WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A GOVERNING BODY?
The DfES states that the key purpose of a Governing Body is to help schools provide the best possible education for pupils. Governing Bodies do this by:
Monitoring and evaluating performance, acting as a critical friend to the Head Teacher and Senior Management Team to support and challenge them in running the school
Ensuring that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs
OUR MISSION STATEMENT AT ST JAMES’S
"St James's is a Catholic School in which each individual grows in the knowledge and love of Christ. In partnership with parents and the whole community, our purpose is to provide a high standard of education, giving the maximum opportunity to realise each person's potential"
Our focus as a Governing Body is to strive to ensure that the school is able to deliver that mission. We therefore focus our attention on making sure that:
Every individual is able to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ
Children and staff have the maximum opportunity to realise their individual potential
The school provides a high standard and a broad based education
We work in partnership with parents, staff, the local community and other stakeholders in the interests of the children and the community we serve
WHO MAKES UP THE GOVERNING BODY?
The Governing Body is made up of a combination of the following:
Parent Governors (2) are elected by, and act as representatives of the parent body. They serve a term of four years with the next elections in July 2020.
Foundation Governors (10) are appointed by the RC Diocese of Westminster and serve for four years. Under Diocesan guidelines, only two foundation governors can be parents who have children currently attending the school.
Staff Governors (2) The Head teacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of her position. School staff elects one other staff governor.
Local Authority Governor (1) is nominated by the Local Authority (LA) and appointed by the governing body. Appointments are made on the basis of the individual’s interests and experience at work, home or elsewhere which may be relevant to being a governor.
Co-opted Governors (3) are appointed by the Governing Body. Appointments are made taking into account the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. We currently have one Co-Opted Governor but the board can appoint up to three depending on whether there are specific skill-set gaps.
HOW DOES THE GOVERNING BODY WORK?
The Board of Governors administers business through five sub-committees.
- The Admissions committee is chaired by Fiona Shepherd. The committee’s role is to set and annually review the school’s admissions policy to ensure compliance with legislation and the guidelines of the Diocese of Westminster. The committee checks all applications for entry to the school and prepares a ranked list of Reception applicants for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) who administer school place offers. The committee also processes Nursery applications, in-year admissions and prepares a response to any appeals.
- The Finance committee is chaired by Andrew Shute. This committee is responsible for the efficient management of the school budget in line with the requirements set by the LA and/or Department of Education. It regularly monitors expenditure and considers and approves budget priorities in order to ensure value for money. The finance committee also manages the Governors' fund.
- The Pay & Personnel committee is chaired by Nicola Richards. The purpose of this committee is to ensure that all procedures relating to the recruitment, selection, appointment of staff and their related salaries comply with legislation and current LA guidelines. This includes review of the appropriate school policies, participation in interviews for new staff and in meetings relating to any disciplinary matters, as well as reviewing staffing structures with the Headteacher.
- In addition the committee is responsible with the Chair of Governors for undertaking the performance management of the Headteacher and ensuring that the school’s performance management policy is operating effectively.
- The Safeguarding committee is chaired by Carole Tupper. Its purpose is to ensure the school is a safe and nurturing environment for all stakeholders. This includes child protection, school security and inclusivity.
- The Teaching, Learning and Assessment committee is chaired by Liz Green. It forms the link between the governing body and teaching and learning in the school. The committee reviews and seeks to maintain and/or enhance standards within St James’s by assessing relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements. It reviews relevant data to monitor progress, set targets and review subsequent actions, giving regular feedback on school actions and their intended outcomes, and reflecting systematically on the effectiveness of teaching approaches. It aims to inform and involve governors on the progress of teaching and learning as outlined in the School Development Plan and individual subject plans.
- In addition to the sub-committees, this year, some of the governors are involved in a working party organised by the Diocese of Westminster to consider implications of current educational strategic thinking around Multi-Academy Trusts.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Chair of Governors – Julie Key, Foundation Governor
Julie was a parent at St James’s School for eleven years, having had a daughter and a son in the school. Before giving up work to focus on family life, she was a forensic accounting partner in a large London accountancy firm. She serves the school as a foundation governor, having joined the board in September 2015, and shares the rest of her time between her family, sitting on the board of St Giles Trust, a national charity, and being a magistrate.
Committees: Finance, Pay & Personnel, MAT working party
GB Posts held: Chair of Governing Board
Peter Cousins – Foundation Governor
Peter joined the governing board in March 2018. He is a qualified accountant and works as a management consultant at one of the major multinational professional services firms. Peter has a young daughter and lives in St. Margaret’s.
Committees: Finance, Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Ann Edes – Foundation Governor
Ann joined the governing board in January 2014. She has two grown-up daughters. Her professional career has been with a global management consultancy firm, with experience in the spheres of both finance and human resources. She now works in a voluntary capacity for the Citizens Advice Bureau and Home-Start, Richmond. Ann is a parishioner of St Margaret of Scotland.
