Home   School Governors

School Governors

What do we do?

We live in the village and our main role as governors is to be ‘critical friends’ of the school, by doing so we support the aims and objectives of the school and safeguard the interests of both the school and its pupils in the wider community.magglass

We take due account of the views of parents, carers, pupils and staff and other interested parties however we acknowledge that the day-to-day running of the school and implementation of plans and policies of the Governing Board is the responsibility of the Head and her senior managers.

We support and promote appropriate partnership and collaboration with other schools.

We work through two main committees, Resources and Curriculum and work co-operatively to provide ‘challenge’ in our interaction with the school.

We review statutory policies and have named governors who are responsible for key areas such as Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment, Special Educational Needs, Links with the Local Authority and with our external consultant, the Head’s Performance Management.

We review progress and scrutinise the school’s performance as measured nationally, locally and by the school itself.  We also review all aspects of financial planning, budgetary control and spending in order to ensure ‘best value’.

We play an important part in the recruitment of staff.

We review the school’s development plan and take part in termly ‘Learning Walks’ which are linked to the school development plan; when visiting the school, we have regular discussions with the head, celebrate its success, support its work and always acknowledge the invaluable contribution the Friends of Mawsley School make to our school.

Who are we?

We are a group of volunteers with a genuine interest in our school, (as at 2016)  made up of the following people:

    •   Miss Pat Downing – Chair
    •   Mrs Melanie Adams – Vice Chair
    •   Miss Michelle Harris- Head Teacher
    •   Mrs Erica Wilson – Clerk
AG Governors
    •   Miss Pat Downing
Parent Governors
    •   Mr Steve Buckle
    •   Mr Greg Guilford
    •   Mr Geoff Marston
    •   Mrs Suzanne McMinn
    •   Mr Phil Orchard
Co-opted Governors
    • Mrs Melanie Adams
    • Mr Toby Alderson-Smith
    • Mrs Tricia Cottington
    • Mr Stephen Harmon
    • Mr Stephen King
    • Mr Andrew Taylor
Staff Governors
    •   Mrs Helen Smith

Our Committees and Responsibilities

We work together and meet as a Governing Board and serve on the following committees:

The Curriculum Committee deals with all matters relating to the Curriculum – what the children learn, how they are supported in their learning and how progress is monitored and measured.  We also support the school in the important task of actively engaging parents/carers in helping them to support their children’s learning at home.

The Resources Committee deals with all matters relating to financial and human resources.

Committee Membership and Governor Roles 2016-17

Curriculum Resources Pay
Pat Downing (Chair) Tricia Cottington (Chair) Tricia Cottington (Chair)
Geoff Marston (Vice Chair) Phil Orchard (Vice Chair) Phil Orchard(Clerk)
Michelle Harris (Head) Michelle Harris (Head)  Andy Taylor
Stephen King Melanie Adams
Steve Buckle Steve Harmon
Suzanne McMinn  Pat Downing
Andrew Taylor
Helen Smith
Greg Guilford
Toby Alderson-Smith
HT in attendance


Named Governors/Areas of responsibility
Chair Pat Downing
Vice Chair Melanie Adams
CPD Governor Melanie Adams
LAC/More Able and Talented/PE Governor Steve Buckle
SEND including e-safety/safeguarding Stephen King
Safer Recruitment Governor Pat Downing
Performance Management Governors Pat Downing, Phil Orchard, Andy Taylor
‘Observer’ PM governor
HT PM Appeal Steve Harmon
Health and Safety (oversee) Steve Harmon
Website Andrew Taylor
Equalities Governor Melanie Adams
Pupil Parliament Link Tricia Cottingham

Register of Governors’ Interests
Name Relevant Business Interest Any other education establishments governed Relationships with the school staff including spouses, partners and relatives or with other governors or pupils Date declared
Melanie Adams Lexus Nexus None None 12.09.16
Toby Alderson-Smith**
Andrea Cox None None Member of school staff 12.09.16
Steve Buckle None None Parent of pupil/s 12.09.16
Patricia Cottington Gardening for all, Mawsley None None 12.09.16
Pat Downing None None None 12.09.16
Greg Guilford** /s
Steve Harmon Health and Safety advisor None Grandparent of pupil/s 12.09.16
Steve King Teacher in a Secondary SchoolMember of ASCL None Parent of pupil/s 12.09.16
Geoffrey Marston Marston Training and Consultancy (MTAC Ltd) None Parent of pupil/s 12.09.16
Suzanne McMinn** /s
Phil Orchard None None Parent of pupil/s 12.09.16
Andy Taylor Anglian Water None Parent of pupil 12.09.16
Elaine Wright None None Headteacher at the school 12.09.16

** To be completed at GB on 25th June 2017

Completed governor declaration forms held in school.

