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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.  At Sneinton, 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. Governors are responsible for the Strategic leadership of the school and hold the Headteacher and leaders to account. The Governing Body are highly skilled individuals representing our school community and hold personal expertise that enables an appropriate level of challenge and support to school leaders. Staff wellbeing is taken seriously by the Governing Body.


Focused professional development, supported by Transform Trust and a wide range of partnerships with World Class Schools and the Challenge Partners network, maximises leadership potential at all levels, from pupil through to Headteacher. Transform Trust Chairs Forum enables quality assurance, the sharing of practice across the Trust and robust, effective governance. For example, Headteacher performance management is carried out as a partnership of Chairs.


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


The Governing Body would therefore like to emulate this by demonstrating world-class governance with a relentless ambition for the pupils served by the school. 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. Leaders are research engaged and link with education providers nationally.


The school was last inspected by the Church of England for SIAMs in 2016 and Ofsted in 2011. It was re-accredited as a World Class School in Dec 2021. Sneinton is part of the Challenge Partners national network 'Growing the Top'.


“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.”


Minutes of meetings are available on request from the Clerk, Ruth Palmer: 


Contact the Chair of Governors:

Transform Trust

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

The 3 core functions of the governing body

The governing body exists to provide strong strategic leadership to a school, ensuring accountability for its educational and financial performance. 

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. In line with guidance in the Governor Handbook, we recognise that effective governance ensures:






Governor Role

Link Role

Mark Lowe

Head Teacher

Safeguarding, Standards, Teaching and Learning.

Matthew Jones

Chair of Governors, Faith Governor (Appointed: 01/01/2016)

Finance, Pupil Premium, 

Performance and wellbeing.

Carol Kay

Faith Governor (Appointed: 08/10/2017)

Safeguarding / Equality and


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.

Shelly-Ann Ellis

Parent Governor (Appointed:  29/09/17)

Community and

Parents. RE / Collective worship

Phil Herd

Vice Chair of Governors, Transform Trust Governor(Appointed:01/10/19)

Curriculum and Digital Transformation.

Tom Buckmaster


Community Governor (Appointed:01/09/2016)


Safeguarding / Equality,

Admissions, Attendance, Workload and Wellbeing.

New Governors

Recruitment of school governors is informed by the Governors Skills Audit. All new Governors receive a Transform Trust induction and are given access to Trust and national resources including membership access to NGA.


All new Governors are expected complete statutory safeguarding training and 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.


Governance Structure

The Chair of Governors is Matthew Jones

Vice Chair of Governors is Phil Herd (Standards)


The Full Governing Body meets at least once per half term. A termly report is received from the Headteacher. During the second half term, link Governors, following questions to school leaders, report their observations to the Full Governing Body. Link Governing Body roles include safeguarding, admissions, health and safety, finance, curriculum and standards.


The Governing Body have continued to meet virtually during the pandemic. During this time there has been a greater focus on risk assessment, implementation of national policy and the use of COVID funding to ensure the needs of all pupils are met during our recovery. Governors have continued to hold leaders to account for the effectiveness of Pupil Premium Spending with a research informed approach to allocated spending.


A Competency Framework for Governors


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 Headteacher
  • 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 Headteacher, 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. 


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 are truly effective and fulfilling our strategic responsibilities.



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 Ruth Palmer and she clerks all our Meetings. 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.


To contact our clerk, please email: Ruth Palmer –


Transform Trust

Transform Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) formed in 2013; with 21 primary schools, predominantly located in Nottingham and Derby. 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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