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Somercotes Infant & Nursery School

School Governance

Many people may have read about, and be familiar with, the idea of School Governors, but may not be familiar with what they do, how they work, and who they are.

This is a short introduction specifically about the Governing body of Somercotes Infant and Nursery School and how it works with the teaching staff to ensure the best possible learning environment for our children.

Our Governing body is currently made up of nine people. Of these, one is nominated by the Derbyshire Education Authority, two by the teaching staff (this includes Mrs Gray, our Headteacher), one from the parents and four are co-opted and chosen by the Governing body.

Each Governors term lasts for 4 years after which an election is held or new appointment made. The officers of the Governing body (which includes the Chair and Vice Chair) as well as its committees are elected annually by the Governors.

The Role of Governors

We work in partnership with Mrs Gray and the school staff by supporting school in three main ways:

To provide strategic direction for the school e.g. deciding the school’s priorities, compiling the school development plan and agreeing how the budget is spent.

To act as a ‘critical friend’ to the headteacher e.g. setting and monitoring the school’s aims and policies, celebrating successes, balancing challenge with support.

To ensure accountability e.g. publishing a prospectus, school profile and conducting the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement.

The role of the Governing body is to help shape the strategic direction of the school and to safeguard the public interest in the school. As our role is strategic, we do not get involved in the day to day running of the school, this is the responsibility of the Headteacher and the Senior Management Team.  We ensure that they are accountable for decisions and actions taken. We oversee the maintaining of and improvement of standards of achievement within our school. We are also responsible for ensuring that the schools policies and administration meet statutory requirements and that our children are able to maximise the educational opportunities provided. We support the school in its continuous drive to improve the already high standard of education provided to our children.

Governing Body Meetings

The School Governing body is currently reviewing its committee structure to ensure that the Governing body provides the very best support it can to school. Until the new structure has been agreed and implemented the full governing body has been meeting each month to ensure that the necessary decisions and support is in place.

We will update this section of the website as soon as the new structure is in place.

How to become a Governor

There is no such thing as a ‘typical governor’. You do not need any formal qualifications, just an interest in the school, some energy, enthusiasm and some time to commit to the role.

Who can be a Governor?

  • almost everyone over 18 can become a governor
  • governors are volunteers from all walks of life – everyone has experience and skills to offer
  • an effective governing body has people from different backgrounds with a mix of skills
  • governors are not education experts – they are there to bring a fresh perspective
  • no formal qualifications are needed

What makes a good Governor?

  • common sense
  • the ability to work in a team
  • an interest in education and a commitment to the school
  • patience, energy, enthusiasm and some spare time

If you would like to find out more about being a governor of if you just wish to contact us, please ask at the school office or email an enquiry through our ‘Contact Us‘ page and we will respond as soon as we are able. Thank you for your interest.

Meet the Governors

James Shephard – Chair of Governors

Richard Thraves – Vice Chair of Governors (Parent Governor)

Sarah Gray – Headteacher Governor

Keeley Wilson – Staff Governor

Ann Politowski –  Co-opted Governor

Pennie Akehurst – Derbyshire Authority

Gillian Bradley – Co-opted Governor

Katie Latchford – Co-opted Governor

Brian Lyttle – Co-opted Governor



Download the Governors Attendance Register

Download the Register of Governors Interests