Our Governing Body

Governors work closely with headteachers, school staff and representatives from the local authority (LA).

Governor Committee Structure

NameDesignationTerm
of
Office
Committees
Special
Interests
Register
of
Interests
Relationship
to
Staff
Mrs Angela Bell
(Head Teacher)
Head TeacherongoingCommunity, Children and Curriculum
Personnel
Finance, Premises and Grounds
First/Pay Review

nonenone
Mrs Karen Field
(Chair)
Co-opted09.11.2022
09.11.2026
Appeals
First/Pay Review
Community, Children and Community
Headteachers Performance Review
Safeguarding
SEND
Safeguarding
SEN Link Governor
Pupil Premium
Looked After Children
nonenone
Mrs Kim SmithCo-opted08.04.2021 -
07.04.2025
Finance, Premises and Grounds
First Pay Review
Personnel
Headteachers Performance Review
Performance Management
EYFSnonenone
Mr Robert StaincliffeCo-opted11.12.2023 - 10.12.2027Community, Children and Curriculumnonenone
Mr Simon Joyce
(Vice Chair)
Co-opted06.03.2024 - 05.03.2028Vice Chair
Finance, Premises and Grounds
First/Pay Review
GDPR
Online Safety and Computingnonenone
Mrs Sheryl StoreyStaff27.09.2023-27.09.2027Community, Children and Curriculumnonenone
Dr Malgorzata CiesielskaParent27.09.2021 -
26.09.2025
Appeals
Community, Children and Curriculum
Englishnonenone

How To Become A School Governor

If you require further information on the roles and responsibilities of School Governors or you are interested in becoming one, visit the Durham County Council website School Governor section.

Statutory Guidance for Governing Bodies

Ropery Walk Primary School adhere to the statutory guidance from the Department for Education. This means that governing bodies must have regard to it when carrying out duties relating to the constitution of governing bodies in maintained schools. For further information please view or download the full document below.

The Constitution of Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools (2017)

Governing Body Code of Conduct

Please see document below

Governing Body Code of Conduct 2022


Governor Attendance

Schools are required to display a record of Governor’s attendance at meetings for each school academic year.

KEY
✓   – Attended meeting
A/A   – Apologies sent and accepted by meeting
N   – Did not attend
X  – Not a member of the committee

Record of Attendance 2023-2024

NameCommunity, Children
and Curriculum Meeting
13.09.2023
Finance Meeting
25.10.2023
Full Governing Body
08.11.2023
Community, Children
and Curriculum Meeting
07.02.2024
Full Governing Body
06.03.2024
Finance Meeting
20.03.2024
Mrs A Bell
Mrs K FieldX
Mrs K SmithXXA/A
Mrs C GuyA/AX
Mr S JoyceXX
Mrs S StoreyX
Dr Malgorzata CiesielskaNXN
Mr Robert Staincliffe

Archived Attendance
You can also view previous years attendance on our website.


Committee Terms of Reference

Full Governing Body

CHAIR:  Karen Field
VICE CHAIR: Simon Joyce

Terms of Reference

Strategic Leadership and Accountability:

  • In collaboration with school leaders determine a clear and explicit vision for the future.

Ensure this is communicated to the whole organisation.

  • Set strong and clear values and ensure these are embedded across the organisation and adhered to.
  • Determine the strategic direction for the school.
  • Monitor and evaluate pupil progress and attainment by receiving reports and information from the Headteacher and other school leaders; compare against national and local benchmarks over time,
  • Receive reports from committees, working parties or individuals and agree actions.
  • Approve the SEF and monitor throughout the year.
  • Approve the School Improvement Plan priorities and monitor throughout the year progress towards agreed actions.
  • Ensure there is a transparent system for performance management of all staff which is clearly linked to the school’s priorities. Have oversight of staff performance throughout the year.
  • Ensure there are mechanisms in place to listen to and respond to the views of parents/carers, pupils, staff, local communities and employers.
  • Agree recruitment process to be followed in relation to Senior Leader posts; where delegated ratify appointments.
  • Final approval of the annual budget plan.
  • Monitor the school’s budget throughout the year.
  • Agree virement and expenditure limits for the Headteacher.
  • Hold at least 3 meetings each academic year. Ensure that committee meetings are held in accordance with the agreed terms of reference.

