Blackhorse Governing Body

This page provides information about how the Governing Body is constituted and run.

Statutory Documents:

Pecuniary Interests Register

Meeting Attendance Register 

The role of the Governing Body is to:


  • Set the aims and objectives for the school
  • Set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • Set the targets for achieving those aims and objective
  • Monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievements of its aims and objectives
  • Be a source of challenge and support to the Head teacher.

Below is a copy of the Governors' Handbook which gives details of the work of the Governing body for the current school year. Copies of meeting minutes can also be viewed here.


Governing Body Members:



Committee Member

Lead Area

Link Staff

Phil Webster


Standards & Inclusion




Neil Fry

Ian Manton

Claire Stone


Curriculum & Enrichment

Arts & Citizenship

Melanie Horn

Angela Found


Curriculum & Enrichment

Chair of Curriculum



Ian Manton

Christine Blake


Standards & Inclusion


Rhea Oldland

Andrew Covell


Finance, Staffing & Premises

HT Performance Mgmt / Pay Panel

Vice Chair of FGB

Chair of Finance, Staffing & Premises.

Budget Scrutiny


Debbie Beazer

Lucy Hardinge


Curriculum and Enrichment

Performing Arts


David Rowe


Finance, Staffing & Premises



Alex Wilson

Debbie Beazer

Sue Thomas


(also parent)

Finance, Staffing and Premises

HT Performance Mgmt / Pay Panel

FGB Chair

Teaching & Learning


Safeguarding and Child Protection #2


Neil Fry

Jacqui Taylor

Lydia Adams


(also parent)


Standards & Inclusion

HT Performance Mgmt /  Pay Panel

E Safety

Chair of Standards & Inclusion

Safeguarding and Child Protection #1


Georgie Burke

Jacqui Taylor



(also staff)

Standards & Inclusion

Finance, Staffing and Premises


















Rhea Oldland



Standards & Inclusion



Neil Fry

Deputy Head Teacher



Standards & Inclusion

Curriculum & Enrichment

Curriculum, Data

Deputy Head Teacher


Simon Botten

Head Teacher

Head Teacher

All Committees

Head Teacher



Blackhorse Governors Priorities 2016-17



Smart Statement

By Who

To Strengthen and Develop the Governing Body

Appropriate Training, especially when changes to legislation.

Undertake a Governance Review with Paul Moorhouse.  

All Governors

Ensure the school is run effectively

For the academic year, demonstrably support the school to ensure the Strategic Plan objectives for 2016-17 are met

All Governors

Ensure high standards are achieved

Demonstrably support the school to ensure clear, challenging but achievable targets are set and actioned, all supporting the goal of achieving Outstanding status. 

Focus on Improving Writing; Embedding Singapore and Big Maths; Increase number of outstanding Teachers; Developing Performing Arts, STEM and Healthy Eating

All Governors, Standards & Curriculum Committee in particular

Manage the schools budget

Ensure the academic year 2016-17 spend has appropriate governance with any variances to budget clearly explained and that ‘Best value’ is achieved.  Ensure pupil and sports premium in are scrutinized, to enable the children to make excellent progress – especially Vulnerable children

All Governors, Finance Committee in particular

Ensure the curriculum is balanced and broad

Ensure the national curriculum statutory requirements are implemented across the school

All governors, Curriculum Committee in particular

Policy Schedule

Update existing and develop new policies as required both Statutory and desired.



Meetings and Proceedings Protocol of Blackhorse Primary Governing Body


Governing bodies have a number of responsibilities and duties under legislation, in order to support the governing body to operate effectively and run smoothly the following protocols have been proposed (then agreed) as a framework within which the governing body and committees must organise and conduct their meetings. 


School governors come from every walk of life. Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. The power that lies with governing bodies does so corporately and decisions are reached by a majority of governors present and voting, after discussion. This means that no individual governors (apart from the Chair in cases of urgency) may act on behalf of the governing body unless it has formally delegated powers to them to do so.


