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Sutton Benger CE VA Primary

ABOUT Governance

According to the Education Act 2002, the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to 'conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school'.

In order to achieve this the governing body at Sutton Benger Primary School have a strong focus on three core functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • holding the executive headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school, its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Effective governance is crucial to the Schools success. It provides confident, strategic leadership to the School and creates robust accountability, oversight and assurance for their educational and financial performance. The key elements of effective governance are set out in the Governance Handbook,  and can be summarised as:

  • Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy;
  • Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance
  • People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity;
  • Structures which reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities;
  • Compliance with statutory and contractual requirement; and
  • Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance. 

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS 

Associate members are appointed to the Sutton Benger Primary School governing body to serve on one or more governing body committees. They may also attend full governing body meetings and are entitled to receive papers relevant to those meetings.

Associate members are not governors and therefore do not have a vote in governing body decisions, but may be given a vote on some or all decisions made by committees to which thy are appointed.

Associate members are appointed because of the specific expertise and experience they can contribute to the effective governance and success of Sutton Benger Primary.

The definition of 'Associate Member' is wide, but subject to the disqualifications set out in the 2012 Regulations, the governing body may appoint a pupil, school staff member, or any other person as an Associate member so that they can contribute their specific expertise.

 Here is a quick checklist for Associate members:

  Can vote at committee meetings as agreed by the governing body at the time of appointment.

  Can serve for a period of between 1 and 4 years, as agreed by the governing body.

  Can participate in full governing body meetings as agreed by the governing body.

  Can be pupils, members of staff, parents or any other member of the community.

  Can be given a vote for admissions, pupil discipline, the budget and financial commitments of the governing body.

  Cannot be granted voting rights if they are under 18 at the time of appointment.

  Cannot vote on issues relating to performance management of the Headteacher; staffing panels or appeals.

 

FOUNDATION GOVERNORS

Foundation govenors at Sutton Benger Primary School are appointed by the Diocese of Bristol, who are named in the Schools Instrument of Government as the appointing body.

All foundation governors are appointed to secure compliance with the trust deed and preserve and develop the religious character of Sutton Benger Primary.

 

If you would like to make a difference and contribute to this valuable role - please contact Mr Tom Whittingham (Chair of Foundation Governors), on 01249 720407 or via the Clerk of Governors, who will be pleased to advise you of the current vacancies within the School.

clerk@suttonbenger.wilts.sch.uk

 

LOCAL AUTHORITY GOVERNORS

Under the School Governance (Constitution)(England) Regulations 2012, the governing body of Sutton Benger Primary School was required to reconstitute to a skills-based model of governance in 2015, which allowed for one (1) LA governor on the reconstituted governing body.

For this model of governance, Sutton Benger Governing Body now set the eligibility criteria for, and appoint, the Local Authority governor. This means Wiltshire County Council are no longer responsible for the appointment of LA governors, as the governing body of Sutton Benger Primary is the appointing body.

Under these Regulations Wiltshire County Council is responsible for nominating individuals as prospective governors. Nominations are made by Wiltshire County Council, in accordance with the eligibility criteria provided by the governing body.

When nominating new governors or re-nominating existing governors, the County Council must consider the skills and experience the governing body needs in order to be effective.

 

PARENT GOVERNORS

Sutton Benger Primary School has always aimed for a partnership with parents/carers which undoubtedly brings great benefits to the children. One of the most significant ways to help in promoting this aim is to volunteer to be a Parent Governor. Parent Governors are welcomed as valued members of the team and play a vital role in ensuring the governing body is aware of the views of parents and the local community. 

Parent Governor Nomination Form

 

The Role of the Parent Governor

Parent governors are elected by other parents/carers to provide a 'parental viewpoint' on the governing body. They are "representative parents, rather than "representatives of parents".

To fulfil the role effectively parent governors should:

  • Establish a rapport with the parental body that elected them.
  • Listen impartially to concerns raised by parents.
  • Guide parents about appropriate lines of action and procedures.
  • Present a balanced view of the issues, representing different sections of the community.

 

Who can stand as and vote for parent governors?

The definition of parent under education law covers; 

  • all natural parents whether they are married or not;
  • any person who has parental responsibility for a child or young person;
  • any person who has care of a child or young person i.e. lives with and looks after the child.

 

Disqualification Regulations

Full details of the disqualification criteria are contained in the School Governance (Constitution)(England) Regulations 2012.

 

Seeking Nominations

As soon as resignation is received from a parent governor, or at the beginning of the term in which a parent governor's term of office expires, the Clerk will issue a letter to all parents inviting applications for the post. A copy of the letter will be displayed on the School's website.

Where a vacancy arises at short notice, the letter will be sent as soon as practically possible. Where this situation arises near the end of the summer term, this process may be delayed until the beginning of the next term.

Those interested in standing as governors will be asked to complete the Sutton Benger Primary School Parent Governor Nomination  Form. This will ensure that all potential governors are made aware of the disqualification criteria (referenced above) and that the necessary information is collected to enable the successful applicant to undergo an identity check when joining the board.

