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The Work of the Governing Body at Gargrave Primary School.

The role of the governing board 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 objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards the achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher (a critical friend)

So, how does the governing board go about achieving these critical functions?

The governors meet as a whole board approximately once a month and whilst all meetings have set agenda items, for example, the Head Teacher’s report, some will have an agenda with a particular focus, depending on the point in the year that it takes place. For example, in May, the main focus is to look at the following year’s budget.

A key matter for discussion is always the performance of the school, both in terms of the outcomes for children and the use of the budget available to the head teacher. Governors hold the head teacher to account for the results produced by the pupils, the deployment of the staff and for how money is spent. The Governors act as a “critical friend” to the school, meaning that they must provide challenge to the school leadership to ensure the school delivers the best outcomes for pupils and value for money, but also lend support wherever they can. Examples of support given are governors volunteering in the school to listen to readers or participating in the supervision of annual National tests.

An important role for most of our governors is to act as a “Link governor”, either with a class or for a specific subject. This role is an important part of monitoring, as it means that governors spend time, at least once a term, in the school, either with a class, or looking at a specific subject right across the school. Feedback from these visits is then given to the head teacher (HT), in the form of a confidential report. This gives the head teacher another source of information in addition to her own observations to see what is taking place across the school. This information is also fed back to the GB, either directly by the link governors, or indirectly via the HT’s report.

Before undertaking a visit, governors refer to the areas for development in that year’s School Improvement Plan (SIP) and these form the main focus of the visit. It allows governors to see first hand how the SIP is being implemented. It also allows the school to evidence how information is gathered, acted upon and followed up at subsequent visits.  During a governor visit the link governors speak to pupils and staff, and sometimes this can highlight particular issues to the HT.

In addition, every Summer term, a small group of governors go into school and undertake Pupil conferencing. This is to collect information about the pupils’ opinions on a range of subjects, relating to changes that may have been made to school/curriculum in that particular academic year, areas they might like to change/improve, how they feel about the way the school is run.  A report is then produced for the HT, and this will form part of the data used to inform the following year’s School Improvement Plan, (SIP), as well as helping to provide evidence of performance of the school against the current year’s SIP.

Other information sources used in the development of the SIP include;

  • responses to the parental questionnaire (also sent out in the Summer term)
  • data from KS1, KS2 and phonics screening tests
  • SIAMs and Ofsted report findings
  • Feedback from staff

Additional consultations are also sometimes undertaken with particular groups, for example, parents of pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding, or children who have an identified Special Educational Need.

A small group of governors also performance manage the HT, setting targets at the beginning of the year (which are linked to the SIP) and monitoring progress against these.

All governors undertake training as appropriate across the year.

If vacancies arise on the governing board, we shall advertise these through our newsletter and website.

The Chair of governors can be contacted through school, either by telephone, email or in writing.

Meet the Governors

Mrs Jane Ellis

Mrs Jane Ellis

(Co-Opted Governor & Chair, Equality, Extended Schools, Safeguarding, SEN/PP, literacy, health & safety, HT performance management, Oak and Apple class governor) (previously community, co-opted & foundation governor)


Term of office:  10.11.16 – 9.11.20

Business interests:  None

Elected by the Governors

Attendance: Sept 2019- Jun 2020 – 9/9 meetings

At school – I like listening to children read.

Out of school – I like knitting and baking.

Mrs Joanne Ackroyd

(Co-opted Governor, Educational Visits, HT performance management and Willow class governor)


Term of office:  27.2.20 – 26.2.24

Business interests:  None

Elected by the Governing Body

Attendance:  Sept 2019 – Jun 2020 – 8/9 meetings

At school – Leading assembly with children from the collective worship team.