Whilst governors are required to act as “critical friends” to the senior managers within the school, they should do so constructively and from a position of trust. Governors provide the head teacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions and respect the head teacher’s position as the professional leader of the school.  Governors are required to promote high standards within the school. Governors do not bring a mandate from the group that may have selected, or elected, them to the governing body. Although largely volunteers, governors are obliged to follow the Nolan principles that underpin the standards of those holding public office. These are:


  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership


The role of a governing body is a strategic one. Its key functions are to:


  • Set the aims and objectives for the school
  • Set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • Set the targets for achieving those aims and objective
  • Monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievements of its aims and objectives
  • Be a source of challenge and support to the Head teacher.


The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head teacher, working within guidelines set by the governing body. In addition to this general responsibility the governing body also has an important role in supporting the work of the school and of its staff.




Rights to Call Meetings & Scheduling Meetings


Meeting dates for the Full Governing Body and all Committees will be agreed at the first academic meeting of the Full Governing Body each year.


Committee meetings will be scheduled at least 1 week before Full Governing Body meetings.


Any three members of the Governing Body may requisition a meeting by giving written notice to the clerk that includes a summary of the business to be transacted, and it shall be the duty of the clerk to convene the meeting within ten days following receipt of the request.


The Chair may determine a shorter time period for a meeting where it is determined that there are matters demanding urgent consideration. This does not apply in relation to any of the following:


  1. removal of the chair or vice chair from office
  2. the suspension of any governor
  3. a decision to serve notice of discontinuance of the school


Meetings of the Governing Body shall be convened by the clerk



Attending Full Governing Body Meetings


Unless advertised to parents and other stakeholders meetings of the Governing Body will only be attended by Governors, Associate Members, Head teacher, Clerk and any other person invited to attend by the Governing Body.



Quorum of Full Governing Body


50% of the current membership


Establishment of Committees


The governing body must determine the membership and proceedings of any committee. The governing body must also review the establishment, terms of reference, constitution and membership of any committee annually. The membership of any committee may include associate members, provided that a majority of members of the committee are governors. Each committee must have a chair who is either appointed by the governing body or elected by the committee. The governing body may remove the chair of a committee from office at any time.


Committees:    Finance, Premises & Staffing Committee

                        Curriculum & Enrichment Committee

                        Standards & Inclusion Committee


The membership of the committee will be at a minimum of 2 non staff governors, the Head teacher and a staff governor (or associate member of staff will full voting rights, The Chair or Vice Chair may attend any Governing Body Committee meetings.  Membership of each committee will be decided by the Full Governing Body at the first meeting of the academic year.





Statutory Committees / Panel


Issues related to staffing or other matters which require the Governing Body to set up an additional committee or panel, membership will be decided in accordance with procedures and legislation as and when required by agreement of Full Governing Body.


Right of Persons to Attend Meetings of Committees


Members of committees, the head teacher (if not a member of the committee) and the clerk to the committee have the right to attend committee meetings. In addition, the governing body or the committee can allow any other person to attend their meetings. Associate members may be excluded from any part of a committee meeting when the item of business concerns an individual pupil or member of staff.


Decision Making


Every question to be decided at a governing body meeting must be determined by a majority of votes of those governors present and voting. If there is an equal number of votes, the chair (or the person acting as chair provided that they are a governor) has a second, or casting vote.


Most of voting will be informal, show of hands or other informal methods of showing agreement.


Disagreements should normally only be resolved by formal vote if it is clear that the governing body cannot otherwise settle the issue by the time a decision must be made, or to prevent the amount of time devoted to an item to greatly exceed its intrinsic importance.




Draft minutes of the Committees will be distributed to all members of the Governing Body prior to any meeting of the Full Governing Body. Committee minutes will be approved at next meeting of the relevant committee.


The minutes are the record both of decisions taken or action agreed and of the substance of the discussion. They should not be a verbatim record, but should make clear, in relation to each agenda item, what papers and reports were presented, and what important information was given orally, and the main points of discussion, so that the reader can see the basis on which the recorded decisions were taken. The minutes should record clearly not only what action was agreed but also who is to take it and by when.


Since Governing Bodies and Committees take their decisions collectively it is probably unhelpful, and may discourage free discussion, if the minutes identify speakers, unless their status, for example as chair or head, plainly necessitates such identification. If individuals ask for their views to be recorded, the chair should be prepared to indicate whether (s)he will accept this request when (s)he comes to approve the draft minutes, and should not feel bound to accept this when (s)he does.


