All maintained schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, and to ask questions.
Bell Lane’s Governing Body is rightly proud of the achievements of the school. However, it’s drive is clear: for the school to become increasingly outstanding in more and more areas of its work, giving local children the best possible start in life.
The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Head teacher, staff and the Local Authority. Whilst the Head teacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.
Membership of the Governing Body includes parents, teaching staff and representatives from the local community and the Local Authority.
The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts. In the main, these responsibilities relate to:
- Setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement
- Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates
- Management of the school’s budget
- Ensuring that the curriculum for the school is broad and balanced
Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Behaviour, Curriculum and Performance Management.
Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others, through a Governing Body meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of committee-meetings dealing with more specific issues. Two committees of governors usually meet twice each term:
- Curriculum & Standards Committee
- Resources Committee (focusing on staffing, premises and finance).
A number of governors also have responsibilities for specific areas within the school and these are listed in the Governing Body Membership document.
Skills required of school governors
The National Governance Association (NGA) has published a list of skills required for school governance. An individual governor is not expected to have all the skills listed in the audit, but they should be covered across the governing body.
I am a member of the local community and joined the Bell Lane Governing Board at a very exciting time in the school’s history. Since joining, we have worked hard to strengthen the Board and we recruited our new Headteacher, Miss Harsha Patel, who joined the school in September 2019. I am proud to be part of a team that puts the children at the heart of every decision made and has nothing but the highest aspirations for the children and families who attend our school. I look forward to continuing to see the children of Bell Lane supported to achieve their hopes and aspirations.
My name is Katie Hart and I help to strategically oversee the curriculum at Bell Lane and ensure that the standard of education throughout the school is high. I work to support the Headteacher and staff to deliver the best schooling experience for its learners. I have experience with SEND in the EYFS and Primary as well as being particularly passionate about Computing, MFL and Art.
I have been a governor at Bell Lane school for over 10 years. It has been an interesting and fun journey. There have as you would expect been many changes during my time. We now have a new head and a vastly changed governing board. Despite covid, these are exciting times for the school. The school has done incredibly well in providing great learning for children in these pandemic times. I see only good things for the school going forward. As a governor, I am committed to helping improve the outcomes for all children.
My name is Olusegun Akande. As well as being a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee, I help to ensure that People Premium and Sports Premium funds are allocated efficiently and effectively, for the sake of the children. I firmly believe that if we all live in line with the wonderful purpose we were created for, then our world will be a far better place. In this light, I am passionate about helping children succeed, and spend one day a week coaching and teaching Bell Lane’s years 5 and 6 pupils, in order for them to be the very best they can be. I’m very proud of what the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team have achieved during the past twelve months and look forward to continuing playing my part in helping them achieve a standard of excellence throughout the school.
All Governing Bodies of community schools can agree on a model for the size and membership of their Governing Body based on what best suits the circumstances of that school. The size of the Governing Body can range from a minimum of 8 to 16 maximum number.
The Governing Body of Bell Lane Primary School has the following members:
1 Chair of Governors
- Tracy Simmons (Co-opted)
2 Parent Governors
Parents (including guardians/carers) of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election for parent governorship at the school. Parent Governors are elected by other parents at the school.
- Oana Shega
- Mrs Nahid Haleemkhail
1 Staff Governor
Both teaching and support staff paid to work in the school are eligible for staff governorship. One Staff Governor is elected by the school staff and must be paid to work at the school; volunteers are not eligible.
The Acting Interim Head of School is a member of the Governing Body by virtue of her position.
- Beth Hanham
1 Local Authority (LA) Governor
The LA Governor is nominated by the Local Authority (LA). The Governing Body may agree to appoint (or not) the LA nominee, and can also submit eligibility criteria by which a nominee should be selected.
- Ms Lucy Wakeley
Co-opted Governors (maximum 10)
Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body often to meet the need for a specific set of skills, knowledge or experience. Co-opted Governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work or live close to the school, but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.
- Mr Roger Coral (Co Vice Chair)
- Mrs Katie Hart
- Mr Olusegun Akande (Co Vice Chair)
- Mr Ivor Tucker
- Mr Daniel Caplan
- Ms Eleanor Bennett
Associate members are not part of the Governing Body but attend meetings, sit on committees and can be given voting. An associate member could be a pupil, member of staff or someone with experience in a particular area.
- James Griffiths
- Ms Beth Yap