 

Closing Date for Applications

The closing date for applications will be ten (10) school working days from the date on which the letters are distributed. The actual closing date and time will be clearly stated in the letter so that parents/carers are aware of  the timescale to submit their nomination form.

 

Processing Applications

If their are more nominations than vacancies, a secret ballot (election) will be held with voting papers issued to all parents/carers. If the number of nominations is equal to, or less than the number of vacancies to be filled an election will not need to be held. The nominee will be automatically elected. 

 

The Start Date

The successful candidate(s) will take up the post on the day after the present parent governor's term of office comes to an end. Where the post is already vacant the start date is the date of the count (of the secret ballot) or the day after the closing date for nominations when an election is not been necessary.

 

Recruiting New Governors

Are you passionate about our children's education, can you bring skills and are open to ideas, like working as team and willing to ask questions? If you are one of those people have you considered becoming a governor as Sutton Benger Primary School?  

The commitment would usually involve approximately 6 main meetings and committee meetings. You will work with the Headteacher and Staff helping to make collective decisions about the School and its development, promoting high standards of education and helping to oversee the management of the School's budget. Extensive training opportunities are available to support you in this role.

If you would like to make a difference and contribute to this valuable role - please contact Mr James Passmore or Mrs Katie Brown (Co-Chair/s of Governors), or Mr Simon James (Clerk to the Governing Body) who will be pleased to advise you of the current vacancies within the School. 

jpassmore@suttonbenger.wilts.sch.uk

kbrown@suttonbenger.wilts.sch.uk

clerk@

STAFF GOVERNORS

Staff Governor Appointment

Anyone who is employed by either the governing body, or the local authority, under a contract of employment to work at the School, at the time of the election, may be a Staff Governor.

The Executive Headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office. If the Executive Headteacher decides not to be a governor they must inform the clerk of their decision who should inform the governing body accordingly. The Executive Headteacher's place shall remain reserved for them and cannot be taken by anyone else.

 

Seeking Applications

As soon as a resignation is received from a Staff Governor, or at the beginning of the term in which the Staff Governor's term of office expires, the Clerk shall invite applications for the post from all those eligible to stand.

suttonbenger.wilts.sch.uk 

STAFF GOVERNORS

Staff Governor Appointment

Anyone who is employed by either the governing body, or the local authority, under a contract of employment to work at the School, at the time of the election, may be a Staff Governor.

The Executive Headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office. If the Executive Headteacher decides not to be a governor they must inform the clerk of their decision who should inform the governing body accordingly. The Executive Headteacher's place shall remain reserved for them and cannot be taken by anyone else.

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Key Governance Documentation:  

Instrument of Government (executed October 2017) 

The Instrument of Government is the legal document for Sutton Benger Primary that records the constitution of the governing body and term of office for each category of governor, as well as the name of the school.

Governors and Associates of Sutton Benger Primary School 2017-18

Provides information on current governors, their term's of office and the committees of which they are members.  

 Scheme of Delegation 2017-18 

The Scheme of Delegation sets out clearly the responsibilities and extent of authority to the Schools key committees, working groups and individuals when acting within the framework of the policies formulated by the Governing Body. It clarifies who does what - especially in relation to the Headteacher and Governors. 

 Register of Business Interests 2017-18 

The Register of Business Interests is a register of pecuniary interests which is maintained by the school, indicating for all Governors and the Headteacher any business interests (their own and those of any member of their immediate family). The register enables governors to demonstrate that in spending public money they do not benefit personally from decisions they make. 

 Governance Handbook for Governors of Maintained Schools (2017)

The 'Governance handbook' is department advice from the Department of Education. It sets out the governments vision and prioritises for effective school governance, and outlines the core role and functions of the board of governors in Sutton Benger Primary School.

A Competency Framework for Governance (2017)

This document sets out the competencies needed for effective governance. It is non-statutory guidance and should be read alongside the Governance Handbook for Governors of Maintained Schools (2017), particularly the section explaining the key features of effective governance. 

 School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012

All governing bodies of maintained schools are required to be constituted under the School Governance (Constitution)(England) Regulations 2012.

School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2017 Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance from the Department of Education on the constitution of governing bodies and their size, membership and skills. It explains the arrangements for the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools constituted under the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012.  

Ofsted Handbook (Section 5)

Ofsted Handbook (Section 8)

The Ofsted school inspection handbooks describe the main activities undertaken during inspections of schools in England. They are an essential tool for governors looking to understand what Ofsted expects from schools, including what it expects from governance.

 

Academisation Material:

Multi Academy Trusts - Good Practice Guidance (2016)

This document provides a framework which helps trusts at all stages of their development learn from other trusts. It sets out what we know about the characteristics of successful academy trusts, and the barriers that they will need to overcome in order to secure their on-going success. 

Guidance Paper - Forming or Joining a Group of Schools: staying in control of your school's destiny (2015)

This guidance paper is for governors as they consider whether to form or join federations of multi-academy trusts. Information highlighting the different ways schools can form partnerships will provide assistance during the decision-making process and, ultimately, enable schools to remain in control of their destiny.