The Governing Body is a corporate entity and has a collective responsibility for decision making and the circumstances in which governors should be named are few and include if (s)he:

  • has agreed to take responsibility for a specific action
  • has requested that his/her dissent to a given decision is recorded
  • is being thanked for a specific contribution



Preparation for Full Governing Body and Committee Meetings


Preparing for a Meeting


In order to participate fully and support the school you are expected to prepare for meetings in the following ways:


  • Add agenda items in advance of the meeting
  • Read through papers and minutes prior to the meeting so that you are prepared for any discussions
  • Inform the clerk in advance if you are unable to attend a meeting;
  • Arrive for meetings on time
  • Prepared an update from any school visits and or link governor activities you have completed to update all governors
  • Attend training or seek clarification as required to develop your skills as a governor.


Meeting Management


The effective conduct of a meeting of the governing body is largely managed by the Chair of Governors but each governor must take some responsibility for achieving it in the following ways:


  • Contributions to discussions should be concise and not repetitive;
  • Meetings are not used as a forum for personal self-expression;
  • Accept that the Chair will limit the contribution where necessary of long winded or dominant speakers;
  • Accept that in order to facilitate open and frank discussion a degree of informality reducing the need for all remarks to be made explicitly through the Chair will be accepted provided that contributions add to the discussion are concise and not repetitive. However this may be revoked during a meeting by the Chair or at the request of another governor.






Instrument of Government


  1. The name of the school is Blackhorse Primary School.


  1. The name of the governing body is “The governing body of Blackhorse Primary School”.


  1. The governing body shall consist of:


a - 4 Parent Governors

b - 1 LA Governor

c - 1 Staff Governor

d - 1 Headteacher

e - 8 Co-opted Governors


  1. The total number of governors is to be 15.


  1. The term of office for all governors will be 4 years.


  1. This Instrument of Government comes into effect on 21 January 2014.


  1. This Instrument was made by order of South Gloucestershire Local Education Authority on 21 January 2014.


  1. A copy of the Instrument must be supplied to every member of the governing body.


Signed and Approved by Director for Children, Adults and Health under the

delegated authority set out in the minutes of the Education Committee dated

28 January 1999.



Date: 21 January 2014









Safer Recruitment


Please be aware that for a recruitment panel to be properly constituted then at least one member of the panel must have undergone safer recruitment training.  Please can you therefore remember to check before taking part in interviews that a member of the panel has been trained, this is an area which OFSTED will check.


Governors can also access this training and it would be best practice if some of us complete it.


There are two training options; a one day course or on-line.  The on-line course can be accessed via put in a search for safer recruitment and after creating an account  you will be able to access the course


Governor Services email address


Useful websites


Blackhorse Primary School


South Gloucestershire


DfES – Department for Education and Skills


South Gloucestershire Governors Website


Governornet - Government site offering up-to-date information on all aspects of school governance


Teachernet - Website for teachers and school managers





The Role of The Chair of the Governing Body

•         To ensure the business of the Governing Body is conducted properly, meets all its legal responsibilities and complies with South Gloucestershire Councils delegation requirements.

•         To ensure meetings are run effectively, focusing on priorities and making the best use of time available, and to ensure that all members have an equal opportunity to participate in discussion and decision-making.

•         To build an effective team and facilitate in the development of knowledge, confidence and skills of all members

•         To establish and foster an effective relationship with the Head teacher based on trust and mutual respect for each other’s roles. The Chair has an important role in ensuring that the Governing Body acts as a sounding board to the Head teacher and provides strategic direction

•         The Chair has the power to carry out the functions of the Governing Body if a delay in exercising the function would be seriously detrimental to the interests of the school, any pupil at the school, or parents or a person who works at the school. Any action taken must be reported to the Governing Body at their next meeting.

•         Where there is an equal division of votes the chair shall have a second or casting vote.

•         The signing of any legal documents.

•         The signing of Full Governing Body minutes

•         Calling an emergency governors meeting giving less than 7 days notice

Term of Office – Two years or when the governor’s term of office ends, whichever is the shortest.

Disqualification – Head teacher, staff governors & associate governors

Other – Where the Chair is vacant from any meeting or there is at the time a vacancy in the office of Chair the Vice Chair shall act as Chair for all purposes.

