The Work of the Local Governing Body
The Local Governing Body (LGB) plays a central role in the management of the academy, with its main aims to drive up standards of achievement for all students and to make sure that resources are used well to give every student the best possible education. It does not involve getting involved in the day-to-day running of the academy, which is the responsibility of the principal and staff, and it does not carry direct statutory responsibilities and accountability for the performance of the academy, which are carried by The White Horse Federation (TWHF) board of trustees. Instead, the role is to monitor, challenge, support, and give advice.
The Local Governing Body (LGB)
The Ridgeway School is part of the The White Horse Federation (TWHF) multi-academy trust. TWHF board of trustees is legally responsible and accountable for the statutory functions, but have clearly identified the areas of responsibility which they have delegated to the LGBs.
The LGB is made up of a mixture of staff, parents, and co-opted governors to provide a balance of skills, expertise, and stakeholder representation. For example, parent governors are vital to the LGB as they ensure that highest priority is given to the concerns and issues which are most important to our parents, and ensure that the LGB is kept in close touch with parent opinion. Co-opted governors bring specific experience from their working life, such as safeguarding, health and wellbeing, and governance. In addition, associate governors can be appointed to provide advice and support in specific areas, or for specific projects, if and when needed. A brief summary of the key responsibilities and expectations of governors is shown below.
Local Governors are appointed to provide:
- Strong links between our academy and the community we serve.
- A wide experience of the outside world.
- An independent view.
- A focus on long-term development and improvement.
- Support and challenge for the principal and staff.
Local Governors are expected to:
- Attend meetings (usually Mondays or Thursdays between 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.) of the full local governing body (six per year) and committees (three to six per year).
- Visit school as a ‘governor champion’ and report back.
- Work as a member of the LGB (not as an individual) in the best interests of the academy and TWHF.
- Show an interest in academy activities.
- Become well informed about education in general and about our academy in particular.
- Become familiar with the rules of governance within TWHF.
- Keep up to date with changes in education legislation.
- Attend training courses, where appropriate.
Local Governors are also involved in:
- Senior staff appointments.
- Student discipline panels.
- Parental complaints.
- Staff discipline/appeals.
- The curriculum.
- Community links.
Benefits of being a local governor:
- The knowledge that you are helping our students.
- The satisfaction of giving something back to the community.
- A sense of purpose and achievement.
- New skills which may be useful elsewhere.
- Broader horizons.
What local governors give:
- Time (approximately six to 10 hours a month).
- A willingness to learn.
- A listening ear and enquiring mind.
- The ability to assimilate information, ask questions, make judgements, and take decisions.
- The ability to work as part of a team.
A Word from the Chair — Liz Palfrey
I have been a governor for over ten years, and Chair of Governors since 2013. I am very fortunate to be part of a dedicated team of governors, who are willing to put in time to help ensure the best progress and overall education for every student within the Ridgeway School and Sixth Form College. We see this as a combination of both academic success, and involvement in extracurricular activities (for example: sporting, music & drama and support in the community).
As part of The White Horse Federation (TWHF), the statutory obligations of governors are dealt with centrally by TWHF Board of Trustees. This allows us as governors of a Local Governing Board to focus on providing challenge and support for improvements in teaching and learning and the curriculum. As the LGB Chair, I meet regularly with the other LGB Chairs within the WHF to share good practice, and feedback to, and receive feedback from, the Main Board of Trustees.
The Ridgeway LGB currently has a main meeting, plus a separate committee meeting each term which reports back to the full Local Governing Board to help us to focus on specific key areas in more depth:
Teaching and Learning – Focus on curriculum, educational standards and student progress.
Student and Staff Wellbeing and Community– Focus on behaviour, attendance, student welfare, Health and Safety, and student and parental engagement and links to the community.
An example of some of the discussion points over the past few months have been about:
- Changes in the Behaviour for Learning Policy to promote good learning behaviours in all students, and consistency in its use.
- How to ensure all areas of the academy consistently deliver excellent outcomes for all students; for example changes to the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of student progress.
- Changes to the curriculum and examinations, and what it means to our students and staff.
If you have further questions about how we as an LGB works, or would like to know more about how to get involved as a governor, then please contact the clerk to governors [email protected].