Out of school – I enjoy walking, theatre and leading worship in church as a lay preacher



Term of office:

Business Interests:

Elected by Parents

Attendance:  Sept 2020 –

At School –

Out of school –

Mr Christopher Gormley

Mr Christopher Gormley

(Parent and Ash class governor)


Term of office:  18.7.19-17.7.23

Business Interests:  None

Elected by Parents

Attendance:  Sept 2019 – Jun 2020 9/9 meetings

At school – I enjoy seeing how passionate the teachers are and recognise the effort they make each day to care for and develop our children.

Out of school – beyond my wonderful family, travelling and sport keep me happy – even better if I can combine them!
Revd. Andrew Steer

Revd. Andrew Steer

(Ex-officio, Enrichment & Religious Education, HT performance management and Sycamore class governor)


Term of office:  28.11.19

Business Interests:

Elected by the Diocese

Attendance:  Nov 2019 – Jun 2020 4/7 meetings

At school – I enjoy talking to the children, helping with activities and school trips.

Out of school – I enjoy walking, running and cooking.

Miss Nicola Hesleden

Miss Nicola Hesleden

(Ash Class Teacher and Staff Governor)


Term of office: 28.9.16 -27.9.20

Business Interests:  None

Elected by the Staff

Attendance:  Sept 2019 – Jun 2020 – 9/9 meetings


At school – I enjoy helping children learn.

Out of school – Spending time with friends and family and playing rounders.

 Mrs Sarah Peel

Mrs Sarah Peel

(Headteacher Governor, SENCO - Special Educational Needs Coordinator)


Term of office:  1.9.08 – Permanent

Business Interests:  Dales Heating, Family Business

Attendance:  Sept 2019 – Jun 200 – 9/9 meetings

At school – I love seeing the pupils grow educationally and emotionally into young people excited for their next stage of learning.

Out of school – I enjoy watching pupils playing sport and music and walking on the hills.

Mrs Sharon Aldous

Mrs Sharon Aldous

(Clerk to Governors)


Clerk since January 2010


Business Interests:  None

Attendance Sept 2014 – Jan 2020 – 40/40 meetings

Attendance:  Sept 2019 – Jun 2020 – 9/9 meetings

At school – I love the variety of my job – no two days are the same!

Out of school – I like walking (usually with my dog), riding my motorbike, reading, travelling and gardening.

Mrs Jane Dallas

Mrs Jane Dallas

(Foundation governor)


Term of office:  20.5.20 – 19.5.24

Business Interests: Education Consultancy

Elected by the Diocese

Attendance:  Jun 2020

At school – I like hearing children read and seeing them flourish.

Out of school – I enjoy walking, cycling and gardening.

Previous Governors (2015-2020)

David Atkinson (LA Governor) Term of office 22.9.10-21.9.18 (Resigned 22 July 2016)

Claire Cadman-Bond (Parent Governor) Term of office 24.9.13-23.9.17 (Resigned 29 September 2016)

Helen Wilson (LA Governor) Term of office 1.9.13-31.8.17 (term of office ended)

David Houlton (Foundation Governor) Term of office 15.7.13-31.12.17 (ceased to be vicar of Gargrave)

Stephen Alford (Parent Governor) Term of office 10.11.16 – 9.11.20 (Resigned 17 April 2018)

Maxine Roberts (Parent Governor) Term of office 21.10.14-20.10.18 (term of office ended)

Linda Wall (Foundation Governor) Term of office 10.11.16 – 9.11.20 (Resigned 26 September 2019)

Steve Aldous (Co-Opted Governor) Term of office  17.7.15 – 16.7.19 and then 16.7.19-14.1.20 (resigned)

Patsy Simpson (LA Governor) Term of office 23.11.17-22.11.21 (Resigned 17.1.20)

Julian White (Parent Governor) Term of office 4.12.18-3.12.22 (Resigned 22.6.20)

Full Governor Meetings 2020/2021

  • 26th September
  • 23rd October
  • 28th November
  • 16th January
  • 27th February
  • 26th March
  • 30th April
  • 11th June
  • 9th July


Minutes of Meetings 2020/2021

School Improvment Plan