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School Governors

Who are our School Governors?

The Governors are unpaid volunteers who are all motivated to make a positive contribution to the education of Thorndon children. Our Governors are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are parents of children in the school, some live in the neighbourhood, others work in the local business community or are appointed by the Trust. There is always one staff governor.

  • Mr Stephen Page (Chair of Governors - Local Governor)
  • Mrs Jane Pattenden (Vice Chair - Local Governor)
  • Rev Julia Lall (Foundation Governor)
  • Mrs Marion Ravenhill (Trust Governor)
  • Mr Mark Boughton (Local Governor)
  • Mrs Rebecca Gooderham (elected Parent Governor)
  • Mrs Lisa Walls (elected Staff Governor)
  • Mr Daryl Jones (Executive Headteacher) 
  • Ms Hannah Meadowcroft (Head of School - non-voting member)

School Governance Documents:

The following ASST governance documents can be found on the ASST website: Memorandum of association, Articles of association, Thorndon Funding agreement, Trust accounts.

What is the role of the Governors?

The governnors provide the school with strategic leadership and accountability. They regularly challenge school decisions and by doing so help us to become as effective as possible.The main role is to support the school leadership and the staff – the phrase often used to describe this role is ‘a critical friend’. Governors help the school to set and reach targets and to strive for excellence, so as to provide the best teaching and learning experience for the children at Thorndon Primary School.

Our legal duties include:

  • setting strategic direction, policies and objectives
  • approving the school budget
  • reviewing progress against the school's budget and objectives
  • appointing, challenging and supporting the Executive Headteacher and the Head of School

Our Local Governing Body meets twice every term, where we focus on areas such as finance, the curriculum, personnel, safeguarding, SEND, etc.

The governors also carry out school monitoring visits inbetween the Local Govering Body Meetings.

What do the Governors do?

Our Governing body carry out a number of important roles including:

  • agreeing the aims and objectives for the school
  • agreeing performance targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitoring and evaluating the progress the school is making towards achieving those aims and objectives
  • carry out monitoring visits linked to the School Development & Improvement Plan, and curriculum areas
  • approving school policies
  • ensuring all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • monitoir the finances and recommend expenditure
  • appointing the headteacher, accessing his/her performance, assisting in the appointment of members of the teaching staff and agreeing their pay recommendations
  • hearing appeals on pupil exclusion
  • dealing with staff grievances and disciplinary action
  • ensuring compliance with statutory safeguarding requirements
  • hearing the second stage of parental complaints

What do the Governors not do?

The governors do not manage the school on a day-to-day basis. This is the role of the Head of School, supported by the Executive Headteacher. Whilst Governors do visit the school regularly as part of their strategic role, they do not assess the quality of teaching. They monitor this by analysing data provided by the school and external sources (e.g. Ofsted).

They do not monitor individual children’s performance or behaviour. They identify themes and trends by monitoring the progress of groups of children.

Governors do receive feedback from stakeholders, including parents, but only deal with complaints that have not been resolvable directly with the school. All parents are encouraged to approach the Head of School in the first instance.

Governors do not fundraise for the school (although many choose to do so).

How often do Governors meet?

Governors meet as a Local Governing Body at twice a term.

In between meetings, Governors attend training sessions, carry out school visits, review documents and respond to emails and telephone calls as needs demand.  On average the role demands around 15-20 days commitment per year.

How do I contact the Governors?

Governors are happy to be approached in person in the playground (if available). More formal approaches can be made by writing to the Chair of Governors, Stephen Page. Letters for him can be left with the school office. Alternatively, Governors can be contacted at the following email address: office@thorndon.suffolk.sch.uk

How do I become a Thorndon Governor?

If you are not a parent of a child at Thorndon Primary and you are interested in becoming a co-opted Local Governor, please approach the school. Governors are appointed for a four year term. There is one elected parent governor and if there becomes a vacancy, the school will inform the parent body and ask for nominations.

Whilst many Governors sit for more than one term, there are regular vacancies as Governors move, or change their home or working patterns, which may prevent them from being able to commit enough time needed to fulfil the role. 

Anybody over 18 years of age can apply to become a Governor. No special qualifications are required, however it is preferable to have a set of skills required by the governing body. All school governors are required to be DBS and Section 128 checked. All necessary training and support is provided.

The Governors are committed and work hard for the school. However, they also know how to have fun!

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