All maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England and Wales are required to have a Governing Body. The Governing Body in our school is made up of a range of volunteers who bring a vast set of skills, knowledge and experience to represent our school community.

Our Governing Body makes decisions which are in the best interest of our children and young people. Fulfilling the role of a school governor is therefore both a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding. Not only do governors bring their own knowledge and skill to the role, but in learning how schools are run, they often develop their understanding of leadership. Most employers appreciate this and are supportive of their staff taking on the responsibility. Contributing to the growth and development of a school and seeing tangible improvements in attainment and well-being of the children is a satisfying and important contribution to the local community.

The Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for the conduct of its school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school. The National Governors’ Association states very clearly that the Governors are the school’s accountable body and as such they:

  • 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. They appoint and performance-manage the Headteacher and agree the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structure;
  • 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 school improvement and Ofsted reports as necessary. In addition they hold the Headteacher to account for the performance of the school and ensure that parents and carers are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate with information made available to the community as required.

What does governance look like in practice?

Once a governor has been elected, he or she has the opportunity to have induction training through the Local Authority and or the school. New governors may well find that some visits during the school day will help to put everything in context. Governing Bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year. Dates for meetings are set annually and usually last two to three hours. The Governing body at Woodeaton Manor meets far more regularly than this. In addition to Governing Body meetings, all governors are members of smaller working groups with a particular focus. We have three such groups:

  • Finance
  • Teaching, Learning and Progress
  • Premises, Health and Safety including Safeguarding.

These groups meet at least three times a year and report to the Governing Body.

In addition to meetings, all governors have a specific responsibility for a subject areas and a range of policies.

Training and Support

Governors do not need specific skills. Local Authorities are required to ensure that training for governors is available. Woodeaton Manor purchases the training package provided by Oxfordshire Local Authority. Some training is available online, some is timetable in the evenings and other sessions are held on Saturdays. Some training sessions are general whilst others are very specific, e.g. Headteacher Appraisal. Our Governing Body is a member of the National Governors’ Association.

Our Governors:

Co-Chairs of Governors:

Phil Garratt, Carol Brennan

Woodeaton Manor School

Committee Chairs:

Finance Committee Peter Hore
Teaching, Learning and Progress Committee Carol Brennan
Premises, Health and Safety Anne Purse
Andy Foulsham Parent Governor
First appointed on 15 Sep 2015
Simon Boitoult

Parent Governor

First appointed on 28 Apr 2020

Carol Brennan

Co-opted Governor, Co-Chair of Governors

First appointed on 1 Oct 2018

Mell Dodds

Parent Governor

First appointed on 30 Nov 2016

Kate Vaughan-Fowler

Staff Governor

First appointed on 27 Jun 2023

Phil Garratt

Partnership Governor

First appointed on 19 Feb 2013

Peter Hore

Co-opted Governor, Co-Chair of Governors

First appointed on 1 Sep 2013

Kathryn Lewis

Parent Governor

First appointed on 21 Jun 2016

Donna McCullough

Parent Governor

First appointed on 27 Jun 2023

Karin Pigott

Partnership Governor

First appointed on 19 Nov 2019

Anne Purse

Local Authority Governor

First appointed on 7 Jul 2012

Clare Robertson

Co-opted Governor

First appointed on 2 Feb 2021


Relevant business and financial interests:

Financial information

No member of staff earns over £100,000 pa.

Woodeaton Manor School’s financial benchmarking page can be found here