Governing Board

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College 2019

Role of the Governing Board

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

These are in accordance with the Government’s requirement for all Governing Boards.

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 was reconstituted on 16th March 2015 and is now made up of 11 Governors:-

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

Governors are increasingly accountable for the performance of their schools and this has resulted in governing boards needing to become ever more professional and individual governors needing very specific skills to perform their roles well.

The DfE published a Competency Framework for Governance in 2017 and the Board refers to this to ensure compliance with its statutory and legal duties. Our governors come from a range of backgrounds and work together to fulfil their responsibilities. A number of new governors have been recruited to the Board to strengthen our expertise.

All governors sit on the full Governing Board.  There are no sub-committees other than the statutory committees: Student Discipline Committee, Staff Discipline Committee and the Pay Review Committee.  Governors are appointed when the two discipline committees are required and the governors are appointed to the Pay Review Committee at the first meeting of the academic year.

Last year there were Lead Governors for Finance, Data and Pupil Premium, Safeguarding, Child Protection and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), Curriculum and the Sixth Form so that the distribution of responsibilities aligned itself with the Strategic Plan (see below). They report back regularly to the full Governing Board.

Developments in 2018 -2019

Seeking Academy Status

The Board took the view that our newly appointed Headteacher should be given the opportunity to take part in the academy debate and should be given time to get to know our school. The position has been reviewed and is not currently seen as a strategic priority.


There will be a new inspection framework for schools from September 2019, so the Board received training from the Local Authority on the implications of the new focus on the curriculum. More training is planned for the Board.

Sixth Form

The collaboration between our Sixth Form and those of Boroughbridge and Easingwold Schools has now ended as a result of Easingwold becoming an academy. We have increased the offer in our own Sixth form to include Psychology from September 2019.

Public Exam results

Full details of these are published on our website. It was a good year for our school with 65% students achieving a pass in both English and Maths and 40% achieving the English Baccalaureate. We are pleased to report that our Progress 8 score has remained positive.

We had some notable successes from our Sixth Form students too.

Strategic Plan

The Governing Board agreed a new School Improvement Plan for 2018-2021. Our vision is ‘educating today, preparing for tomorrow.’

In order to deliver the plan, the Senior Leadership Team was increased in size from 4 to 6 with the addition of 2 new Assistant Heads, one with responsibility for community development and the other for pastoral care, behaviour and attendance.

There has been a particular focus on developing strategies around pupil behaviour and attendance. We have developed our provision to include a new Inclusion Unit for which we have recently received additional funding. It has also benefitted from a number of fund raising events organised by school and the local community.

Strategic Plan 2018-19

In year 1 of the new 3 year strategic plan, we focused on six strategic priorities:-

SP1: Promote the quality of teaching, learning and assessment

SP2: Promote personal development, behaviour and welfare

SP3: Promote outcomes for pupils

SP4: Promote effective leadership and management

SP5: Manage finance and operations

SP6: Promote community links

Attendance record of Governors

A record is kept by the Clerk to the Governing Board of governors’ attendance at meetings. Details of attendance can be found at the end of this document.

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 Guy Baragwanath
(Vice Chair of Governors)
Local Authority Governor
Lead Governor for Finance
Pay Review Committee member
Mrs Gill Thornton
(Co-Chair of Governors)
Parent Governor
Lead Governor for Data
Pay Review Committee Member
Mrs Jane GraingerParent Governor
Lead Governor for Curriculum
Lead Governor for Sixth Form
Mr Owain Pierce-WilliamsStaff Governor09.01.201709.01.2021100%
Mrs Anne SilverCo-opted Governor
Mrs Irene MarwoodCo-opted Governor
Mr Andrew WilsonCo-opted Governor17.12.201917.12.2020
Miss Emma LambdenHeadteacher01.04.2018100%
Ms Alison KeaneCo-opted Governor
VacanciesOne Co-opted Governor
Mrs Diane AtkinsonClerk

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. 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.

Register of interests apply to Mrs Grainger.