The Governing Body of Thurton CofE Primary School

Our School Governance Statement:

‘The Governing Body actively promotes effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development alongside inspiring teaching to provide an exceptional learning environment where pupils love to learn.’

The Governing Body of Thurton Primary School consists of 11 members who support the school in its strategic direction through acting as a ‘critical friend’.

School Governors are members of the school’s Governing Body. They have responsibility for raising school standards through their three key roles of setting the strategic direction, ensuring accountability for financial spending and monitoring and evaluating school performance. Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country. The Governing Body is made up of the following members: the Headteacher, a member of school staff, parents, members of the community, church representatives and appointed representatives from the Local Authority.

Governor Hub – all information for the Thurton Governors is kept on this virtual learning environment (VLE).

Terms of Reference Thurton 2019-2020

Terms of Reference Thurton 2018-2019

Terms of Reference Thurton 2017-2018

(Minutes of Full Governor Meetings, which do not include strictly confidential information, are available upon request from the Headteacher.)

Who can become a school governor?

All types of people can become school governors. There are no special qualifications required, but you must be 18 or over on the date  when elected or appointed. Enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are the most important qualities. If you are a Parent Governor, you will not just be thinking about your own children but all the children and the longterm future of the school. However, to be a Governor, you do not need to have a child at the school or even know anyone in the school, just a desire to be involved with our school, to help it become the best it can be. All Governors are expected to have a clear DBS(Disclosure and Barring Service – this used to be known as a CRB, Criminal Records Bureau)before they become a school governor.

The full Governing Body meet six times a year, once per half-term. Each member of the Governing Body is also either a member of a subcommittee or has a specific area of the School Improvement Plan as a focus. These groups meet once per term, or more often if necessary. The committees and groups are:

  • Strategic Leadership – Headteacher, Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Governors
  • Finance Committee
  • Ethos Committee – led by Fr C Ellis
  • Personnel Committee
  • Curriculum and Standards Committee
  • Link Governors for specific sections of the School Development Plan (SDP), Safeguarding, Health and Safety (including E-Safety) and Curriculum areas.

Each group feed back to the main Governing Body in the second meeting per term.

Types of Governors

Local Authority Governor – appointed by the LEA

Mrs Maggie Coe – Chair of Governors and Chair of Personnel

‘Hello,  I’m Maggie Coe, and have been a Governor at Thurton VCP School since 2012. Having worked in local government for most of my career – in a variety of roles associated with children, their education and safety – I’m passionate about each and every child having access to the very best opportunities in life.   I enjoy my role as Governor for Thurton School, and find it incredibly rewarding.’

Parent Governors– elected by other parents at school, or where there is no competition, appointed by the Governing Body.

Mrs Andrea Swiffen – Parent of Eva

‘I’m Andrea Swiffen, parent of Eva and a teacher at a local high school. I’ve been a governor for three years, joining not long after my three children started to attend Thurton Primary. Two of my children are now in high school and often reminisce about the many happy times they enjoyed at their primary school.  I wanted to give something back to the school, in return for the wonderful education and opportunities the school continues to provide for our children, that’s why I continue to be a member of the Governing Body.’

Mrs Jayne Casey – Parent of Olivia

‘I am mother to Olivia and Harry, who attends Thurton & Ashby Pre-school. We live in Ashby St. Mary. My background is in education, having worked with primary-aged children, in and out of schools, all my working life. Currently my time is devoted to my family and the local community: I am Parish Council Clerk, part of the committee that is renovating Thurton & Ashby playground, I run the Christian pre-school group Little Fish, and help within the PTA.’

Co-Opted Governors– appointed by the Governing body, for example because they represent community interests or have particular skills

Mr Len Swiffen – Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee, elected by and representing Thurton Parish Council

‘I’m Len Swiffen. I have been a governor at Thurton VCP School for more than six years. Before retirement, I had almost forty years teaching experience in primary, junior and middle schools in Norfolk. My aim is to support positively, the very demanding work of everyone concerned with Thurton VCP School, in ensuring that every child receives the best and widest educational opportunities possible to enable them to fulfil their full potential and to prepare them for secondary education.’

