Silkstone Primary School

helping children realise their gifts and talents

Governance and strategic priorities

Background to Governance and the Governing Body

Good governance is a vital part of the functioning of any successful organisation.  Governing bodies in schools are central to effective accountability and ensuring that children reach their full potential.  Under its new constitution, our governing body comprises representatives from parents, staff, the local authority together with co-opted governors from the local community who all contribute enormously to strong governance.

The role of the governing body in any community school is strategic not operational.  This means that it is responsible for the school’s strategic direction, for developing and monitoring the strategic priorities and for challenging and supporting, in equal measure, the headteacher.  At the same time, the headteacher is responsible for the day to day operations of the school. 

There are eight elements of an effective governing body:

  • The right people around the table
  • Understanding the role and responsibilities
  • Good chairing
  • Professional clerking
  • Good relationships based on trust
  • Knowing the school – the data, the children, the parents, the staff and the community
  • Committed to asking challenging questions
  • Confidence to have courageous conversations in the interest of the children and young people.

Our school leadership team and governing body have a shared understanding and commitment to these elements and their respective roles, and are committed to drive towards truly outstanding educational provision for our children.

The governing body is committed to open and transparent governance and reports annually to stakeholders on its impact.  The 2015/16 Annual Governance Statement and Meeting Attendance Reports can be found here, together with those of previous years:



Annual Report 2015 Final




Strategic priorities 2016-21

In early 2016, and taking into account one of the governing body’s core aims of ensuring the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school, we began a strategic review to develop the school’s overall 5 year plan and core strategic priorities.  Following this strategic review, and informed by our over-riding aim to maintain excellence in every aspect of school life whilst also responding to wider developments in educational policy, the governing body has now approved the following Strategic Priorities for the 5 year period 2016-21:

  • Excellence in teaching;
  • Financial sustainability;
  • Influencing the educational transition;
  • Deeper engagement and partnerships in a school-led system.

Further details of these Priorities and the School’s vision is as follows:


The constitutions of Governing bodies of all community schools reflect that they should be of a minimum size to include all the skills necessary to carry out their functions effectively.   Prospective new governors are recruited based on the skills they can contribute to effective governance and the success of the school.  Our governing body comprises up to twelve members:

  • two parent governors
  • one local authority governor
  • one staff governor
  • one headteacher
  • up to seven co-opted governors who will be appointed based on their skills and experience to help the governing body effectively fulfill its duties

We currently have a co-opted governor vacancy for an Early Years governor and would welcome expressions of interest from potential governors with Early Years experience.

Current members of the governing body and its committees, together with their roles and responsibilities, including as link governors for the school’s strategic priorities are shown below.  The register of governors’ interests is also attached

Register of Interests September 2017

Governor Attendance

Full Governing Body Meetings


  4.10.18 6.12.18 7.2.19 14.3.19 2.5.19 27.6.19
Sally Adams Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rebecca Davies Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Lee Dunn Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Bernie Hayes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jim Hinchliffe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bev Mylett Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Andy Platt (Chair) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vicky Shale Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Sophy Smith No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Claire Waite N/A N/A Yes No Yes Yes
Sarah Want Yes Yes Yes No No No

Governors also sit on committees and have curriculum responsibilities.

Mr A Platt – Chair;  Chair of Progress & Attainment Committee


Andy taught in Barnsley schools from the early 1990s. He went on to enjoy ten years as a Headteacher, firstly at Hillsborough Primary School and subsequently at Springvale Primary School. He also has prior experience of working in accountancy.

Co-opted Governor (appointed July 2018; term ends July 2021)

Member of Personnel & Pay Committee

There are four elements to the role of chair of the governing body:

  • Leading and developing the team of governors
  • Building the relationship with the headteacher and ensuring accountability
  • Together with the headteacher, leading school improvement
  • Leading the business of the governing body

In summary, the chair should facilitate the governing body working as a team to challenge, support and contribute to the strategic leadership of the school.






Mrs B Mylett – Chair of Finance Risk & Resource Committee


Co-opted governor (appointed July 2015; term ends July 2019)


Ms R Davies – Chair of Personnel & Pay Committee

Co-opted governor (appointed July 2015; term ends July 2019)

Member of Personnel & Pay Committee

Link governor:  Further strengthen leadership & management at all levels and ensure collaboration is embedded in all areas of school life


Mr L Dunn



Parent governor (appointed January 2017; term ends January 2021)



Mrs V Shale


Co-opted governor (appointed October 2015; term ends October 2019)

Safeguarding governor

Link governor:  Personal development, behaviour & welfare and deeper understanding of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) and British Values


Mr J Hinchliffe

Jim Hinchliffe

Co-opted governor (appointed May 2017; term ends May 2021)

Member of Finance Resources & Risk Committee


Dr Sarah Want

Sarah Want

Co-opted governor (appointed May 2017; term ends May 2021)


Professor Sophy Smith

Sophy Smith

Co-opted governor (appointed June 2017; term ends June 2021)

Early Years link governor


Staff governor Bernie Hayes