About Our Governing Body

South Gosforth First School - About the Governing Body

Hello and welcome to this brief introduction to the governors of South Gosforth First School. We hope that the following information explains a little about who we are and what we do.

What is a school governor?

Governors are volunteers who collectively make up the school’s Governing Body.

The overall responsibility of the governing body is to support the school to provide the best possible education for all of the children in our school.

What are governors responsible for?

  • Helping to decide on the school’s values and aims, agreeing plans on the future direction of the school and checking on progress with these plans.
  • Acting as a 'critical friend' to the Head Teacher to support and challenge them in managing the school.
  • Deciding how the money allocated to run the school is spent.
  • Interviewing and appointing members of staff.
  • Making sure that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, and to its local community.

Who are the governors at South Gosforth First School?

South Gosforth First School has 12 governors. We are from a range of backgrounds within the local community including parents, staff and representatives from Newcastle’s local authority.

How are we selected?

Parent governors are elected by parents and carers and they serve terms of 4 years in post.  When a vacancy for a parent governor post arises the school seeks nominations and elections are held if more than one nomination for the post is received. Staff governors are elected internally by other staff members.  Co-opted governors are members of the local community who are elected by governors. Local Authority governors are chosen by the local authority in conjunction with the school.

What do we do?

School governors’ statutory responsibilities are identified in the 2002 Education Act. 

In summary, school governors work closely with the Head Teacher to make key decisions vital to the successful running of the school. The governors help to set a strategic vision for the school and play a key role in determining its aims, policies and priorities. Governors monitor and evaluate the work of the school, playing an important role in raising standards. They also work on the school's budget and in ensuring the accountability of senior leaders.

The governors at South Gosforth First School work collectively and collaboratively, not individually, and they have a strategic role in the school. The day to day management and operational running of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher.

Structure of the Governing Body and Committees

The full governing body is made up of 11 governors and is supported by Newcastle local authority governor services. Full governing body meetings are held 4 times per year. During these meetings, governors receive various reports, documents and updates from the Head Teacher, as well as from governor services. Governors are also assigned to a 'sub committee' which also meet regularly throughout the academic year.  Each of these sub committees also share important information and give feedback during full governing body meetings and clear next steps for action or importance are identified and followed up in subsequent meetings. Many agenda items can be approved by governors at sub committee meetings, however certain items can only be approved at full governing body meetings with all governors present.

The South Gosforth First School Governor Sub Committees are: 

Resources & Finance Committee: This committee deals with the financial management of the school, oversees the management and development of the premises and reviews the school's staffing structure. This committee meets 9 times per year (this is including 'pre-finance' meetings where the committee meets to analyse and discuss the latest school budget documents).

Curriculum Committee: This committee oversees the 'quality of education' in school and closely monitors standards of teaching and learning. This includes the analysis of classroom provision for all children, pupil engagement and enjoyment and pupil progress and performance data. The first curriculum committee meeting of each term will meet to identify priorities and evaluate progress since the last meeting. The second curriculum committee meeting of each term will be a governor visit in to school to enable them to experience classroom provision first hand and see priorities identified 'in action' so that they can judge progress. This committee meets once every half term (6 times per year).  

How can governors be contacted?

Parent governors can be a good source of information about the school and may be able to offer support and advice if you have particular queries.

Governors are happy for you to approach them directly if you see them in school at the start or end of the school day - Please feel free to say hello or have an informal chat about anything which you would like to discuss. Parents and carers can also to arrange to meet with a governor at the twice yearly family consultation evenings in Autumn and Spring term. Alternatively, if you leave a message and your contact details at the school office then these can be passed on to a parent governor and they will get back to you. The Chair of Governors can be contacted in the same way. If you prefer to use email then send your message to: admin@southgosforth.newcastle.sch.uk, making sure to include the name of the governor who you wish to contact in the subject box and this will be passed on to the appropriate governor as soon as possible.

It is not the role of parent governors to deal with complaints. These should be discussed with the relevant member of school staff e.g. a class teacher, the Head Teacher, Deputy or Assistant Head teacher. The school does have a complaints procedure. This is available here or a copy can be obtained from the school office if further information is required. 

It is important to mention that whilst governors are happy to talk to parents and carers about many aspects of our role, some elements of what we do and what we discuss in governor meetings are strictly confidential and therefore cannot be discussed with anyone who isn't on the governing body. We will however always endeavour to help and support parents and carers as much as possible, or at least point you in the right direction of someone who can.

The governing body is always keen to find out the views of parents, carers and other members of the school community to share ideas on how the school should be developing in the future. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us at anytime, using the communication channels outlined above.

We look forward to continuing to work with school staff, families and other stakeholders in the future to uphold South Gosforth First School's high standards and to maintain its profile at the centre of our community.