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Sneinton St Stephen's CofE Primary School


Welcome to our Governors’ section. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


World-Class Governance


School leaders enthusiastically articulate a well-developed Christian vision for the school, which is lived out by all. However, its centrality is not sufficiently clear in documentation or on the school website. The recognition of each child and adult as unique and special in God’s eyes drives a concern to motivate all, with their wellbeing prioritised. There is a culture of continuous improvement in which staff, governors and children strive to do even better. Focused professional development, supported by the Transform Teaching School Alliance and a wide range of partnerships, maximise leadership potential at all levels, from pupil through to Headteacher. This includes leading a School Direct teacher-training programme from which a number of staff have been recruited. Parents are supportive of the school and express great confidence in school leaders.


‘The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is outstanding’ – SIAMS INSPECTION REPORT 2016


The Governing Body would therefore like to emulate this by demonstrating world-class governance. World-Class governance is essential for continuous and sustainable improvement – more so today than ever before. There is now greater scrutiny on governance and we are working hard to keep Sneinton St Stephen’s at the forefront of educational excellence, innovation and creativity.


We were last inspected by the Church of England for SIAMs in 2016 and Ofsted in 2011


“The school has a strong capacity for continuous improvement. All leaders, including the governing body, know the school’s strengths and weaknesses and have a clear strategy for further improvement. The school’s leadership has an excellent track record of improving pupils’ attainment, gaining the support of the local communities and reducing the proportion of persistent absentees.”


Transform Trust

Sneinton St Stephen’s is an academy within the Transform Trust. Click below to visit the:

Who are our Governors?

Each Governor has a set of different skills, expertise and experience. We will be developing our Governor profiles on an on-going basis.


Name Governor Role Link Role
Kelly Lee Head teacher N/A
Matthew Jones Chair of Governors, Faith Governor (Appointed: 23/09/2019)

Finance, Pupil Premium, Appraisals

and Performance.

Carol Kay Faith Governor (Appointed: 08/10/2017)

Safeguarding / Equality and


Professor Qing Gu Faith Governor (Appointed:08/03/17)

Curriculum and Pupil Premium

Gillian Dack Faith Governor (Appointed:25/06/17)

Behaviour and Personal Development, SEND and Inclusion, Health and Safety and School


Katherine Pearce Staff Governor (Appointed 27/06/18)

Healthy School, Workload and Wellbeing.

Shagufta Ahmed Community Governor (Appointed:  09/03/18)

Community and

Parents, School Council.

Shelly-Ann Ellis Parent Governor (Appointed:  29/09/17)

Community and

Parents. RE / Collective worship

Michaela Bowles Vice Chair of Governors, Faith and Parent Governor (Appointed:07/10/18) Finance, Healthy School and EYFS.
Rev Naomi Hill Faith Governor (Appointed:13/11/18) RE / Collective worship, Christian distinctiveness 
Phil Herd Vice Chair of Governors, Transform Trust Governor(Appointed:01/10/19)

Mathematics and DIGITAL Transformation.

Sarah Hodgson Faith Governor (Appointed:01/09/17) Curriculum, English and EYFS.

Tom Buckmaster


Community Governor (Appointed:01/09/2016)


Safeguarding / Equality,

Admissions, Attendance, Workload and Wellbeing.


New Governors

In the autumn term 2018, we welcomed Rev. Naomi Hill from St. Christopher’s Parish Church Council. All new Governors receive a Trust welcome information pack and meet with the Head teacher and Chair prior to starting their role. All new Governors have to complete a range of documents, some of which are required by legislation, including:


  • Eligibility to be a Governor;
  • Declaration any business or pecuniary interests;
  • Completion of a skills audit;
  • Signing a Governor Code of Conduct.


We also expect our Governors to complete a self-evaluation on their own effectiveness on an annual basis.


Committee Structure

As well as the Full Governing Body meetings we have a number of Committees which are the main conduit for the work of the Governors. The Committees are:


  • Standards Committee
  • Wider Committee
  • Finance Committee


When do we meet?

The Full Governing Body meets once during the Autumn term, Spring and Summer terms. Our Committees meet at least half term to discuss particular matters. Dates of our Committee meetings are also given in the documents section below.


  • Tues 13th November 2018
  • Wed 13th March 2019
  • Tues 21st May 2019
  • Tues 26th June 2019
  • Wed 17th July 2019


What do we actually do?

During each academic year, Governors will conduct monitoring visits to see how the overall performance of the school is doing. During these visits, Governors get the chance to speak to staff and pupils and see the school in action. Our Governors are invited to attend a range of school events and productions such as Collective Worship, Christmas Productions, Reading Badges Presentations, Spring Music Festivals and whole school community events.


