"Governors are committed to the values and ethos of the school. Governors know the school well and are clear about the school's strengths and weaknesses. They provide a good level of challenge and support for leaders."
(Ofsted, May 2019)
What is governance of a school?
All schools in England have a governing board. They are the vision setters and strategic decision makers for their schools. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education that takes every child as far as their talents allow. Crucially, that means creating robust accountability for executive leaders by using and being familiar with objective data on the performance of pupils, teachers and finances to ask the right questions. It means ensuring resources are allocated to strategic priorities and safeguarding the highest standards of financial propriety. It also means ensuring that schools prepare pupils for life and the workplace and implementing their Prevent duty and promoting fundamental British Values to protect them from the risks of extremism and radicalisation.
The Governing Board works in close partnership with the headteacher, staff, the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth and Wokingham Local Authority to deliver their three core functions:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
Who are we?
In May 2015 the governing body elected to reconstitute, in keeping with statutory guidance from the Department for Education. We took this decision as it allowed us to change the numbers and types of governors we have and to appoint more people on the basis of the skills they could bring.
The Governing Board consists of 12 members:
One elected staff governor
Seven foundation governors (elected by Bishop Philip)
One appointed local authority governor
Two elected parent governors
The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year each September.
Much of the work of the governing body is done by our three committees:
The Governing Board of St Dominic Savio
Mrs Juanita Dunlop - Interim Executive Headteacher Ex Officio
Term of office: 1 September 2020 - 31st December 2020
Ms Clare Woodham, Foundation Governor (Chair of Governing Board)
Term of office: 22nd October 2017 - 21st October 2021
Mr Usman Ahmed, Parent Governor
Term of office: 16th April 2020 to 15th April 2024
Mr Richard Coop, Parent Governor
Term of office: 21st March 2018 - 22nd March 2022
Mrs Gemma Dowse, Foundation Governor
Term of office: 11th February 2020 - 10th February 2024
Mr John Edmunds, Foundation Governor
Term of office: 31st January 2020 - 30th January 2024
Mrs Deborah Gibson, Foundation Governor
Term of office: 1st October 2013 - 30th January 2024
Mrs Tara Sharp, Staff Governor
Term of office: 1st September 2019 - 31st August 2023
Mrs Lou Slocombe, Local Authority Governor
Term of office: 1st September 2020 - 31st August 2024
Fr William Wilson, Foundation Governor
Term of office: 1st January 2019 - 31st December 2023
Governing Board Register of Interests
It is the policy of St Dominic Savio that governors not only act impartially, but are also seen to act impartially. The governing board and school staff have a responsibility to avoid any conflict between their business and personal interests and affairs and those of the school.
There is a legal duty on all our governors to declare an interest likely to lead to questions of bias when considering any item of business at a meeting, and for the governor concerned to withdraw, if necessary, whilst the matter is considered.
To help put this duty into practice, our governing body is required to establish and maintain a register of pecuniary interests indicating any business interests. This includes, if appropriate, the company by whom they are employed, directorships, significant shareholdings or other appointments of influence within a business or other organisation which may have dealings with the school.
Governors include their own interest and those of any member of their immediate family (including partners) or other individuals known to them who may exert influence. The register of interests enables governors to demonstrate that, in spending public money, they do not benefit personally from decisions that they make.
Our Chair of Governors ensures the register is up to date, complete, and includes all governors. The completed register is retained by the Clerk to the Governors.