Register of Interests 2019-20 & Attendance 2018-19
|Name||Position/Name of Organisation||Nature of Interest||Date Registered||Date Ceased||Attendance|
|Liz Palfrey||None||NA||NA||-||6 of 6|
|Martin Taphouse||Zurich Financial Services|
Wroughton Junior School
Child is pupil
Spouse is TA
|24/03/19||-||3 of 3|
|Pam Hicks||UK Research & Innovation|
Hicks Renewable Energy
Institute of Internal Auditors
Member of professional body
|10/03/19||-||3 of 3|
|Ben Jankinson||Praxair Surface Technologies Ltd|
FA Licensed Coach level 1
Husband of staff member
|28/04/19||-||2 of 3|
|Gareth Mullen||Thames Water Utilities||Head of Security, Safety, Health & Wellbeing||26/11/18||-||5 of 5|
|Phil Bulman||Vendigital Ltd|
Children are pupils
|18/10/18||-||5 of 6|
|Roland Pease||Roland Pease Science Media||Freelance Journalist|
|18/10/18||-||4 of 6|
|Dee Vincent||Ridgeway School||Employee|
Husband is staff member
|18/10/18||5 of 6|
|James Povoas||TWHF||Employee||25/02/19||-||4 of 6|
Michelle Little - Resigned 07/01/19
Julie Shergold - Resigned 22/05/19
Maria Draper De Nuevo - 31/08/19
I have been a parent governor for 4 years, since my eldest daughter joined the school and now have two children attending. During my time as Governor I have had a focus on school finances/improvements and teaching & learning, with a focus on Maths and Science. In work, I am an Engineer and now Director of a management consultancy business working with FTSE 250 companies to deliver business improvements, from which I bring experience in business and people management, continuous improvement and data analytics to support the continuing improvements that the Ridgeway strive for. As a Governor with particular focus on Curriculum and Teaching and Learning, I aim to support and challenge the school in providing the very best learning experience, to allow all students to succeed in their time at Ridgeway.
I have been a school governor at Ridgeway School since March 2019. I have a son at Ridgeway and when we moved a few years ago, we chose to stay within the catchment area for the school as we were impressed with what the school had and was setting out to achieve. My day job is with UK Research and Innovation where I work closely with the HEI sector to ensure that grants awarded for research are used in accordance to grant terms and conditions. I am keen to help the school to continue to achieve and offer an all round education to its expanding number of pupils.
I am a new governor at the Ridgeway School, having joined in March 2019. I currently have two children at the school, with a third likely to be attending within the next few years. I am an experienced finance analyst and manager, close to completing a professional accountancy qualification. My financial background is largely in the risk management, process audit and controls areas. I also spent several years as the chair of a local preschool committee, so this is not my first involvement in education! With both a wife and mother who are teachers, I have an unending respect for the importance of education, and a passion to ensure that teachers and students alike are best served by the environment in which they spend the majority of their time.
I am an experienced governor, first with a previous school in 2009, where I became a vice-chair for the governing body as well as chairing several sub-committees during his tenure. After my son moved to Ridgeway in 2017, I joined our governing body. With a background in health, safety and wellbeing, I am keen to bring some of these skills, especially with regards to student and staff wellbeing, to my role with Ridgeway. As a parent with a SEN child, I look to support the school in achieving the best for all students in this area.
Liz Palfrey (Chair of Governors and Safeguarding Governor Lead)
I became a governor at the Ridgeway whilst my sons were at the school over 10 years ago. Initially I concentrated on student welfare and behaviour as chair of the students and community committee, before becoming the Chair in 2013. I am an engineer who has worked in engineering consultancy for many years, and bring experience in all aspects of management, quality assurance, data analysis and process improvement. I completed the NCTL Chair of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme in 2014 to better equip me to be Chair. As a governor, I aim to support and challenge the school to provide the best education and widest range of experiences possible so that each and every student can achieve their full potential to equip them for their future life.
I have been a parent governor at the Ridgeway School since 2008. I have two children at the school, and three who attended in the past. I am a freelance science writer and broadcaster, currently presenting two programmes on the BBC World Service. On the governing body I have worked for many years in curriculum matters, in particular with Science, Computing and Maths. I also support governance work with regard to student behaviour and welfare, often leading on initiatives to support improvement to student behaviour, attendance and mental health. I am keen to ensure that the school continues to provide a balanced education to all pupils, regardless of academic ability, and to prepare all students for adult life.
As a parent who lives locally, I am very keen to support the development of the school, its pupils and the wider community in Wroughton and surrounding areas. New to the governing body in 2019, I am learning fast having previously been a governor of a primary school some years ago and in a very different 'Ofsted' world! I have a background in business leadership, team development and performance management, developed over a number of years and am driven by a desire to seek out opportunities for improvement and strive for excellence. I am looking forward to working with and helping the team to continue to deliver the best possible, holistic, Ridgeway experience for all of the students, to help everyone create the best possible opportunities in life.
I have worked at The Ridgeway School since 1991 as receptionist in the school office, during that time I have combined that role with attendance officer, first aid, and helped with a number of extra duties when needed. As receptionist for 28 years, I have a wealth of experience working with parents, pupils and staff to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Being a governor and part of the school on a daily basis gives me the advantage of sharing my knowledge and perspective of life at the school and in this way help to improve the way the LBG works for the good of the whole school community.