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 ye

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

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-December 2019

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 J Hinchliffe – Chair   


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

Member of Finance, Standards and Attainment and Personnel & Pay Committee, Link Governor for Maths

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.


Professor Sophy Smith (Vice Chair)


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

Member of Standards and Attainment Committee,  SEN, MFL, Music, Art and Early Years link governor


Mrs B Mylett


Associate governor (appointed July 2019; term ends July 2023)


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 for Literacy


Mr L Dunn


Chair of Finance Committee. Link governor for Computing

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


Mrs C Waite


Safeguarding governor

Link governor for PSHCE

Parent governor (appointed February 2019; term ends February 2023)




Mr David Shell

Coopted Governor (appointed July 2019; term ends July 2023)


Staff governor Bernie Hayes