The Role of the Vice-Chair to the Governing Body

•         Support the Chair in the conduct of meetings.

•         Check the decisions taken by the governing body are enacted.

•         Ensure governors’ participation in, and between, meetings.

•         Welcome and induct new governors

•         Ensure the committees and working parties of the governing body are working effectively and to terms of reference.

•         Be available to stand in for the Chair in their absence.

•         Coordinate training of individual governors and the governing body.

Term of Office – Two years or when the governor’s term of office ends, whichever is the shortest.

Disqualification – Head teacher, Staff Governors & Associate Members

Other – Where the Chair is vacant from any meeting or there is at the time a vacancy in the office of Chair the Vice Chair shall act as Chair for all purposes.








The Role of The Clerk to the Governing Body

•         To work effectively with the Chair of Governors, the other Governors and the Head teacher to support the Governing Body

•         To advise the Governing Body on Constitutional and Procedural Matters, duties and powers

•         To convene meetings of the Governing Body

•         To attend meetings of the Governing Body and ensure that good quality accurate minutes are taken

•         To maintain a comprehensive register of members of the Governing Body and report vacancies to the Governing Body

•         To give and receive notices in accordance with relevant regulations

•         To perform such other functions as may be determined by the Governing Body from time to time

Term of Office – Annual

Disqualification – Governors, Head teacher & Associate Members



The Role of The Chair of a Committee

•         To ensure the business of the Committee is conducted properly, in accordance with legal requirements and the Committees Terms of Reference

•         To ensure meetings are run effectively, focusing on priorities and making the best use of time available, and to ensure that all members have an equal opportunity to participate in discussion and decision-making

•         To ensure that decisions that require approval from the Full Governing Body are included in the agenda for the next meeting of the Full Governing Body

Term of Office – Two years or when the governor’s term of office ends, whichever is the shortest.

Disqualification – Head teacher, Associate Members

The Role of The Clerk to Committees

•         To advise the Committee on Constitutional, Procedural and Legal matters, duties and powers of the committee

•         To convene meetings of the Committee

•         To attend meetings of the Committee and ensure that good quality accurate minutes are taken

•         To ensure that actions that require Full Governing Body approval are clearly identified in the minutes

•         To perform such other functions with respect to the Committee as may be determined by the Governing Body from time to time

Term of Office – Annual

Disqualification – Head teacher

The Role of Associate Members

The membership of any committee may include associate members

•       Associate members may serve on any committees of the Governing Body

•       Associate members will be invited to join committees dependent upon their particular expertise in a given area which would benefit the Governing Body

•       Associate members will be appointed annually at the first meeting of the Full Governing Body

•      Associate members do not have any voting rights at committee or Full Governing Body meetings Associate members are not governors and are not included in the Instrument of Government.

Governors with special responsibilities

Governors can elect to adopt the role of having special responsibilities for SEN, Child Protection and Health & Safety.

The requirements for these roles are as follows:


  • Attend the courses available for your particular area chosen
  • Familiarise yourself with the school and staff by visiting the school informally as much as you can prior to the formal visits as governor with responsibilities. Try to spend at least half a day in the school.
  • Ask lots of questions to enhance your understanding of the school and the staff.
  • Make contact with the school prior to any visit to confirm date and time of visit.
  • Visit the school and meet with the subject leader at least once a term
  • Report to the governing body at the next governing body meeting.


It is intended that the role carried out should be in a friendly and supportive role and not as an overly critical exercise.

Other roles will be discussed and decided at the first academic meeting of the Full Governing Body.


Governors Charter

Governors should be able to expect the following:

  • that the governing body will be regarded by the school and LA as one of the partners in the leadership and management of the school
  • all governors will be valued equally as significant members of the team
  • all new governors will be offered appropriate and timely induction by the governing body, and by the LA
  • all new governors will be provided with relevant documents about the school and governing body. The clerk should ensure that these are made available
  • an annual calendar of governing body and committee dates will be agreed in advance
  • papers for each meeting will be received by governors at least seven days in advance
  • governors will be fully briefed so that they can make informed and sound judgments
  • all governors will have ample opportunity to contribute to discussion in meetings, and be listened to with respect
  • meetings will be chaired efficiently and with clarity and relevance, at such a pace as to give opportunity for all to speak who wish to, without any individual or group dominating
  • that the LA will provide governing bodies with the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities, via a termly update to governors and other items as appropriate.