Governor List for Mawsley CP School
Full Name Appointing Body Start End
Ms Pat Downing Governing Body               (Local Authority approved nomination) 21/11/2016 21/10/2020
Mrs Melanie Adams Governing Body 01/12/2014 31/11/2018
Mr Toby Alderson-Smith Governing Board 26/06/2017 26/05/2021
Mr Steve Buckle Elected parent 10/12/2014 09/12/2018
Mrs Tricia Cottington Governing Body 01/12/2014 31/11/2018
Mr Greg Guilford Elected parent 04/04/2017 04/03/2021
Mr Stephen Harmon Governing Body 01/12/2014 31/11/2018
Mr Stephen King Governing Body 27/04/2015 26/04/2019
Mr Geoff Marston Governing Body 03/04/2017 03/03/2021
Mrs Suzanne McMinn Elected parent 04/04/2017 04/03/2021
Mr Phil Orchard Elected parent 27/03/2015 26/03/2019
Mrs Helen Smith Elected staff 26/09/2016 25/09/2020
Mr Andrew Taylor Governing Body 27/04/2015 26/04/2019
Miss Michelle Harris HEAD

Mawsley School – Attendance Registers 2015-16
Meetings of the Full Governing Board
Name of Governor 07.09.15 07.12.15 21.03.16 25.04.16




ADAMS Melanie

(Vice Chair)

BUCKLE Steve P Apologies P Apologies P Apologies
COTTINGTON, Tricia P P Apologies P P P
COX, Andrea P P P Apologies P P
DOWNING, Pat (Chair) P P P Apologies P P
HARMON, Stephen P P P P P P
KING, Steve P P P  Apologies P P
MARSTON, Geoff P P Apologies Apologies P P
MEEKS, Sarah P P Apologies Apologies P P
ORCHARD, Phil P Apologies P P Absent P
WRIGHT, Elaine (Head) P P P P  P P

Curriculum Committee

Name of governor 12.10.15 18.01.16 16.05.16
Steve Buckle P P Apologies
Andrea Cox P P P
Pat Downing (Chair) P Apologies P
Steve King n/a n/a Apologies
Geoff Marston (VC) P P P
Sarah Meeks P P Apologies
Elaine Wright P Apologies P

Resources Committee

Name of governor 09.11.15 01.02.16 06.06.16
Melanie Adams P P P
Tricia Cottington (Chair) P P P
Pat Downing P P P
Steve Harmon P P P
Stephen King P P Apologies
Phil Orchard (VC) P P Absent
Andy Taylor Apologies Apologies P
Elaine Wright P P P

Please click here to read our NGA-Code-of-Conduct-for School Governing Boards

How can you contact us?

Simply telephone or write to the school.

Governor Financial Training and Benchmarking

As part of our role as governors, we ensure ‘best value’ and compliance with the School’s Financial Value Standards at Mawsley CP School, by undertaking an annual financial ‘benchmarking’ exercise. This enables us to compare information, such as our teaching, support, administration and supply staff costs and premises costs, with those of other, comparable schools.

This year, governors, including Mrs Wright, Headteacher and our Bursar, Mrs Smith, undertook this benchmarking exercise as part of a finance training session which took place in the evening on 8th February, 2016 Cathryn Walker from the School’s Finance team for Northamptonshire County Council, who is an acknowledged expert in the intricacies of school finance, led the training which was excellent.  It is the second time she has undertaken Finance Training with governors.

As well as taking us through the make up of the funding the school will be receiving for the next financial year (2016/17), Cathryn discussed some of our benchmarking results (Mawsley compared with three other primary schools with similar pupil numbers in Northamptonshire). The results are set out below. These showed:

  • our teaching staff costs were the lowest
  • our education support staff costs were the highest
  • our premises costs were the lowest (to be expected given the age of the school buildings)

A critical factor to consider when assessing whether we deploy our resources effectively and whether our spending is providing ‘value for money’ is the attainment of the children. Governors were therefore delighted that the average Key Stage 2 point score of children at Mawsley was the third highest, just one point lower than the highest of the four schools we compared.

