Role of the Governing Body
Schools are required by law to have a governing body and the school’s Instrument of Government sets out the size and composition of that body.
The governing body works in partnership with the headteacher and the Local Authority and is responsible for the strategic direction and operation of the school. The headteacher manages the school on a day-to-day basis and implements the policies laid down by the governing body in its strategic role. A governing body is a corporate body and is responsible in law and practice for all major decisions about the school and its future. Governors act collectively and no single governor is required to make decisions alone, unless asked to do so by the governing body as a whole. Some duties and responsibilities are delegated to committees, working parties, individual governors, or to the headteacher.
Responsibilities of the Governing Body
The key purpose of a governing body is to help the school to provide the best possible education for its pupils. Governing bodies do this by:
• Setting the school’s values, vision and strategic aims, agreeing plans and polices, and making creative use of resources.
• Monitoring and evaluating performance and acting as a critical friend to the headteacher to support and challenge them in managing the school.
• Ensuring that the school is accountable to the pupils and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it and to the staff it employs.
Responsibilities of the Headteacher
In contrast, the headteacher is responsible for:
• The internal organisation, control and day-to-day management of the school.
• Advising on and implementing the governing body’s strategic framework.
• Formulating aims and objectives, policies and targets for the governing body to consider adopting.
• Giving governors the information that they need to help the school to raise standards.
Powers and Duties of the Governing Body
The strategic working of governing bodies translates into some quite specific powers and duties, which include:
• Deciding, in broad strategic terms, how the school should be run.
• Promoting high standards of educational achievement.
• Setting appropriate targets for pupil achievement.
• Ensuring a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum.
• Managing the school’s budget.
• Deciding the number of staff and making decisions on staff pay.
• Appointing the headteacher and deputy headteacher. Leading on appointments to the senior leadership team and determining how other appointments will be made.
• Agreeing polices and procedures for staff conduct, discipline and grievances.
• Establishing the policy for performance management.
• Reporting on assessments and examination results.
Steve Court – Parent Governor; Chair of Governors
Committees: personnel and finance; health & safety, sites & buildings
Governor since: 2010; Latest Appointment: March 2017
Steve is a retired senior RAF officer living in Shefford. His daughter, Amy, attends school at the secondary site. Steve is a former governor of Hitchmead School.
Paul Gill – Parent Governor
Governor since October 2016; Latest Appointment: October 2016
Paul lives in Potton and works for a manufacturing company based in Cambridgeshire as an IT & Business Systems Development Manager. Paul’s step-son attends Ivel Valley School, based on the primary site.
Cathy Goody – Co-Opted Governor
Committees: Personnel & Finance; Curriculum
Governor since: 2004; Latest Appointment: March 2017
Cathy lives in Sandy and is Practice Manager for a specialist dental surgery in Biggleswade.
Sarah Hill – Staff Governor
Committees: Health & Safety, Sites & Buildings
Governor since: 2015; Latest Appointment: February 2015
Sarah is a class teacher in a post-16 class at Ivel Valley School.
Joseph Kearney – Co-Opted Governor
Committees: Personnel & Finance, Health & Safety, Curriculum
Governor since: 2016; Latest Appointment: July 2016
Liz McCartney – Co-Opted Governor
Committees: Curriculum; Health & Safety, Sites & Buildings; Safeguarding and Looked After Children link governor
Governor since: 2011; Latest Appointment: March 2013
Liz is a retired Occupational Therapist living in Broom and a regular member of All Saints Church, Southill. She is a founder member and former president of the Rotary Club of Biggleswade Ivel.
Julie Mudd – Staff Governor; Headteacher
Committees: all major committees (Reserved appointment)
Julie has been involved with special needs education for most of her professional career. She was appointed headteacher in 2010, prior to which she was headteacher at Sunnyside School.
Carol Robertson – Co-Opted Governor
Committees: Curriculum; Health & Safety, Sites & Buildings
Governor since: 2011; Latest Appointment: March 2013
Carol is a Level 3 teaching assistant at the school, currently working as part of the Early Years Support Team.
Sally Rowling – Co-Opted Governor
Latest Appointment December 2015
Sally has worked at Sunnyside and then Ivel Valley for 22 years, starting as a midday supervisor and is currently running the After School Club and Holiday Club provision. Sally also works as an HLTA in school. Sally is also the carer of a former Ivel Valley pupil.
Hannah Street – Parent Governor
Governor since: 2013; Latest Appointment: March 2013
Hannah’s son attends Ivel Valley School, based on the primary site.
Eric Stuart – Co-Opted Governor
Committees: Personnel and Finance
Governor since: 2013; Latest Appointment: December 2013
Eric moved to Biggleswade in 2007. He is a retired metropolitan police officer where he served for 33 years. He now owns and runs his own Crowd Safety Management Company specialising in public safety at large scale festivals, events and concerts.
Vacancy – Local Authority Governor;
Vacancy – Parent Governor
Vacancy – Co-Opted Governor
Alison Cobb – Clerk to the Governors
Latest Appointment: January 2017
Ivel Valley School Instrument of Government
The name of the school is Ivel Valley School.
The address of the school is Hitchmead Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 0NL.
The school is a Community Special School.
The name of the governing body is ‘The Governing Body of Ivel Valley School’.
The governing body shall consist of:
• 4 Parent Governors
• 1 Local Authority Governor
• 2 Staff Governors (including the headteacher)
• 7 Co-Opted Governors
The total number of governors is 14.
This instrument of government came into effect on 27th March 2013
This instrument was made by order of Central Bedfordshire Council on 8th January 2013.
Parents, including carers, of registered pupils, are eligible to stand for election for parent governorship of the school. Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors. Parent governors are ‘representative’ of the parent body and not ‘delegates’; they vote according to their own views.
Staff governors are drawn from the head, the teaching staff and the non-teaching staff of the school. One place is automatically reserved for the headteacher by virtue of their appointment, whether or not they choose to accept governorship. With the exception of the headteacher, staff governors are elected by their peers.
Local Authority Governors
Local Authority governors are appointed by the Local Authority that maintains the school. No one who is eligible to be a staff governor can be appointed a Local Authority governor.
Co-Opted governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. The definition of co-opted governors is wide and can be persons who live or work in the community served by the school, or those who are committed to good governance and the success of the school.
Term of Appointment
Governors at Ivel Valley School normally serve for a four-years term of office, after which they can stand for re-election or appointment if still eligible.