Body.
    • Turn up regularly for meetings, prepare for meetings by reading the documentation provided and carry out any actions allocated to them.
    • Get to know the school but only make visits to school within the framework of the visits policy established by the Governing Body.
    • Governors should always be mindful of their responsibility to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of the school when discharging their duties.

Governors can be contacted via Penny Thompson, the Clerk to the Governing Body at clerktothegovernors@epschool.org

Committees

Committees and their Terms of Reference

The Governors have 5 committees

Steering, Finance & Property, Learning & Progress, Personnel and Student Support. 

Each committee has its own Terms of Reference which guides its work. This includes responsibility for policies specific to that committee’s work.

Governing Body - Terms of Reference

The Governing Body shall take a strategic role, act as a critical friend to the school and be accountable for its decisions. In addition it shall set objectives and agree, monitor and review policies, targets and priorities.

Terms of Reference

  • To agree constitutional matters, procedures and dates of meetings for the Governing Body.
  • To recruit new governors as vacancies arise, and suspend governors as appropriate.
  • To appoint Associate Members of the Governing Body in addition to those specified in the Instrument of Government, and to agree their attendance rights at full Governing body meetings, and attendance and voting rights in committees.
  • To appoint or remove the Chair, Vice Chair, Clerk to the Governors, SEN Governor and Link Governor.
  • To determine the structure, membership, terms of reference and clerking arrangements of committees.
  • To receive reports from individuals and committees to whom responsibilities have been allocated, and to consider whether any further action by the Governing Body is necessary.
  • To receive the Headteacher’s Report each meeting and to consider whether any further action by the Governing Body is necessary.
  • To agree the budget, and the associated staffing structure and curriculum plan.
  • To agree the school’s Local Offer.
  • To set student performance targets, to approve the three-year School Vision and a one-year Raising Achievement Plan and to monitor progress with meeting targets in the Raising Achievement Plan.
  • To prepare for an Ofsted Inspection and produce the subsequent action plan.

Membership and procedures

  • The Governing Body is composed of the governors detailed in the Instrument of Government together with up to three Associate Members.
  • The Clerk to the Governing Body is the Clerk to the Governors.
  • The business of the Governing Body is carried out in accordance with the procedures and protocols specified in the Governors’ Handbook and the Governors’ Standing Orders.
  • The quorum for a meeting is 50% of the existing membership of the Governing Body rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Steering Committee - Terms of Reference

The Steering Committee shall oversee the operation and performance of the Governing Body, contribute to the preparation of the three-year School Vision and a one-year Raising Achievement Plan and oversee the external communications aimed at enhancing the reputation of the school.

Terms of Reference

  • To determine the strategic direction of the Governing Body and present proposals for what the Governing Body should seek to achieve during the academic year.
  • To recommend the programme of work and schedule of meetings for the Governing Body and its Committees for the academic year, and if necessary to allocate tasks directly to Committees if this will allow deadlines to be met.
  • To review standing orders and working arrangements.
  • To organise support and training for governors, and to arrange for the induction of new governors.
  • To oversee arrangements for governor involvement in the planning process, and recommend to the Governing Body a three-year School Vision and a one-year Raising Achievement Plan based on the Self Evaluation Form.
  • To agree the School Prospectus.
  • To monitor communications with parents, external agencies and the community.
  • To ensure that there are effective processes in place to establish, record, review, advertise and monitor school policies.
  • To make recommendations to the Governing Body to establish working groups to deal with specific issues.
  • To offer advice to the Headteacher about matters which are particularly sensitive or difficult.
  • To review, recommend for approval and monitor implementation of the policies allocated to the Committee in the Register of Policies and Documents.

Membership and procedures

  • The Committee is composed of the Chair of Governors, Vice Chair, Headteacher, and the Chairs of the Committees plus the Deputy Headteacher as an Associate Member.
  • The Committee can co-opt other members for a one year period of time.
  • The Chair of the Committee is the Vice Chair of Governors.
  • The Chairs of the Finance, Personnel, Curriculum and Student Support Committees should ask their Vice Chairs to deputise for them if they are unable to attend.
  • The Clerk to the Committee is the Clerk to the Governors.
  • The business of the Committee is carried out according to Standing Orders.
  • The quorum for a meeting is the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher, Chair of Governors or Vice Chair of Governors, and two other governors. In addition either the Headteacher or Chair of Governors should be present unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Learning and Progress Committee - Terms of Reference

The Learning and Progress Committee shall oversee the delivery of the curriculum, monitor teaching, learning and student performance, and advise the Governing Body on standards and other matters relating to the school’s curriculum.