People and Structures:

Elect and/or remove Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Governors.

  • Appoint Committee Chairs or delegate to each committee.
  • Consider and agree delegation of functions to individuals or committees.
  • Agree committee terms of reference and membership.
  • Establish a register of Governors business interests.
  • Ensure Governors information on the Get information About Schools (GIAS) register and the school website is up to date and compliant with current requirements.
  • Confirm the Instrument of Government and subsequent amendments.
  • Appoint Co-opted, Local Authority and where necessary Parent Governors to the Board.
  • Review and monitor the Governor Induction Process.
  • Have regard for Governors professional development.
  • Where necessary, suspend or remove Governors from the Board. Appoint/dismiss the Clerk to the Governing Body.

Compliance and Evaluation:

  • Consider business provided by Local Authority and other sources Suspend or end suspension of staff members.
  • Ensure all statutory policies are in place and there is an effective policy review cycle.
  • Review and agree the Governor Code of Conduct.
  • Confirm arrangements for completion of a Governor Skills Audit.
  • Ensure there is regular self-evaluation and review of individual’s contribution to the Board as well as the Board’s overall operation and effectiveness.
  • As necessary, consider an external review of the Board’s effectiveness.
  • Ensure school website is up to date and compliant with current DfE requirements.

School Committee

ECM areas- Enjoy and Achieve Economic  Wellbeing

CHAIR:  Karen Field

Terms of reference:

  • Conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of education achievement (SSFA 1998).
  • Set targets for achievement at KSI and KS2. Monitor the school’s performance against these targets.
  • Monitor the achievement of disadvantaged groups and the impact of policies on race, SEN, Looked After Children and Disability on pupils, parents and communities.
  • Contribute to the development and monitoring of the School Improvement Plan and the SEF.
  • Ensure that every child receives the full statutory curriculum that the school must provide.
  • Ensure that a report on each pupil’s educational achievements is forwarded to their parents/ guardians annually.
  • Set attendance targets and monitor the school’s performance against these targets.
  • Ensure the school has a curriculum policy that meets pupils’ needs.
  • Ensure the school has policies on Race and Equalities.
  • In general terms, monitor teaching and learning and the progress of pupils.
  • Monitor the provision of extra-curricular activities including overnight stays provided to encourage recreation and social development.
  • Ensure the quality of education, teaching and learning (see Enjoy and Achieve re promoting high standards)
  • Plan to raise standards of achievement and monitor the schoolts performance.
  • Consider out-of-hours provision (wrap around provision, study support, extended schools).
  • Ensure the school works well with its community, parents and other schools.
  • Ensure the school meets the requirements of the SEN and relevant disability legislation
  • Ensure the school works effectively with other agencies to support vulnerable children and their families.

Meetings: At least termly.
Disqualifications: None.

Community Committee

ECM area- Positive Contribution

CHAIR: Simon Joyce

Terms of reference:

  • Ensure the school has an effective behaviour and anti-bullying policy. Monitor the implementation of this policy and its impact.
  • Monitor the development of pupils’ attitudes, values and other personal qualities.
  • Aims and values for the school are agreed and positive ethos for the school is promoted. Policy decisions are consistent with the agreed aims, values and ethos.
  • Ensure that the school has an effective school council. The Governing Body takes account of the school council in determining the way in which the school is conducted.
  • The school promotes inclusive policies that allow for the achievement of all pupils.
  • Ensure that adequate provision is made for transition between primary and secondary education.
  • Ensure that the school fulfils its statutory responsibilities in terms of Race discrimination.
  • Ensure each child is able to reach their potential including the gifted and talented (differentiation).
  • Act as Pupil Discipline Committee for Permanent/Fixed Term exclusions.
  • Complaints.

Meetings: Termly or when required.
Disqualifications: Prior knowledge in cases of pupil discipline or complaints.

