St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Ryde and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary, Carisbrooke are federated and share one governing board, which is currently chaired by Katrina Rigby. The 16 members include the Headteachers, foundation governors appointed by the Bishop, parent-governors elected by parents of both schools and a governor appointed by the Local Authority. The board aims to meet a minimum of three times per term .
It sets the main directives, aims and vision for the schools, approves their School Development Plans, then reviews and monitors outcomes – both educational and financial.
The Board has three key roles:
Ensuring that the vision, ethos and strategy for the schools are clearly defined.
Ensuring that the Headteachers fulfils their responsibilities for the educational performance of the schools.
Ensuring the proper and effective use of the schools’ budgets.
Governors have a strategic role in guiding and supporting the schools’ work and encouraging further improvement. They are often referred to as 'critical friends', monitoring and evaluating performance, supporting and questioning the senior management team and ensuring that the annual School Development Plans meet the needs of pupils, and are delivered comprehensively. As critical friends of the schools, governors should be able to recognise and celebrate success as well as ask questions.
The Governing Board also has a responsibility to account to everyone who has an interest in the performance and standards achieved by the schools: pupils, parents, the Local Authority, HM Inspectors and, as a Catholic school, the Diocese.
Governors agreed to meet more frequently as a full governing board and assign responsibility for key areas to individual governors, to improve communication and speed up decision-making. This is known as governing without committee. The former Finance, Staffing and Premises and Curriculum and Community committees therefore no longer operate, although three supporting committees have been retained:
Pay committee to advise on teachers’ pay
Headteacher’s performance management group (HTPM)
There is also a separate steering group for the Preschool at St Mary’s.