Mrs Wendy McGill – Represents community interest

‘I’m Wendy McGill, and have been a governor since September 2013.  Extending my interest in education and desire to support our lovely community prompted me to become a governor.  I work in IT Compliance administration for BPP University in London and as I don’t have any personal connections (eg children) within the school, I’m able to give practical advice with my business head on, and get involved with recruitment as part of the Personnel Committee. I’m proud Thurton Primary School is ‘outstanding’ in every area and am committed to working to keep this rating, to do the best for the children in the school for the future”

Mr Roland Kaye – Represents community interest

Foundation Governors– appointed by the Diocese and are representatives on behalf of the local church. These governors do not have to be regular Church attendees but have to believe in the philosophy and ethos of the Church.

Mr Neville Whiting – Vice Chair of Governors

‘I’m Neville Whiting.  I became a member of the governing body around five years ago when my two grandchildren attended the school. Not only did I want to participate in the local community, I wanted to support the Christian ethos of the school too.I serve on the Finance Committee and act as Health & Safety Governor.  My aim is for the children to receive the best, well-balanced education possible, from the resources available.’

Mrs Anne Dring

‘I’ve been a school governor since September 2016, my aim is to give the children every opportunity and encouragement to achieve the best they can during their time at school. I was a school librarian for many years before retirement, so am fully aware how reading helps in every aspect of life – not just literacy – so I visit the Blue class every week to support the children in their learning. I also love music and help with the school choir. Being a part of the Governing Body and a member of the Curriculum Committee is a pleasure, it’s a place where we can share our skills for the benefit of the school and wider community.  I am a committed Christian, part of Thurton church and also Holy Trinity church in Norwich.’

Fr Chris Ellis – Local Rector

I am the Rector of Thurton (and four neighbouring parishes) and I am the Bishop’s Appointed Governor at Thurton Primary School. I am passionate in my support of the Christian Ethos of the school and meet regularly with the RE Co-ordinator, take teaching assemblies when required and I am one of the ‘Open the Book’ team who teach Bible stories through drama in school. I consider an important part of my role to be to support the teachers and Headteacher in their demanding roles as well as encouraging community cohesion through my relationship with the families both in and out of the school environment. I am on the Curriculum and Personnel committees, a Safer Recruitment Governor and the Link Governor for RE.

I am also the Bishop’s Appointed Governor at Alpington and Bergh Apton Primary School.

Staff Governors– elected by the school staff. Head teacher is a governor by virtue of his position.

Mr Jonathan Barber – Head teacher

Miss Laura Debenham – Class teacher

If you wish to contact the Governing Body please address correspondence to the Chair of Governors via the main school office.

If your contact is the result of a complaint please follow the steps outlined in the complaints policy available in the office or on this website in Queries

Minutes of Governor meetings are available on request to the Headteacher.

The partnership in practice – who does what?

Area Headteacher (HT) Governing Body (GB)
Overall responsibilities
  • Runs the school on a daily basis
  • Advises governors
  • HT is the main influence on GB’s decisions
  • Determines the aims, ethos and priorities of the school
  • Critical friend
  • Delegates to the head the power to run the school
Funding and policy making
  • HT or senior leadership team (SLT) does the nitty-gritty work of formulating the plan
  • Drafts the detailed action plans
  • Involved in planning discussions and decisions through its committees
  • Agrees the final school improvement plan (SIP)
  • Ratifies whole school policies
  • Supplies the information and advice and produces the curriculum plan
    • Determines curricular policy and agrees the curriculum plan.


  • Draws up the initial staffing plan based on the school’s needs
  • Decides the complement of staff
  • Decides what proportion of the overall budget should be spent on staff
  • Manages the appointment process, e.g. draws up job descriptions, organises the day in school and timetable
  • Has responsibility for managing appointments
  • Should work within the agreed criteria


  • Produces the budget headings
  • Manages the school’s spending and budget
  • Responsible for approving and monitoring the budget
  • Monitors the school’s financial management
  • Interprets the regulations for the governors
  • Manages the performance management of the staff and the progression up salary scales which at the point of appointment were agreed with the governors.
  • Determines salary levels for all members of staff  (at time of appointment with  advice from HT)
  • Determines salary level of Headteacher
  • Ratifies the statutory pay policy
 Personnel Day to day management of staff. Deals with personnel issues if issues occur.