What is a governing body?

A school's governing body is a corporate body.  This means it has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members.

What is the role of the governing body?

The governing body act on behalf of the Academy Trust and the key responsibilities are:

  • Ensure the quality of educational provision
  • Challenge and monitor the performance of the school
  • Manage the Academy Trust's finances and property
  • Have input on the appointment of staff.
  • Exercise reasonable skills and care in carrying out their duties.
  • Ensure that the Academy Trust complies with charity and company law.
  • Operate the academy in accordance with the Funding Agreement that has been signed by the Secretary of State.

The Department for Education (DFE) sets out information on the role of the governing bodies in the Governor's Handbook.  It says:

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on the core strategic function:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its pupils.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the academy and making sure its money is well spent.

In other guidance the DfE explains that the purpose of the governing body is:

  • Help the school to set high standards by planning for the school's future and setting targets for school improvement.
  • Keep the pressure up on school improvement.
  • Be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice.
  • Help the school respond to the needs of the parents and the community.
  • Make the school accountable to the public for what it does.
  • Work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review.
  • Exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the Headteacher.
  • Not intervene in the day-to-day management of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when it then has a duty to take action.

Governance and Management

Governance is strategic and management is operational.  This distinction between governance and management needs to be clearly understood by all, so that governors are not asked to, and do not try to, involve themselves in day to day management.

Governors are there to govern, not to carry out other work on a pro-bono basis.  School leaders must not be micro-managed.  The governors should concentrate on matters related to strategy and school improvement, delegating to school leaders those tasks which are operational (for example, drafting policies, making judgements about teaching quality, and recruiting and deploying staff below senior leadership level).  The agenda of governing bodies should be driven by the strategic planning cycle.

Who can become a school governor?

All types of people can become school governors, with the exception of anyone disqualified on the basis of child protection requirements, bankruptcy restrictions or recent criminal convictions. No special qualifications are required, but you must be 18 years of age or over.

Enthusiasm, commitment, an interest in education and team work are important qualities. You don't need to have a child at the school.

Schools particularly welcome new governors who have transferable skills developed at work, such as business, finance or human resource skills. As a new governor, you would usually be appointed to the Board of Governors of a school within your local community. Becoming a governor is a way of contributing to your local school and learning new skills.

You can apply to be a governor via the Department of Education's website, by clicking here, or you can express your interest via the PCC at St.Chad's Parish Church, Far Headingley.

Who we are

A strong, well-led governing body, supportive of the school, its teachers and its mission makes an important contribution to the school's wellbeing and effectiveness. Being a governor is a major piece of Christian and community service. No one should undertake the role lightly. It involves time, energy and a willingness to become involved in the life of the school on a regular basis over at least four years.

Andie Wilson (Co-Chair) - Co-Opted Governor

Term: 1 October 2020 - 30 September 2024

Richard Gibson - Co-Opted Governor

Term: 25th May 2022 - 24th May 2024

Ian Renard (Co-Chair) - Trust Appointed Governor

Term: 16th December 2022 - 15th December 2026

Gina Marsland (Headteacher) - Trust Appointed Governor

Term: 1st January 2024 - N/A

Marc Fabri - Parent Governor

Term: 9th February 2022 - 8th February 2026

Andrew Midgeley - Trust Appointed Governor

Term: 13th September 2021 - 12th September 2025

Rev. Hannah Lievesley – Ex-Officio (Incumbent)

Term: 4th September 2019 - N/A

Sophie Hirlam - Staff Governor

Term: 19th May 2021 - 18th May 2025

James Clarke - Trust Appointed Governor

Term: 26th June 2023 - 25th June 2027

Lizzy Pawson - Parent Governor

Term: 15th December 2023 - 14th December 2027

Stepped down in last 12 months:

Dave Gorton, Trust Appointed Governor. Term of Office: 21/01/2019 - 20/01/2023

Paula Michaud, Ex-Officio Governor. Term of Office: 01/10/2021 - 07/06/2023

Dawn Griffin - Staff Governor Term: 6th June 2022 - 30-Sep-2023

Shabina Taj - Parent Governor - Term: 21st July 2022 - 15 Oct 2023

James Routh - Ex-Officio (Acting co-Head of School) - Term: 8th June 2023 - 31st December 2023