Who are our School Governors?
The Governors are unpaid volunteers who are all motivated to make a positive contribution to the education of Hardwick 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 at least one staff governor.
- Mr Robert Heavisides (Chair of Governors and Trust Governor)
- Mr Andy Abbott (Vice Chair – Co-opted Member)
- Miss Abigail Smith (elected Parent Governor)
- Mrs Waveney Metcalf (elected Parent Governor)
- Mr Nick Shore (elected Staff Governor)
- Mrs Claire Flatman (Executive Headteacher)
- Mrs Zara Cowling (Head of School)
- Vacancy (Co-opted member)
- Vacancy (Co-opted member)
School Governance Documents:
The following ASST governance documents can be found on the ASST website: Memorandum of association, Articles of association, Hardwick Funding agreement, Trust account.
What is the role of the Governors?
We view our Governors as our ‘critical friends’. They provide us with strategic leadership and accountability. They regularly challenge our decisions and by doing so help us to become as effective as possible.
What do the Governors do?
Our Governing body carry out a number of important roles including:
- setting the aims and objectives for the school
- setting 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
- balancing the finances and approving expenses
- appointing the headteacher, accessing his/her performance and setting their pay, 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?
Our 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 and the senior leadership team. 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 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 least once a term. In addition, all Governors sit on various committees that also meet once a term. These committees feed into the termly Local Governing body meeting. See the committee meetings schedule below.
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.
Governor Committee Meetings 2022-2023
Local Governing Body
Finance & Premises
Performance & Standards
8 December 2022
17 November 2022
3 November 2022
10 November 2022
12 January 2023
23 March 2023
9 March 2023
2 February 2023
26 January 2023
27 April 2023
13 July 2023
4 May 2023
22 June 2023
18 May 2023
6 July 2023
The Role of the Governing Body Committees
Alongside the Local Governing Body there are four committees, which the governors sit on. Governors usually sit on more than one committee. Details of the role of each committee is outlined below.
The Local Governing Body
The Local Governing Body meets once a term. At this meeting committee minutes and various reports, including governor monitoring visits and the termly Headteacher’s report are presented. Updates on school development and improvement plans are received and discussed, including any Trust information and updates. There are other items which are on the agenda at each meeting, but the main purpose of the meetings is to ensure all governors are aware of matters arising and it is the only meeting where all the governors are together and have the opportunity to openly discuss issues as a group. Any school governor will tell you that there is a lot that happens behind the scenes that parents are not aware of and for many new governors it comes as a bit of a shock and opens their eyes to what actually goes on to enable the smooth running and management of the school.
Finance and Premises Committee
The Finance and Premises Committee meets once a term. The committee reviews and monitors the school budget and financial plan from the Trust, making expenditure recommendations to the Trust following proposals from other committees. The committee also reviews and agrees any school policies relating to finance. The committee also advises the Governing Body on health and safety matters, oversees arrangements for repairs and maintenance of the school buildings and grounds, makes recommendations on premises related expenditure and funding bids and reviews the Building Development and Accessibility Plans.
The Personnel Committee meets once a term. The committee reviews the staffing structure of the school and related school polices, oversees the appointment procedure for staff, reviews working conditions and staff well-being, monitors staff performance management, monitors staff absences, considers appeals against pay awards and makes recommendations on personnel related expenditure to the Finance Committee. The committee also receives reports on the school’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
The Curriculum Committee meets once a term. The committee looks at standards and other matters relating to the school’s curriculum, ensures the curriculum is broad and balanced and fit for purpose, considers curricular issues, which have implications for Finance and Personnel decisions, makes recommendations to other relevant committees, reviews related school polices and oversees arrangements for governor monitoring. The committee also review pupil school attendance.
Performance and Standards Committee
The Performance and Standards Committee meets once a term. The committee accesses all school and national performance statistics and data, challenges the performance of teaching and non-teaching staff and champions all good and improving performance at the school. It also holds the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team to account for the outcomes of pupil and teacher performance, ensures the Governing Body are kept up to date on the performance and standards of the school, works with the Headteacher, teachers and other committees to continually improve teaching, learning and pupil performance, and supports the school in the drive for continual improvement.
How do I contact the Governors?
Governors are happy to be approached in person in the playground. More formal approaches can be made by writing to the Chair of Governors, Bob Heavisides. Letters for him can be left with the school office. Alternatively, Governors can be contacted at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I become a Hardwick Governor?
If you are not a parent of a child at Hardwick Primary and you are interested in becoming a Co-opted Governor, please approach the school. Governors are appointed for a four year term. There are two elected parent governors 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!