Governing Board

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Thirsk School and Sixth Form College

November 2021

Role of the Governing Board

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all Governing Bodies, the three core strategic functions of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College Governing Board are:-

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

The Headteacher and the Governing Board work in close partnership. The Governors’ role is strategic and the Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.

Governance arrangements

The Governing Board of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College is made up of 11 Governors, as follows:-

  • 1 Local Authority Governor
  • 1 Staff Governor
  • 2 Parent Governors
  • 8 Co-opted Governors
  • The Headteacher

The Governing Board has established a new programme of meetings throughout the school year; these meetings and a limited committee structure allow all Governors to focus on our core strategic functions.

TERMLY ANALYSIS & STATUTORYHeadteacher Report, adopting statutory policies, finance etc1 hourVirtual
CPDTraining session for Governors regarding an area of school life1 hourVirtual
DEVELOPMENTAL & MONITORINGFeedback re SLT link meetings or Faculty Reviews, future developments etc1.5 - 2 hoursFace to Face

The Governing Board will continue to regularly review the status of the school with regards to being maintained by the Local Authority or seeking Academy status.

There is a range of requirements placed upon all Governors:

  • Commitment to the school’s vision and ethos, and the success of all our children;
  • A willingness to learn, and a capacity to engage forensic curiosity and analytical skills;
  • Good inter-personal skills, the ability to work professionally as part of a team and take collective responsibility for decisions;
  • Adequate skills in literacy and numeracy to interrogate critical data.
  • Both individually and collectively, we are well informed, undergo induction and ongoing training and have clear areas of responsibility. Our skills audit – used to map governors’ necessary competence, knowledge and experience – shows that individuals bring high level expertise to the board in critical specialist areas:
    • Health, welfare and safeguarding
    • Informed insight into the needs of the local and regional economy.
    • Understanding of Governance and senior management in schools;
    • Expertise in strategic planning and project management;
    • Specialist knowledge of Human Resource Management and legislation;
    • Performance management and appraisal;
    • High level budget planning and strategic financial management;
    • Management of premises and facilities;
    • Links with the local business and community organisations;

The full Governing Board meets in plenary session five times a year (these meetings are preceded by a period of training) with additional termly meetings of the full board to focus respectively on Quality & Planning or Finance & Premises.

Our commitment to ongoing personal and corporate development draws on training provided by the Local Authority, by members of the school’s leadership team, and by access to provision (particularly in respect of welfare and safeguarding) offered online by the DfE and other Government agencies.  We are also required to declare our business or other personal interests for reasons of transparency.

The Register of Business or Pecuniary Interests are Mr Horn, Mrs Keane and Mrs Binks.

Attendance record of Governors

A record is kept by the Clerk to the Governing Board of Governors’ attendance at meetings.

Meetings need to be ‘quorate’ to ensure that decisions can be made.

The Governing Board has adopted the National Governors’ Association Code of Conduct for School Governing Boards.

How to contact your Governing Board

All correspondence for the Governing Board should be addressed to the Clerk, c/o the school.

GovernorCategory and ResponsibilitiesTerm of Office beganTerm of Office endsAttendance at full Governing Board meetings
Mr N Horn (Chair)Co-opted Governor26.01.202126.01.2025100%
Mr G Baragwanath
(Vice Chair of Governors)
Co-opted Governor
Mr O Pierce-WilliamsStaff Governor09.01.201709.01.2025100%
Mrs A SilverCo-opted Governor
Mrs I MarwoodCo-opted Governor
Miss E LambdenHeadteacher01.04.2018100%
Mrs A KeaneCo-opted Governor04.02.202005.02.2025100%
Mr P BurkinshawCo-opted Governor02.12.202026.01.2022100%
Mr S AndersonParent Governor06.12.202006.12.2024100%
Mrs A BaxterLocal Authority Governor23.11.202123.11.2025100%
Mrs A BinksParent Governor09.10.202109.10.2025100%
Mr B BellCo-opted Governor11.10.202211.10.2023100%
Mrs D AtkinsonClerk

The work we have done within our Governing Board meetings

The Governing Board monitors student attainment through a range of data models. These include both formal qualification attainment and in year student progress. Divergence from expected attainment and progress is examined further with school leaders and the strategies put in place by the school are further monitored by Governors.  We are pleased to report strong attainment figures by our students but there is still work to do around the gap between boys/girls and disadvantaged/non-disadvantaged students and the Governing Board are holding school leaders to account in securing improvements in these areas. The Governing Board have worked alongside the Headteacher to review whole school Performance Management incorporating a parallel protocol of accountability within the Board itself.

Central themes ongoing from year to year

  • On going whole school improvement and consolidation of the gains we make;
  • Rigorous and on going analysis of Pupil Premium and Year 7 Catch Up funding, particularly funding allocation and the impact of this on student outcomes
  • Detailed analysis of and dialogue with the Senior Leadership team regarding all outcomes and endeavours to narrow ‘gaps’.
  • Detailed tracking and analysis of Post-16 predictions against outcomes

External advisors and Improvement Partners were welcomed into the school to ensure continued improvement and progress as well as external monitoring

Members of the Senior Leadership Team regularly attended Governing Board meetings to brief on their specific areas of responsibility, with Governors both supporting and challenging information given and initiatives to ensure continued progress and use of best practice. Reports and presentations on a variety of subject areas allow detailed projections on future results, which remain very encouraging.

The School Improvement Plan and SEF (Self Evaluation Form) were also regularly reviewed at full Governing Board level both to understand strategy and to evaluate progress against priorities. Policies and procedures were regularly reviewed and updated throughout the year, in accordance with new legislation, to ensure full compliance and of course to update nomenclature. All policies can be found within the ‘About Us’ section of the website, under ‘Policies’.

The Safeguarding Link Governor met regularly with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, with a standing Safeguarding item being included on full Governing Board agendas for generic reporting as appropriate.

Thirsk School & Sixth Form College Governing Board – membership 

  1. Co-opted Governors are appointed through the full Governing Board, Parent Governors are appointed through parental elections and the Staff Governor is appointed through staff elections.
  2. There are currently no associate members on the Governing Board. Should associate members be appointed to the Governing Board, they will not have voting rights on the Governing Board, or if appointed to any Committee of the Board if they are established in the future.
  3. All Governors sit on the full Governing Board. There are no sub-Committees other than the statutory Committees, which are the Student Discipline Committee, the Staff Discipline Committee and the Pay Review Committee.  Governors are appointed as and when either of the two discipline Committees are required, the Governors are appointed to the Pay Review Committee at the first meeting of the academic year.