Governors Information and Duties

Our Governing Board


Amy McLaughlin (LA Governor)

Appointed by: Local Education Authority

Term of Office: 01.11.2017 - 31.10.2021


Angela Fleming (Head - Ex-Officio)

Appointed: 01.09.2020

Appointed by: By virtue of office as Headteacher

Term of Office: Open

Dr Ed Bond (Foundation)

Appointed by: Diocese

Term of Office: 01.09.2014 – 31.08.2022

Claire Nickels (Foundation)

Appointed by: Diocese

Term of Office: 21.1.19 - 20.1.2023

Colin Wadsworth - Chair (Foundation)

Appointed by: Diocese

Term of Office: 11.09.2020 - 10.09.2024


Sarah Smith (Foundation)

Appointed by: Diocese

Term of Office: 01.07.2017 – 30.06.2021

Damian Hunter (Foundation)

Appointed by: Diocese

Term of Office: 21.09.2020 - 20.09.2024


Vacancy: Foundation - Ex-Officio Role

Gemma Poland (Staff)

Elected by: Staff

Term of Office: 04.09.18 - 04.09.2022

Caroline Barnes (Clerk to Governors)


Swimbridge Church of England Primary School’s governing body exists to provide strategic direction and an oversight of the leadership, management and operation of the school. The governors help to drive the School's vision for education and take a strategic view of its activities, bringing experience and expertise from other walks of life into the school. This section informs you who the governors are, how they are appointed and elected, what they do and what their legal duties are.


If you are interested in becoming a governor at our school, please contact the Headteacher on 01271 830437 or via our Clerk to Governors at

If you would like to raise a complaint please also email the Clerk to Governors in the first instance on the address above.




What does the Governing Body do?

According the The Governance Handbook, 2019 - the 3 core roles of any school governing body, regardless of size are:

• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

• Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and

• Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governing Body does not run the school on a daily basis; that is the job of the Headteacher with the support of the teaching staff. Rather, the governors provide independent oversight of the school and how it is run. The Headteacher and other staff are required to report to the governors on various aspects of leadership, management and planning and, by acting as ‘critical friends’, the governors can give the school an invaluable sounding board.

Some aspects of the governors’ role in the school are laid down by law. For example, the governors are required to approve the school budget, key policies and the school’s targets for progress and attainment. Also, if the school decides to exclude a pupil permanently that decision has to be reviewed by an independent panel of governors. All major strategic decisions of the school also have to be approved by governors.


What sort of people are the governors?

The governors are all volunteers and the role is part time and most of them have full or part-time jobs elsewhere. One of the major benefits of the governing body is that the governors are able to bring experience and expertise from vastly different walks of life. This can help the school take a more creative and strategic approach to leadership, management, problem-solving and long term strategic planning. The current governing body includes governors with experience in education, human resources, financial services, business systems, medicine, law, child welfare and management.


How are the governors elected or appointed?

There are a number of different routes onto the Governing Body. At Swimbridge the governing body is made up of:

·         Parent governors: elected by parents of pupils at the school

·         Staff governors: the Headteacher and other members of staff

·         One (LEA) local education authority governor: elected and appointed by the local education authority

·         Foundation governors: elected and appointed by the Diocese in conjunction with the local Parochial Church Council.

·         The Vicar

All governors (except the Headteacher and Vicar, whose positions are ex officio) serve a four-year term, at the end of which they may stand for re-election or re-appointment. There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve. When a parent governor’s term ends, an announcement is made about an election and all parents or carers of pupils at the school are eligible to stand.

The Chair and Vice-chair of Governors are elected by the full governing body at its A.G.M. held annually in September. The current Chair of Governors is Colin Wadsworth.


How is the work of the governors organised?

The full Governing Body meets five times in each academic year. Much of the ‘leg-work’ of the governors is carried out by its committees who meet each term separately and report to the governing board. These are:

·         Resources

·         Curriculum & School Improvement 

·         Pay and Performance 

·         Safeguarding Lead Governor and SEND Lead Governor

In addition we have the following committees who meet on a needs basis:

1st (Hearings) Committee - to hear any (rare) staff grievances or any complaints raised under the complaints policy.

2nd (Appeals) Committee - to hear appeals of any decisions made by the 1st Committee.

We also have an arrangement with other governing boards that allows us to form a panel using governors from other boards, should the need arise - usually in the event of a conflict of interest.

You can find out more about the work of our board, you can read our terms of reference below.

 The Equality Act 2010 and Schools - How the Governing Body is meeting the aims of the school's equality duty.

Swimbridge Church of England Primary School is committed under legal duties (Equality Act 2010 which replaces all existing equality legislation) to eliminating all forms of discrimination and encouraging good relations, diversity amongst our workforce and pupil population through the management and implementation of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and policy for the school. Our aim is that our workforce and pupil population will be truly representative of all sections of society / community and each employee / pupil / parent feels respected and able to give of their best and contribute to the effectiveness and success of the school. To that end the purpose of our policy is to provide protection, equality and fairness for all in our employment / school and not to discriminate on grounds of ‘characteristics’ – Sex (referred to previously as gender), gender reassignment, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, social disposition, disability (past or present), health, sexual orientation, sex or marital / civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, trade union membership, part-time or fixed term status, religion, belief, age (excludes pupils) and pay. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination (direct & indirect) harassment and victimisation. All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary and pupils will be treated fairly and with respect and decisions made will have ‘due regard’ for equality. Selection for employment, promotion, courses, responsibilities, support, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude, ability and availability. All employees and pupils will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the school and workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

The governing body, through their regular dialogue, meetings and visits to the school, monitor the school's application of this statement.