St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Ryde and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary, Carisbrooke are federated and share one governing board. The two Co-chairs, Alex Pettitt and Rod Hodgson, have recently been elected following the previous long standing Chair of Governors term of office coming to an end.
The Instrument of Government allows for 16 board members which includes the 2 Headteachers, 9 Foundation governors appointed by the Bishop, 2 Parent governors elected by parents of both schools, 1 Staff governor elected by staff, a governor appointed by the Local Authority and a Co-opted governor appointed by the governing body. Currently there are 4 vacancies for Foundation governors and one for a Co-opted governor. The Governing Body aims to meet monthly during term time.
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, as well as keeping a Finance and Staffing committee to speed up decision making. The other committees that have been retained are:
Pay committee to advise on teachers’ pay
Headteacher’s performance management group (HTPM)