Governors Information

An Introduction to the Board of Governors of the Federation of Stoke Hill Schools
Who we are
All Boards of Governors bodies are legally constituted and have an Instrument of Government which sets out their size and representation. The size of the Board of Governors of the Federation of Stoke Hill Schools is 16 and is broadly representative of our main stakeholders: the community, the parents, the staff, and the local authority. Parent and staff governors are elected onto the governing body. The local authority governor is appointed by Devon County Council and co-opted governors are appointed by the Board of Governors. In addition the Board may appoint associate members to support its work.
Our chairs of governors are Amy Bickford and Tom Urwin
Our vice chair of governors is Andy Pheasant
Our clerk is Dianne Goodwin
Why we are here:
The Law says that the governing body has general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement (Section 21 of the Education Act 2002)

All governing boards, no matter what type of schools or how many schools they govern have three core functions:

•        Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

•        Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

•        Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The Board of Governors is accountable for the performance of the school and it fulfils this by setting the aims of the school and its priorities for improvement. It agrees, monitors and evaluates the policies, targets and actions by which the school will move forward, including setting and monitoring the school budget.

The role of the Board of Governors is strategic. Governors are not expected to be involved in the detail of the day-to-day management of the school. The headteachers have responsibility for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and for implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.

The Board of Governors works in partnership with the headteachers and the senior leadership team. Acting as ‘critical friends’ the Board of Governors has a role to support and challenge the work of the school.

Governors must act corporately. Individual governors do not have the power to act alone unless the corporate governing body has given them the authority to do so. Individual governors have a broadly representative role but they are part of a team. They are not delegates and do not have any kind of mandate from the body who elected or appointed them.

Queries and concerns about any aspect of school life should, in the first instance, be directed to the appropriate member of school staff rather than to individual governors. It is important that governors are not involved in issues which may become formal complaints as this prevents governors from dealing with the matter impartially at a later stage. Should you wish to pursue the matter further, having first attempted to resolve the issue with the relevant school staff, then please put your concern in writing to the chair of governors.

What we do
The Board of Governors body meets twice a term. In line with its strategic role, its focus for these meetings is school improvement. The Board receives a report from the headteachers and discusses issues arising from this report. Other items discussed include the School Improvement Plan, feedback form governor visits, feedback from committees etc. The minutes from the Board of Governors meetings are posted on our website.

In addition, the Board is supported by a number of committees which have delegated authorities

Resources – monitors the Federation finances, Health and Safety issues and staffing matters. It meets every half term.

Teaching and Learning- focuses on standards and attainment.  It meets every half term

Pay and Performance – ensures that staff appraisal is appropriately carried out. It meets three times a year

Any work undertaken by the committees is reported back to the full board. 

There are two further committees which only meet if there is a need for them to do so.  These committees are convened to consider any formal proceedings, such as a staff disciplinary issue or the permanent exclusion of a pupil

The terms of reference for each of these committees explains what delegated authority the committee has been given to make decisions on behalf of the board. 

We welcome any interest in the work of the governing body. If you would like to know more about the governing body or attend any of its meetings please contact the Chairs or Vice Chair of governors to discuss.