Finance, Premises and Grounds Committee

CHAIR: Kim Smith

Terms of Reference

Finance:

  •  In conjunction with the Headteacher to draft and propose the first formal budget plan of the financial year for approval by the full Governing Body.
  • Establish and maintain an up-to-date three year financial plan, taking into account priorities in the School Improvement Plan, roll projection and signals from central Government and the LA regarding future years’ budget.
  • Ensure that priorities detailed within the School Improvement Plan are appropriately costed and are reflected in the annual budget.
  • Monitor the capital and revenue budget position statements to identify and address any anomalies from the anticipated position and report termly to the full Governing Body.
  • Review and monitor outstanding debts and action taken.
  • Review and monitor Direct School Meals Provision by income and expenditure statements.
  • Review the year end outturn report.
  • Monitor and approve virements and expenditure over the Headteacher’s delegated limit.
  • Appraise and approve spending decisions where competitive quotations or tenders are required.
  • Ensure the school operates within the financial regulations of the Local Authority and the requirements of the DfE Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS).
  • Approve annually the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) submission prior to the 31 March deadline and monitor the implementation of any identified actions.
  • Confirm management arrangements for the Private School Fund and nominate an officer to administer the fund (Treasurer).
  • Appoint an Auditor for the Private School Fund.
  • Monitor expenditure of all voluntary funds held on behalf of the Governing Body and receive an audited annual statement of income and expenditure.
  • Annually review the outcomes of the asset register stock check and approve the disposal of obsolete items.
  • Oversee use and monitor impact of the Early Years Premium, Pupil Premium, PE and Sports Premium, Catch-Up Premium and Recovery Premium.
  • Review and monitor all financial policies including lettings, charging and remissions and expenses policies.
  • Consider and promote income generation.
  • Annually review income generated from contracts and lettings; oversee the use of premises by outside users.
  • Where necessary, monitor and review Extended Care provision including review of annual income and expenditure statements where applicable.
  • Ensure all appropriate insurances are in place.
  • Annually review and approve the school’s Financial Procedures Manual.
  • Monitor service level agreements annually and make decisions in respect of service level agreements ensuring value for money.
  • Make decisions on expenditure following recommendations from other committees for example collaborative working arrangements with other schools and/or bodies to ensure value for money.
  • Ensure as far as is practical that health and safety issues are appropriately funded in accordance with agreed priorities.
  • Annually review financial benchmarking data.
  • Monitor the implementation of actions arising from the Internal Audit report or of a financial nature from other inspection regime reports.
  • Ensure any instances of fraud or financial irregularity are reported immediately to the Head of Education and Skills and Chief Internal Auditor and Corporate Fraud Manager.

Premises:

  • Establish, review and monitor the Health and Safety Policy ensuring that the school meets health and safety requirements.
  • Ensure actions are taken in respect of relevant health and safety legislation.
  • Ensure that premises and the learning environment are maintained and are fit for purpose.
  • Provide support and guidance for the Headteacher and Governing Body on all matters relating to the maintenance and development of the premises and grounds, including health and safety.
  • Ensure that an annual inspection of the premises and grounds is undertaken and a report received identifying any issues. Inform the Governing Body of the report and set out a proposed order of priorities for maintenance and development for the approval of the Governing Body.
  • Ensure professional surveys and emergency works are arranged as necessary.
  • Oversee the use of premises by outside users.
  • Establish and keep under review an Accessibility Plan and an Asset Management/Building Development Plan.
  • Monitor data on accidents and incidents.

MEETINGS: at least termly

QUORUM:

DISQUALIFICATIONS: where there may be a conflict of or a pecuniary interest

VIREMENT AND EXPENDITURE LIMITS

Virement LimitsExpenditure Limits
Limit set for Headteacher without prior written approval of Chair or Governing Body3,000Any items of expenditure up to5,000
Limit set for Headteacher with approval from Chair of Governors5,000• Above this limit if item was previously notified to the Governing Body.

• Prior Finance Committee or Chair of Governors approval (whichever is the soonest) to be sought outside of this limit and reported at the earliest opportunity
Prior Finance Committee or Chair of Governors approval (whichever is the soonest) to be sought outside of this limit and reported at the earliest opportunity .

NOTE:

Any goods/services purchased and works to be carried out are subject to Durham County Council Contract Procedures Rules (January 2020).

The school’s Contract Procedure Rules should be applied where a procurement exercise or project is being led by the school, procuring for itself. They therefore do not need to be applied in the following situations:

(a) Where the school is making a purchase using one of the Council’s corporate contracts, accessed via an up-to-date Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Council’s Corporate Procurement function. (In which case Corporate Procurement will ensure the correct financial threshold has been observed).