Committees: Admissions, Pay & Personnel
GB Posts Held: Vice Chair, Inclusion Link Governor
Liz Green – Foundation Governor
Liz has served as a foundation governor at St James's since 2008. Having worked in social policy research at universities, she now works in education policy at the Department for Education. She lives in Kew and has a young child. .
Committees: Teaching, Learning & Assessment (Chair), MAT Working Party
GB Posts Held: EYFS Link Governor
Edel Hindley – Parent Governor
Edel has been a parent at St James for 6 years and has one daughter in the school. Edel was elected as a parent governor in January 2018 having recently completed 2.5 years as Chair of the PFA, and before that was a class rep and acting treasurer. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in her home city, Dublin, and worked in Central Europe for several years before moving to Twickenham. She is currently working in business process governance for a large multinational company.
Committees: Finance, Safeguarding
Colin Messenger – Co-opted Governor
Colin’s two children were at St James’s during which time he was Chair of the PFA. His daughter is now a local primary school teacher. Colin’s work involves researching technology in schools across 70 countries. He was a member of the UK Government’s DfES’ Classroom of the Future Project and is a STEM Ambassador, where he visits schools enthusing on careers in Science and Technology.
Colin has a passion for cricket and is vice president of Twickenham Cricket Club, where he has been a coach for many years. Colin joined the governing board in March 2016.
Committees: Teaching, Learning & Assessment,
GB Posts Held: IT Vision Link Governor
Holly Moore – Local Authority Governor
Holly is a qualified solicitor working in the City, specialising in financial disputes and regulatory investigations. She lives in Richmond and enjoys running, playing tennis and taking advantage of the beautiful walks on offer at Kew Gardens. Holly joined the governing board in January 2015.
Committees: Admissions, Safeguarding
Jane Palmer - Foundation Governor
Jane joined the governing board in September 2016. She is a qualified solicitor and following many years in private practice in both the City and Paris now works as legal counsel for a company supporting its European business. She lives in Teddington and enjoys travelling, theatre and spending time with family and friends.
Committees: Safeguarding, MAT Working Party
GB Posts Held: Safeguarding & Looked After Children Link Governor
Nicola Richards - Foundation Governor
Nicola joined the governing board in September 2016. Originating from Cape Town, South Africa, she has lived in the UK for over 15 years and has recently moved to the Hampton area. Nicola currently works as a solicitor in the City of London and her passions include playing tennis, watching rugby, fashion and technology. Nicola's legal career has spanned employment, HR, litigation and corporate immigration law and she plans to utilise these skills as a Foundation Governor.
Committees: Finance, Pay & Personnel (Chair)
Aileen Sharp – Clerk
Fiona Shepherd – Foundation Governor
Fiona joined the governing board in September 2015. She has a son at St James's. Fiona works part-time at the National Theatre as Technical Administration Manager.
Committees: Admissions (Chair)
GB Posts Held: PFA Link Governor
Andrew Shute – Foundation Governor
Andrew currently has three daughters attending St James's and a son at St Richard Reynolds. His professional career has covered sales, marketing and general management. He currently holds the position of Vice President (Europe & Australia) for a medical device company. Andrew currently serves as Chairman (CRM) of the industry body the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI). On the weekend he enjoys cycling and running. Andrew became a governor in September 2015.
Committees: Finance (Chair), Teaching, Learning & Assessment,
GB Posts Held: Pupil Premium Link Governor, Sports Premium Link Governor
Claire Simms - Parent Governor
Claire was voted as a parent governor and began her governorship in September 2016. Claire has been a parent at St James's for 11 years and has five children. The two eldest are in secondary school and the other three are pupils at St James's. Before becoming a parent, Claire was a primary school teacher and Head of Science for 10 years.
Committees: Admissions, Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Carole Tupper – Foundation Governor
Carole joined the governing board in April 2016. She qualified as a solicitor and worked in commercial property before having children. She now works as a Practice Manager for a firm of architects. Her two daughters attended Gumley House and the London Oratory and are now at university.
Committees: Safeguarding (Chair), Pay & Personnel
GB Posts Held: RE Link Governor
Stephen Wasmuth- Staff Governor - Reception Class Teacher
Committees: Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Louise Yarnell – Staff Governor (Headteacher)
Committees: All committees
Governors who have stood down in last 12 months:
Stanislas Beckmann, Parent Governor – resigned at end of term of office, Jan 2018
Maggie Bradley, Associate Governor – resigned July 2018
Sylvia Dixon, Foundation Governor – resigned July 2018
Anna McMullen, Associate Governor – resigned on leaving the school, March 2018
Gareth Roberts, Associate Governor – resigned at end of term of office, Jan 2018
Federica Shakespeare – Parent Governor – resigned Sept 2017
Updated: September 2018