Structure of Governance

The Governing Body of Sacred Heart and St Mary’s Catholic Primary Schools (Battersea)

Governing Body Structure and Information

What are they?

All schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to monitor, to support, to challenge, to ask questions, ultimately to represent the school communities.

Good governance dictates that School Governing Boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

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

The Governing Body works in close partnership with the headteacher, staff, the Diocese and Local Authority. Whilst the headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the two schools, the governing body is involved with matters such as reviewing staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.

Who are the governors?
The governing body now consists of:

The Executive Headteacher;

Two Parent Governors;

One Staff Governor,

One Local Authority Governor;

Eleven Foundation Governors appointed by the Archdiocese of Southwark;

Four Co-opted Governors (currently includes the 2 Associate Head Teachers from each school, 1 parent  and 1 member of staff)

The standard term of office for a governor is four years. Parent and Staff governors serve a two year term. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

The current Chair of Governor’s role is shared between Mr. Andrew Cooper and Mr. John Hallmark who can be contacted via the school office.

Much of the work of the governing body is done by committees. Within the Federation we have the following committees:

  • Curriculum and Standards. This committee oversees various areas including Safeguarding, the ASD base, SEND issues, Pupil Achievement and Progress data of all children including vulnerable and disadvantaged groups as well as the most able, ensuring a Broad and Balanced Curriculum in line with the National Curriculum, the Parish Link Programme, feedback from Parents/Staff and Children. Chair: Niamh Coyne
  • Finance and Personnel: This committee is responsible for reviewing and agreeing the school’s budget plan annually with the SLT; ensure appropriate financial controls and procedures are in place; progress against budget is scrutinized termly; a schedule of spending authority limits is agreed annually; to review all financial requests from other committees and all issues relating to staff. Chair Carlos Bandoh
  • Buildings: This Committee reviews building projects, maintenance and repairs projects, the health and safety aspects of both schools, security issues, and equal access including disability access. Chair Peter Lam
  • Admissions and Discipline: The Committee reviews all Reception applications and in year applications; to maintain the school’s admissions criteria and review the admissions policy annually; consider all matters relating to parents/carers complaints in line with the complaints procedure; pupil behavior and discipline are discussed termly. Chair: Sue Mapara
  • Pay Committee: The Pay Committee reviews the whole school pay policy; approves with the Headteacher the recommendations on the annual pay cycle within the remit of the whole school pay policy and undertakes the Headteachers performance review. Chair: Andrew Cooper

It is the Governors’ responsibility to monitor standards within the school and ensure statutory duties are being carried out. Each Governor also takes a strategic responsibility for particular subject or aspect of school life. Safeguarding is a high priority for governors and governors ensure that they meet their responsibilities in this area. The Board has 2 nominated safeguarding link governors: Niamh Coyne and Sue Mapara.


Having participated in several strategy and research meetings, Governors have worked together to form a new joint governing board.

During this first year, and going forward, good governance of both schools is important to Governors as is sharing good practice and expertise. Governors are working hard and are interested and committed in their new role. Stability amongst the governing board is strong.

Having only worked with one of the schools previously, governors have worked together with the SLT and other governors to gain the necessary knowledge and information about both schools.  This has enabled them to fulfill their roles, ensuring the best outcomes for the children.

Governors have worked with the SLT and staff to ensure that policies and other documents are joint where possible.

Working closely with staff and the SLT, Governors have an extremely detailed governor visit programme. They visit the school regularly; both as part of the School Development Plan and also to monitor, observe and discuss specific subjects. Feedback on visits is given to all governors via a formal visit report.

Governors have supported, advised and worked closely with the SLT and the Building Project team on the new building work at St Mary’s.

Governors have helped to market the new building at St Mary’s.

Governors have started discussions about the future of the schools and possible collaboration initiatives.

Governors met with parents/carers at St Mary’s in March 2016 during a FGB meeting to raise the profile of the Board and also to enable informal discussions on a one to one basis. They have set a date to meet the parents/carers from Sacred Heart in March 2017.

Click on the link below to view details of the current Governing and an outline of their responsibilities, including attendance at meetings:

Governor Details and Register of Interests 2016 – 17

An overview of Governor Responsibilities

You can see our Governors and read their bios: Here

Attendance 2016-17

Attendance 2015-16

Terms of Reference for the Committees

Further information about school governors and information about how to become a school governors can be found on the London Borough of Wandsworth’s website: Here