Blackhorse Primary School - Governors Code of Conduct


  • The overall role of the governing body is to assist the school in the drive to raise standards, within the limits of its responsibilities which are broadly strategic.
  • In exercising its responsibility for the use of public funds and the welfare of the school community, the governing body acknowledges its accountability to pupils, parents, staff, the wider community and statutory bodies.
  • Governors should always work in line with the best interests of the school, its pupils & staff, and support its aims and objectives. Consideration should however be given to the effects of their decisions upon other schools. No governor should use his/her position to gain any personal advantage, and should declare any personal interest in any item under discussion.
  • The governing body should always act fairly and without prejudice, as a good employer.
  • Governors should work in co-operation with one another as members of a team.
  • Each governor should respect the decisions of the governing body whether or not s/he agrees with them, and accept corporate responsibility.
  • No individual governor has any authority unless properly delegated by the governing body. The authority of the governing body lies in its corporate decisions, and governors should not act in isolation.


Whilst governing bodies should be open and transparent,


  • Governors should respect confidentiality and not publicly criticise decisions or other governors with whom they disagree. They should not divulge how members voted following debates on various issues, particularly of a contentious nature, simply the decisions and rationale for them.
  • Governors should respect the role of the Head teacher as the lead professional, and the school staff, in their day-to-day roles.
  • Every governor should make every effort to attend all meetings from beginning to end, having prepared beforehand by reading any papers provided for each meeting and bringing them to the meeting. This applies to full governing body meetings, meetings of any committee s/he belongs to, and others as appropriate.
  • Governors should actively seek to enhance their skills and knowledge by attending learning and development events as appropriate.
  • Governors should visit the school, by previous arrangement, during a school day at least once each year. This is to understand better the working of the school and its various parts, and become better informed about issues facing the school, its staff and pupils.


Blackhorse Primary School - Governing Body Terms of Reference

Responsibilities: -

  • To determine the aims and values of the school.
  • To monitor and keeping under review the broad policies, plans and procedures within which the school operates.
  • To ensure local accountability.
  • To insist that the best interests of all pupils are paramount in decision-making.

Key Tasks: -

  • Appoint or remove the Chair and Vice Chair and to determine their term of office.
  • Appoint or remove a Clerk to the Governing Body and to each committee
  • Hold at least three Governing Body meetings a year.
  • Make available to any interested person a copy of the agenda, signed minutes and reports or papers considered at the meeting as soon as reasonable practicable.
  • Vote to suspend a governor.
  • Decide which statutory functions of the Governing Body will be delegated to committees, a Governor or to the Head Teacher, subject to prescribed restrictions.
  • Review the delegation arrangements annually.
  • Receive reports from any individual or committee to whom a decision has been delegated and to consider whether any further action by the Governing Body is necessary.
  • Establish the committees of the Governing Body and their terms of reference.
  • Review the establishment, terms of reference, constitution and membership of any committee annually.
  • Consider, approve and revise the budget plan.
  • Spend the budget ‘as it sees fit’ for purposes of the school before the end of the financial year.
  • Decide the number of staff at the school and the level of the posts.
  • Appoint the Head and Deputy Head Teacher.
  • Agree rates of pay for staff in accordance with law and national and local agreements.
  • Establish disciplinary rules and procedures and staff grievance procedures.
  • Dismiss an employee.
  • Ensure the curriculum is balanced and broadly based and the National Curriculum is implemented.
  • Establish and review all policies required by law.
  • Monitor the implementation of policies.
  • Ensure teachers receive regular appraisal of their performance.
  • Set targets for the achievement of pupils at the end of KS2.
  • Ensure that each pupil takes part in an act of collective worship each day.
  • Control the use of the school premises both during and outside the school day.
  • Prepare a health and safety policy and carry out risk assessments.
  • To agree constitutional matters, including procedures where the Governing Body has discretion.
  • To prepare in partnership with the Head teacher for an Ofsted inspection.
  • All Governors to be CRB Checked every 3 years.

Membership: as per Instrument of Government.

Disqualifications: as per Regulation 20 and Schedule 6 of the Constitution Regulations.

Quorum: half the number of Governors in post.