What are Governors?

“… 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” says John Nash, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools in the foreword to the Governance Handbook 2017.  He goes on to say: “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 standard of financial propriety … It also means ensuring that schools prepared pupils for life …. I want everyone involved in governance to be confident in tackling underperformance, challenging mediocrity, and setting the highest of expectations; refusing to accept second best for any child.”

What do governors do?

Governors are therefore strategic leaders of schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools, such as Chailey St Peter’s, this is reflected in the law. They carry out their duties under a legally constituted Instrument of Government and regulations stipulated by various Acts of Parliament.  In all types of schools, governing boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision ethos and strategic function
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of its staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governors are unpaid volunteers that play an important part in overseeing the running of the school, in the interests of the community it serves, but the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school is with the headteacher and staff.  Individual governors have no authority whatsoever; such powers as they have are vested in the governing board as a whole and their decisions are recorded and made available for anyone to see.  They give direction and focus, drawing on other stakeholder views to assist their work.  Governors appoint the headteacher and assist with the appointment of the senior leadership team and then work with them, making decisions about:

  • Standards – ensuring a strategic and systematic approach to promoting high standards of educational achievement
  • Curriculum – ensuring this is broad and balanced and supporting the school in making sure pupils are enriched with a wider cultural experience
  • Policies – deciding how, in broad strategic terms the school should be run
  • Finance – determining how best to spend the budget allocated to the school
  • Staffing – deciding the staff structure and pay policy
  • Discipline – agreeing procedures for staff and pupil conduct and discipline


They also support the headteacher by providing a friendly forum within which to discuss ideas, problems and opportunities.


Who are we?

Chailey St Peter’s Primary School governing board comprises 9 full members; a headteacher governor, a staff governor, 2 parents governors, 3 co-opted governors, a foundation governor and a local authority governor.  There is also a clerk and an associate member (Deputy Headteacher).  The parent governors are nominated from and elected by parents of pupils. The staff governor is nominated from and elected by staff.  The headteacher may choose to be a governor. The local authority governor is selected and appointed by the governing board with the approval of the local authority. Co-opted governors and associate members are appointed by the governing board on the basis of their skills and knowledge. The clerk is appointed by the governors and has no vote. With the exception of the headteacher, all governors are appointed for 4 years at a time but may resign at any time.


The Governing Board 2017-2018

Governors declare their interests at least annually and at each meeting it is checked at the beginning, whether they have an interest in any agenda item.  If there is a conflicting interest then they do not vote on that item and the other governors decide whether it is appropriate for them to contribute to the discussion of need to withdraw.

The governing board can be contacted by email :

  • Mrs Bowen

    Chair of Governors

    My involvement with this school began over twenty years ago when two of my children came here. I have spent my working life in social services and education, and it has been a privilege to have been a member of the governing board here, as children’s welfare has always been, and always will be, dear to my heart.

  • Mr Pledger


    I have enjoyed being a co-opted governor at the school for several years where both of my children have also attended.
    My working career has been based in the office equipment, network and software industry.
    I bring management experience within private sector industry to the board and an outside viewpoint on education. I also have a very common sense practical approach.
    I believe that it is important that the school staff are challenged in a supportive manner so that the children can get the best educational start in life as possible. It is also important that this is achieved in an environment that is safe for the children.
    I feel privileged to be able to ensure that wherever possible, every decision made has the best interests of the children at heart.

  • Ms Freeman


  • Mr James

    Foundation Governor

  • Mr Prattley

    Parent Governor

    I am proud to be a parent governor at Chailey St Peter's, where my son attends school.

    I have worked in the Transportation Telecoms Industry since leaving school. Currently I am the Implementation Design Manager, looking after the telecommunications design team for the National Roads Telecommunications Service, which is responsible for all the country’s motorway telecoms.

    I bring to the school my experience of management and my willingness to get involved with the school wherever I can to ensure our children get the best they can from their time at Chailey St Peter's.

  • Mrs Swinnerton

    Parent Governor

    I am a parent governor for Chailey St Peters Primary school, with three of my own children currently attending. I have previously worked in a corporate industry in the sales and marketing department for some years and following having children I had a career change in line with my hobbies and interests and I am currently self employed as a Dog Groomer. I am proud to be part of the governing board and my role within the team is strategic in driving continuous improvement throughout the school and monitoring progress towards these goals in order to help raise standards and improve outcomes for all children now and for the future.

  • Mrs Dryden


  • Ms Morrow

    Head Teacher

  • Mr Luckhurst

    Staff Governor

  • Mrs Garbutt

    Associate member