The core functions of a Governing Body are:


The Handbook was last updated in January 2017.


The DfE also launched in January 2017: ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’. This document outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for effective governance, but in brief can be shown as:



In addition, we:


  • Provide a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework.
  • Appoint and conduct the performance management of the Principal.
  • Agree the school’s improvement strategy, which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budges and staffing structures.
  • Monitor and evaluate the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the Principal, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy.
  • Sign off the self-evaluation process and respond to Ofsted reports as necessary.


During the Autumn Term 2018, we will be focusing on:


  • Our statutory duties and strategic planning for the forthcoming year including elections, reviewing terms of reference and confirming our monitoring framework and governor action plan;.
  • 2017/8 Performance Information/Data – looking at how our children did compared to national expectations.
  • The school’s strategy for the use of the forthcoming Pupil Premium and Sports Funding the school receives;
  • Ensuring that performance management and appraisals were conducted for all staff.
  • Reviewing the finances for the school.
  • Reviewing safeguarding arrangements.


We discussed a range of other ongoing themes such as Health & Safety, Policies and determining our role in external reviews such as Challenge Partners.


For the Summer Term 2018, we focused on:


  • Agreeing our budget for 2018-2019 and our longer-term budget predictions.
  • Ensuring that our staffing structure is fit for purpose for 2018-2019.
  • Reviewing the pupil numbers for the next academic year and agreeing any marketing initiatives to ensure that we are a school of choice.
  • Monitoring of SATs arrangements by the school (May 2018).
  • Analysing the results later in July, along with the impact of additional funding streams to support attainment.
  • Reviewing the progress made against the school improvement plan and what needs to be carried forward into 2018-2019.
  • Reviewing our self-evaluation processes for both the school and the governance.
  • Monitoring of safeguarding arrangements within the school.


For the Spring Term 2018, we focused on:


  • Our statutory duties and strategic planning including progress against school priorities; reviewing admission arrangements, policies and Governor school visits/monitoring;
  • Tracking the progress being made of all our children in terms of our expectations and targets, across all the year groups and with different groups of pupils;
  • The school’s processes for reviewing the safety, behaviour and personal development of children including attendance;
  • Starting the planning for next year’s budget looking at the staffing structure needed to develop a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum to meet the needs of our children;
  • Self-evaluation processes for both the school and the governance.


Chairs Development

Our Chair meets with other Chairs across our Trust discussing, sharing and reviewing our work of the LGB including our celebrations and challenges. This network provides the opportunity to find out what’s new and what the expectations are on Governors going forward – both from the Trust, Government and Ofsted.

Each year we ask our Governors to review the role of the Chair to ensure that we truly effective and fulfilling our strategic responsibilities.


Governor Training

The following training has been undertaken by one or more Governors:


  • Safeguarding including the Prevent Duty, Female Genital Mutilation and Safer Recruitment.
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – to keep abreast of latest legislation.
  • Induction – Effective Governance – which is an induction/refresher on the role of school governor.
  • Inspection Dashboard – how to interpret the performance data.
  • Challenge Partners School Review.
  • Health & Safety – the role of Governors.



The Trust has supported our school with memberships to the National Governors Association (NGA) to ensure that we are as up-to-date as possible with any changes in policy and/or legislation in school governance.



Our Clerk is Sheila Laithwaite and she clerks all our Committees. Our Clerk has access to a range of Trust support and attends the Trust’s Clerks briefings and training. Our Clerk is responsible for making sure that we are compliant and meet our statutory duties.


Our Clerk provides an invaluable contribution to the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and compliance of our Governing Body. She works in partnership with the Chair to keep the board focused on its core strategic priorities, provides independent and expert advice and guidance to the board on its duties and functions, and delivers administrative support that makes everything work smoothly.


For more information about Clerking please click here. This link also includes the Clerking Competency Framework.


To contact our clerk, please email: Sheila Laithwaite –


Transform Trust

Transform Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) formed in 2013; and from September 2018 we have 16 primary schools, predominantly located in Nottingham and Derby Cities. Our values and ethos set us apart from other Trusts as we have a strong focus on empowering our member schools to drive their improvement journey, whilst maintaining their own individual identity and community focus.


Transform Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee, and as such are required to comply with ‘The Companies Act 2006’ Trustees, Directors and Governors of the Trust are listed in the Annual Report forming part of the Annual Account.


For documents and information about Transform Trust, please visit

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