We also compared our school with schools from all over the country that are ‘statistically comparable’ (e.g. with similar village locations and similar numbers eligible for free school meals etc). Again, the results were very encouraging:

  • our teaching staff costs per pupil were the lowest
  • supply staff costs were negligible (a testament to the dedication of our staff and the flexibility shown by support staff) compared to some schools where over 12% of teaching staff costs are spent on supply staff
  • admin and clerical costs and premises costs were among the lowest

Despite receiving the lowest funding per pupil (Northamptonshire is one of the forty local authorities that receive the lowest schools funding out of the 350 or so in England), the attainment of our children was above the average for the schools compared and only three points behind the highest.

Cathryn was also impressed with the quality and detail of the financial information that governors receive from Mrs Smith and the Head, both for our meetings and between them and with the manner in which our ‘three-year plans’, prepared for our future budget planning, are collated and constantly updated. Governors are conscious that this takes a great deal of work from all the staff concerned. Thank you!

Benchmarking Charts from Governor Training (click here to view)

Mel Adams

Vice Chair of Governors

Please click here to view our Governor Impact Document which explains what we do and the impact is has.
Please click here to view our Governors Calendar-2016-7

Governors’ Learning Walks

Each term governors take part in a ‘Learning Walk’ at the school. We spend a morning or an afternoon looking in detail at a topic linked to the School Improvement Plan. Our walks are planned and will begin with an introductory session with the Head and one or more of her colleagues. We then move off into different areas of the school to look at our children, teachers and support staff at work. We have the opportunity to ask questions, talk to the children, look at their work and gain an even greater understanding of the teaching and learning which is taking place.

At the end of the walk itself, we come together and meet with the Head to discuss what we have seen and heard and to ask any questions. Following our walk we write a report.

Below are reports which have been written during this academic year. Taking part in a ‘Learning Walk’ is a fantastic way of extending our knowledge and really getting to know about the amazing learning opportunities which exist in our school. We see how the children learn, how their progress is monitored and how they are challenged and supported in their learning.

Pat Downing – Chair of Governors

Learning Walk Report – June 2017

Learning Walk Report – February 2017

Learning Walk Report – November 2016

Learning Walk Report – June 2016

Learning Walk Report – March 2016

Learning Walk Report – November 2015

Learning Walk Report – November 2014

Learning Walk Report – June 2014

Learning Walk Report – March 2014

Learning Walk Report – November 2013

Learning Walk Report – June 2013

Learning Walk Report – March 2013

Learning Walk Report – December 2012

Learning Walk Report – June 2012

Learning Walk Report – March 2012

Governor Training at Mawsley Community Primary School

Our governors come from different career backgrounds – Business, including Health & Safety, Education, Health and Social Care and the Law and bring to governance a wealth of experience to be utilised in our role as critical friends.

Evidence of our training is seen in documentation as well as in certification where this is appropriate.

We attend Learning Walks which are always linked to the School Development Plan and our reports are kept in school, appear on the school website and in the school newsletter.   On a Learning Walk we have the opportunity to see aspects of the curriculum in action and to follow themes in order to measure progress i.e. in writing (Big Write Day), Teaching and Learning, Narrowing the Gap.

Learning Walks are an essential way of training and ensure that we have the opportunity to listen to our professional colleagues, challenge,  question and see what is going on in the classroom.   We talk to the children, support teachers and teachers and broaden our pedagogical knowledge.  By seeing how the curriculum is delivered, we are better able to understand our data as it relates to children’s progress, expected levels of progress, barriers to learning and interventions in place to help our children.

We attend relevant Curriculum/Progress presentations and Staff Meetings and participate fully in ‘challenge’ and discussions.  This too is training and broadens our knowledge base.

Statutory training is undertaken by governors with specific responsibilities i.e. for Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment,  SEN/LAC etc.

Performance Management Governors receive guidance and advice from our consultant.   Their work is thoroughly scrutinised and evaluated throughout the performance management cycle.

Governors attend financial seminars/training with the Bursar.

New governors attend new governor training when they are able to do so   In addition, every new governor receives a ‘Welcome/Induction Pack’ and is offered the opportunity to have a governor mentor.   New governors also have access to the chair at all times.

Our Consultant provides training i.e.  January 2013:  RAISEonline training for governors.

Governors organise their own training – recently – two sessions on preparation for our next inspection – one on RAISEonline data and one on ‘Questions.’

We access and use NGA information regularly.   The information provided is excellent and informs our planning.

Our clerk and headteacher regularly signpost information to us which appears on the DfE website or which comes from the Local Authority.

All requests for training are looked at.   Information about training opportunities is circulated.

Have you ever thought about becoming a governor? (click here for more details and information)