In England and Wales, all maintained schools and nursery schools are required to have a governing body charged with the responsibility for setting the overall direction of the school.
The governing body at St Mary's has representatives of the various stakeholders in the school; the headteacher, elected parent governors, elected teacher and non-teaching staff governors, a Local Authority governor and foundation governors. In Catholic schools, the foundation governors are appointed by the Bishop.
A school governing body has significant executive functions, such as deciding the strategic direction of the school and how the school budget is spent, and determining staffing levels. It also has an important scrutiny role in acting as a ‘critical friend’ of the school, in monitoring the school’s effectiveness and requiring the headteacher and staff to report to it on the school’s performance.
Governors at St Mary's come from a variety of backgrounds; some are parents, some employed in the private sector and others in the public sector, some do not have paid work. All give generously of their time, expertise and experience, working together for the benefit of the school community.
The full governing body meets each term, with sub committees also meeting on a regular basis. Terms of reference and public minutes of meetings are available from school on request.