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Governing Body Structure & Responsibility

The Governing Body at Heron Way ensures high standards of achievement and wellbeing for all children in the school. Whilst the Headteacher is responsible for the operational running of the school, the Governing Body is responsible for overseeing strategic decisions, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to monitor, support, challenge, ask questions, and ultimately represent the school community.

Each individual Governor is a member of the Governing Body which is established in law as a corporate board. It is each Governor’s responsibility to monitor standards within the school and ensure statutory duties are being carried out. Each Governor also takes a strategic responsibility for a particular subject or aspect of school life. Individual Governors may not act independently of the rest of the Governing Body, as decisions are the joint responsibility of the Governing Body.

Key roles of governors:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • To hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent

How the Governing Body is structured

The Heron Way Governing Body consists of 14 individuals:

  • The Headteacher
  • One elected staff Governor
  • One appointed local authority (West Sussex County Council) Governor
  • Three elected parent Governors
  • Six co-opted Governors
  • Two associate members

The standard term of office for a Governor is four years. The Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

The current Chair of Governors is Mr Richard Jewell, who can be contacted via the school office. 

Full Governing Body and Committee Meetings 

The full Governing Body meets at least once per term, and in smaller Sub Committees once per half term.

At Heron Way, we have the following Committees:

Pupil Progress and Wellbeing

Chair: Patrick Donovan
To monitor all aspects of pupil progress and achievement.

Finance and Talent

Chair: Kate Waghorn
To monitor how the school budget is being spent and to ensure value for money; and to oversee the upkeep of the school facilities and the safety and wellbeing of all pupils.

How Governors are made accountable

Every year, governors review the Governor Code of Conduct and renew their commitment to it. Governors are expected to work as a team for the benefit of the whole school community. Governors must declare any conflict of interest they have with any item of business at any meeting.
When Ofsted review a school, they judge the school’s Leadership and Management which incorporates the effectiveness of the Governing Body.

Escalating concerns

From experience, we have found that most concerns can be dealt with quickly and efficiently by talking directly to your child’s class teacher. In addition, the Heads of each Key Stage, the Deputy Head and the Headteacher are available to discuss concerns and work with you towards a positive outcome.  In the vast majority of cases, we find that most problems are generally resolved at school level.

The Governing Body would step in to bring resolution, in the event that all school stage levels of communication had been exhausted. Please refer to the school’s Complaints Policy for the correct procedure.

A parent Governor, just like all Governors, has to maintain a strategic approach to school governance. Although being available to advise parents on appropriate routes of action is an important aspect of the role, it is vital that Governors do not become personally involved in individual concerns. Apart from the possibility of this jeopardising appropriate complaints and appeals procedures, no Governor has the authority to act individually on behalf of the school.

How can I find out more about becoming a School Governor?

There are many sources of good information online but perhaps the best “first port of call” is here.