(b) Where the purchase or contract is part of a project being delivered or managed on the school’s behalf by a Council service such as Direct Services (In which case the relevant Council service must ensure the correct financial threshold has been observed).

Procurement – Financial Thresholds Goods and Services (General)

  • Between £500 and £5000 single quotation
  • Between £5001 and £50,000 at least three written quotations from capable suppliers
  • Between £50,001 and £189,330 open Tender advertised via school website.
  • Over £189,330 open or restricted Tender, advertised on school website and in OJEU

Personnel Committee

Terms of reference:

  • Review temporary contracts on an annual basis.
  • To check arrangements for Performance Management are in place and are being developed.
  • Consider staff leave of absence.
  • Strategic Review of Staffing Structure (budgetary implications are dealt with by a Committee of Governors.

Delegation to the Headteacher

School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009.

Appointments:

The Governing Body can delegate the power to appoint outside the leadership group to:

The Headteacher

  • One or more Governors with the right of the Headteacher to advise
  • One or more Governors and the Headteacher.

Governors delegate as above for:

  • Temporary appointments – Headteacher
  • Permanent appointments — Headteacher.

Dismissals:

  • Governors delegate to the Headteacher to issue first written warning
  • All dismissals to a committee of the Governing Body
  • Dismissal of Headteacher to a committee of the Governing Body.

First / Pay Review Committee

CHAIR: Kim Smith

Terms of Reference 

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body).
  • Annually agree the Teachers’ Pay Policy.
  • Act in accordance with the Teachers’ Pay Policy when carrying out the annual review of teachers’ salaries.
  • Report to the Finance and Premises Committee on pay review related expenditure. Consider any requests made in accordance with personnel policies e.g. flexible working, leave of absence etc. (unless delegated to the Headteacher).
  • Make any decisions under the personnel procedures adopted by the Governing Body e.g. disciplinary, grievance, ill-health, capability etc. (Unless delegated to the Headteacher).
  • Deal with matters relating to staffing reductions. MEETINGS: at least annually QUORUM:

DISQUALIFICATIONS: Headteacher; Chair of Governors (if have prior knowledge); where there may be a conflict of interest; any Governor whose spouse/partner is involved; staff (annual pay review and matters relating to staffing reductions)

Appeals Committee

CHAIR: Karen Field

Terms of Reference

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body).
  • Consider any appeal against a decision made under the personnel procedures adopted by the Governing Body.
  • Consider any appeal against a decision made by the First/Pay Review Committee during the annual review of teachers’ salaries.
  • Consider any appeal against selection for redundancy through a staffing reduction process.
  • Consider complaints against the school in accordance with the agreed school Complaints Procedure.

MEETINGS: as and when required.
QUORUM: Must have at least the same number of Governors as were present at the original hearing.

DISQUALIFICATIONS: Headteacher; Chair of Governors (if have prior knowledge); any Governor involved in the original hearing; where there may be a conflict of interest; any Governor whose spouse/partner is involved; staff (appeals in relation to salary or staffing reduction decisions)

Headteacher’s Performance Review Committee

LEAD GOVERNOR: Karen Field

Terms of Reference

  • Set, with the support of the External Advisor (EA) or Education Development Partner (EDP) Headteacher’s annual performance objectives.
  • Monitor throughout the year the performance of the Headteacher against agreed performance objectives.
  • Review, with the support of the External Advisor (EA) or Education Development Partner (EDP) achievement of performance objectives.
  • Make recommendations to the First Pay Review Committee in respect of the Headteacher’s annual pay progression.

MEETINGS: Autumn Term plus monitoring meetings
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Headteacher and staff

Virement and Expenditure Levels

Virement LimitsExpenditure Limits
Limit set for Headteacher without prior written approval of Chair or Governing Body3,000Any items of expenditure up to5,000
Limit set for Headteacher with approval from Chair of Governors5,000• Above this limit if item was previously notified to the Governing Body.

• Prior Finance Committee or Chair of Governors approval (whichever is the soonest) to be sought outside of this limit and reported at the earliest opportunity
Prior Finance Committee or Chair of Governors approval (whichever is the soonest) to be sought outside of this limit and reported at the earliest opportunity .

NB Any goods/services purchased and works to be carried out are subject to Durham County Council Contract Procedure Rules (January 2014) for quotations.

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