St Laurence Primary is an Academy, part of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Multi Academy Trust. The majority of our Governors are appointed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. These are `Foundation Governors' who also have a specific responsibility to protect and enhance the continuing Catholic character of the school.
The Local Governing Body reports to the Trust Board of Directors and has 3 main functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the Heads of School to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The Local Governing Body meets 6 times a year. The Head of Schools' role is to manage the school on a day to day basis, overseen by the Executive Headteacher. The Governors work closely with the Heads of School and Executive Headteacher. We support and oversee their management by setting policy and monitoring its implementation.
The Governing Body has continued to work remotely behind the scenes since the school closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we all look forward to the day when we can visit the school as we usually would, maintaining the safety of our children, their families, and staff is a priority. From September 2020, we are carrying out most of usual functions remotely.
Governors are appointed or elected for a 4 year term of office (though some choose to serve more than one term). We are always looking out for new governors. The majority of our governing body are Foundation Governors (Catholics, appointed by the Bishop). We are committed to our local governing body being a group which reflects the diversity of our school and parish community. We expect non-Catholic governors to be committed to supporting the school’s Catholic Ethos.
If you think you might be interested in volunteering to become a governor, please contact the school office in order to arrange to speak to our Chair of Governors and find out more. What we ask from governors is:
- Time and interest in the school: typically governors spend between 5 and 10 hours per month on governor duties.
- Attending between 1 and 3 governor monitoring days each year, where all governors visit the school during it's working day to see it in action and carry out planned monitoring activities. (Currently these are replaced by remote governor monitoring activities).
- Attendance at 2 Local Governing Body meetings per term (Currently these are held via Zoom)
- Undergoing induction training & further training as needed.
- Commitment to supporting the school to maintain its Catholic Ethos, academic standards and financial viability. We do this in a number of ways. Some people bring professional expertise (eg financial, legal, human resources). Some make planned visits during the school day to see the school in action and report back to the governing body. We all read reports from the leadership team, Ofsted, parent & pupil surveys and ask questions of the senior leadership team about what is going well, what the school’s challenges are and what the school is doing to improve.
For most issues, we expect that you would wish to talk to your child’s class teacher or one of the Heads of School. If you wish to bring anything to the attention of the governors, please send a letter addressed to Chair of Governors, Charlotte Woodford, c/o the school office or e-mail it to email@example.com Letters to the Chair of Governors are usually acknowledged within one week during term time.
Fr Simon Blakesley, our Parish Priest, is a Director of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Multi-Academy Trust; he has a standing invitation to all of our governing body meetings.
Clare Clark, our Executive Headteacher also attends all of our meetings.
Current Governors (updated January 2021)
A pecuniary interest is where a Governor or member of staff has a financial interest in a third party business that the school uses or may use in the future which could conflict with the policies, procedures or ethos of the school.
Pecuniary interests are declared annually in the Autumn Term, and at any point during the year if changes occur. Pecuniary interests of current governors and previous governors who have served in the last 12 months are listed below along with meeting attendance for the 2019-20 academic year. We decreased our number of full governor meetings in the 2019-20 year due to the school closure but continued to have smaller meetings with school leaders.