School Governance Structure
The Priory Primary school is a maintained voluntary-aided Church of England School. This means that, while we are supported by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Local Authority and the Diocese of Winchester Education Board, our Governing body is ultimately responsible for the strategic direction of the school.
Each governor is responsible for contributing to the Governing body’s discussions and in meeting its three core functions. The Governing Body is legally accountable and must operate in the best interests of the school.
The task of the Governing Body is to lead the school strategically, focusing on 3 core functions:
- Ensuring clarity of the vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the effectiveness and efficient performance management of staff.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
We are incredibly indebted to this dedicated group of volunteers who give up so much time to oversee and support this school in this way.
Types of Governors and their Role
Parent Governors are elected by other parents at the school, except in certain circumstances where they are appointed by the Governing body, for instance, when the number of vacancies is greater than the number of parents standing for election. Any parent or person with parental responsibility, or a carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election can stand as a parent governor. Parent governors can remain in office until the end of their term of office, even if their child leaves the school. The role of the parent governor is not a spokesperson for the views of parents. They are the same as any other governor on the body, providing a ‘parental viewpoint’, i.e. representative of parents rather than the representative of parents.
The Headteacher is a governor by default, although they do not have to take up the role. They can resign from their governor role. The role of the Headteacher is to implement the strategic framework established by the Governing body, which they will help develop as a member of the Governing body. The Headteacher is responsible for the operational and day-to-day running of the school. One of the Headteacher’s responsibilities it to provide information to the Governing body so that it can meet its three core objectives.
Teaching and support staff who are employed to work at the school under contract of employment, at the time of election, are eligible to stand for election to the Governing body. Their role will end either at the end of their term of office, of if they leave the school. The role of a staff governor is the same as any other governor, strategic leadership and holding the Headteacher to account but also includes providing a ‘staff viewpoint’. It is important for prospective staff governors to fully understand the role prior to appointment. Staff governors are not a spokesperson for the views of all staff.
Local Authority Governor
A (LA) Local Authority Governor is nominated by their LA to the Governing Body. A LA Governor is representative of the Local Authority and is the same as any other governor; they provide an ‘LA viewpoint’ and they should participate in the same way as other governors. They are not required to be affiliated to a political party, although they should be aware of local issues.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the Governing body, have the skills and experience required to contribute to effective governance and success of the school. Those eligible to be staff governors can be co-opted governors. Co-opted governors act in the best interests of the school and wider community but should not be required by others, such as the appointing Governing body or community, to take a particular stance on issues discussed at Governing body meetings.
Foundation Governors are either appointed or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold (ex-officio), e.g. the local vicar. Where appointed, foundation governors in the school are appointed by the Winchester Diocesan Board of Education after consultation with the Parochial Church Council of Priory Church, Christchurch. Foundation Governors are appointed to secure compliance with the school’s trust deed and to preserve and develop the religious character of the school.
Currently there are 2 vacancies for Foundation Governors at Priory School.
Who’s Who on the Governing Body
Chair of Governors, Mr Geoff Tabor
Vice-chair of Governors, Mr Dominic Jones
|Appointment||Name||Term of Office (Start)||Term of Office (Expiry)|
|Paul Ruffle||Jan 2018||–|
|Geoff Tabor||July 2021|
(elected as Chair Sept 2022)
(Foundation – Diocesan Education Committee)
|Dom Jones||May 2021 |
(elected as Vice-chair Sept 2022)
(Foundation – Priory Church)
|Father Charles||Oct 2015||–|
|Foundation||Anita Penny||May 2019||May 2023|
|Foundation||Barbara Robertson||May 2021||May 2025|
|Foundation||Simon Earl||May 2021||May 2025|
|Foundation||Dominic Jones||May 2021||May 2025|
|Local Authority (BCP Council)||Sally Hawkridge||Aug 2021||Aug 2025|
|Sept 2020||Aug 2024|
|Parent||Sarah Andrews||July 2021||July 2025|
|Parent||Geoff Tabor||July 2021||July 2025|
|Clerk||Kay Towler||May 2019|| |
|Associate Member||Mel Fidge (Deputy Headteacher)||Sep 2021||Sep 2025|
In 2022-23, the governors plan to meet monthly to oversee matters relating to the quality of education, safeguarding and the core operation of the school i.e. good financial management. Previously, the governors worked in 2 sub-committees (Finance and Resources and Standards).
Governors who have stepped down in the last 2 years (since Sept 2020):
|Name||Role||Term of Office|
|Sue Solly||Foundation Governor and chair||Sept 1998 – Jul 22|
|Kate Woodhead||Foundation Governor||Nov 2020 – May 22|
|Lisa Blackburn||LA Governor||Sep 20 – Aug 21|
|Jamie Ward||Parent Governor||Mar 17 – Jul 21|
|Jonathan Evans||Foundation||Feb 20 – Jan 21|
|Gerald Crabb (deceased)||Foundation and Vice Chair||Nov 16 – Nov 20|
|Simon Croutear||Staff and Associate (AHT)||Sept 20 – Dec 20|
|Alistair Lambon||Foundation||Mar 17 – Sep 20|
|Stephen Bowden||co-opted||Apr 17 – Sep 20|
Governors with particular responsibilities
Mr Dominic Jones is our Governor responsible for safeguarding.
Mr Earl is our Governor responsible for the premises, including health and safety.
A small sub-group of Governors, including Mrs Penny and Mr Tabor are responsible for admissions.
Mrs Andrews is our Governor responsible for SEND and inclusion, including looked after children and Pupil Premium.
Mrs Robertson and Father Charles are our SIAMS linked Governors.
Governing Body – Terms of Reference
Governors’ Business and Financial Interests Declaration
Governors’ Attendance at Meetings Record
Full Governing Body Minutes
2022-23 academic year
2021-22 academic year
Finance and Resources Committee
2020 – 21 Academic Year
2019 – 20 Academic Year