Our Sixth Form open evening is on Thursday 7th November.

Governing Board

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

September 2018


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 in response to this, the Board has recently been reviewing its ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ to ensure compliance with its statutory and legal duties. All Governors completed a skills audit last term to enable us to evaluate the strengths of the Board and to identify areas where additional expertise would be helpful. Our Governors come from a range of backgrounds and work together to fulfil their responsibilities.

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.

There are 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 aligns itself with the Strategic Plan (see below). They report back regularly to the full Governing Board.


Developments in 2017 -2018


Appointment of a New Headteacher

After nine years as Headteacher at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, Stuart Mason left to take up a Senior Adviser role with another Local Authority. In April 2018, we appointed a new Headteacher, Miss Emma Lambden. She is a very experienced senior school leader who has been a Deputy Head at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate for the last seven years.

Seeking Academy Status

The Governing Board’s academy working party has continued to explore the implications of achieving academy status and the possibility of joining the Arete Learning Trust. The Board has sought detailed advice in order to be able to be fully informed on how this would work for our school. There would be a formal consultation with staff and parents before any decision is made.

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.

Post Ofsted Focus

The school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2017 and was judged to be “Good” in all areas. The School Improvement Plan, the identification of students with Special Educational Needs, developments at Key Stage 3 and progress of Pupil Premium students has continued to be a focus. See the detail below.


Strategic Plan

In April 2015, the Governing Board established its strategic priorities for 2015-2018. Our vision is for Thirsk School & Sixth Form College to be ‘the leading school of choice for the heart of North Yorkshire’. The annual School Improvement Plan sets out how this will be achieved.


The School Improvement Plan for 2017 – 2018

School Improvement Focus:


Joining Arete Learning Trust

Please see section on Academy status above.


Developing consistently good leadership

A focus on departmental improvement plans with monitoring and guidance on how these should be written.

A focus on consistency across departments.

Improvement and further development of performance management systems.

Data training.

A structured system of learning walks.


Managing effective targets

Review of assessment without levels processes.

Development of the role of the new Data Manager.

A focus on target setting.


Improving support for students with SEND

Personalising the school provision map.

A focus on the SEND register and identification of students needing support.

Development of a tool kit of early assessment resources for teachers.


Developing a vibrant and viable Sixth Form

Investigation of different models of future Sixth Form provision and future curriculum offer.

Improvement in data analysis and target setting and an increase in student involvement in data analysis.


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 and Operations
Pay Review Committee member
Mrs Gill Donald
(Co-Chair of Governors)
Co-opted Governor
Lead Governor for Outcomes, and Leadership and Management,
Mrs Gill Thornton
(Co-Chair of Governors)
Parent Governor
Lead Governor for Outcomes and Leadership and Management
Mrs Jane GraingerParent Governor
Lead Governor for Teaching and Learning/Assessment
Mr Owain Pierce-WilliamsStaff Governor09.01.201709.01.2021100%
Mrs Anne SilverCo-opted Governor
Lead Governor for Teaching & Learning/Assessment
Mrs Irene MarwoodCo-opted Governor
Lead Governor for Community links
Miss Emma LambdenHeadteacher01.04.2018100%


Mrs Jane Grainger currently works on supply for the Local Authority virtual school