Terms of Reference

  • To monitor the quality of teaching and learning across departments guided by the teaching and learning policy and with particular emphasis on standards, provision and value for money.
  • To monitor the curriculum provision for students ensuring that it is inclusive and structured to meet the needs of learners at EP School and satisfies statutory requirements.
  • To monitor student performance using data from agreed school systems in year and outturn data from national assessments and public examinations against agreed school targets.
  • To support the school by engaging in discussion and debate in matters related to the curriculum.
  • To approve educational visits and offsite activities on behalf of the Governing Body.
  • To review, recommend for approval and monitor implementation of the policies allocated to the Committee in the Register of Policies and Documents.

Membership and procedures

  • The Committee is composed of a minimum of four Governors and up to two Associate Members as agreed by the Governing Body.
  • Clerk to the Committee is to be decided by the Governing Body.
  • The business of the Committee is carried out according to Standing Orders.
  • The quorum for a meeting is three governors.

Finance and Property Committee - Terms of Reference

The Finance and Property Committee shall oversee the finances of the school and deal with any matters concerning the maintenance and development of the school premises and facilities.

Terms of Reference

  • To prepare the school’s annual budget and capital expenditure plan for approval by the Governing Body, and to establish and maintain a three-year financial plan.
  • To monitor expenditure of all public funds on at least a termly basis, and report significant anomalies from the anticipated position to the Governing Body.
  • To ensure that the school operates within the financial procedures (including those associated with Best Value and the Statement of Internal Control) specified by the Governing Body and Local Authority.
  • To agree the procedures for authorising higher value purchases, authorising cheque signatories and recording the details of certifying officers, and authorising responsibilities for virement.
  • To ensure that school private funds are subject to audit and the findings, with the endorsement of the Governing Body, are reported to the Director of Education.
  • To monitor the operation of the site services contracts (cleaning, catering etc.), and to make decisions about purchasing services offered by the Local Authority.
  • To respond to any consultation by the Local Authority as to changes to the funding framework.
  • To establish and keep under review a Building Maintenance and Development Plan and Accessibility Plan which take account whole school and Health & Safety and Environmental requirements.
  • To oversee arrangements use of school premises by outside users.
  • To review, recommend for approval and monitor implementation of the policies allocated to the Committee in the Register of Policies and Documents.

Membership and procedures

  • The Committee is composed of a minimum of four Governors and up to two Associate Members as agreed by the Governing Body.
  • The Clerk to the Committee is to be decided by the governing body.
  • The business of the Committee is carried out according to Standing Orders.
  • The quorum for a meeting is three governors.

Personnel Committee - Terms of Reference

The Personnel Committee shall deal with matters concerning the pay, performance, and training and development of staff.

Terms of Reference

  • To keep under review the staffing structure, and to monitor staffing levels, appointments and resignations.
  • To oversee the appointment procedure for all staff and the process leading to staff reductions.
  • To establish, administer and review the school’s Pay Policy and appraisal arrangements for all categories of staff.
  • To monitor elements in the school Raising Attainment Plan that pertain to personnel issues
  • To keep under review work/life balance, working conditions and well-being of staff, including the monitoring of absences.
  • To monitor the arrangements for the training and development of staff, including the induction process.
  • To monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation and employment law in all staffing matters.
  • To review, recommend for approval and monitor implementation of the policies allocated to the Committee in the Register of Policies and Documents.

Membership and procedures

  • The Committee is composed of a minimum of four Governors and up to two Associate Members as agreed by the Governing Body.
  • The Clerk to the Committee is to be decided by the governing body.
  • The business of the Committee is carried out according to Standing Orders.

The quorum for a meeting is three governors.

Student Support Committee - Terms of Reference

The Student Support Committee shall oversee the student support system and disciplinary processes and monitor attendance and exclusion of students.

Terms of Reference

  • To ensure that a Reintegration Committee is selected from the pool of eligible governors and that that Committee complies with the relevant procedures.
  • To monitor the effectiveness of the student support system.
  • To monitor elements in the school Raising Attainment Plan that pertain to student support issues
  • Evaluate how the school is performing in its duty to promote wellbeing.
  • To review student exclusions and attendance.
  • To review the Student Support literature.
  • To meet regularly with members of the student body.
  • To organise the training of governors to be members of the Reintegration Committee
  • To review, recommend for approval and monitor implementation of the policies allocated to the Committee in the Register of Policies and Documents.

Membership and procedures

  • The Committee is composed of a minimum of four Governors and up to two Associate Members as agreed by the Governing Body.
  • The Clerk to the Committee is to be decided by the governing body.
  • The business of the Committee is carried out according to Standing Orders.

The quorum for a meeting is three governors.