What do we do?
St Nicholas CE VA Primary School, Harpenden, is fortunate to have a committed team of governors who play an important role in the leadership of the school and have responsibility for the school’s overall strategic direction.
The governors are unpaid volunteers who, by donating a significant amount of their time, have developed an extensive knowledge of St Nicholas and are passionate supporters of the school. They are either elected or appointed to serve a four year term of office. The exceptions to this are the Rector and Headteacher, who remain governors for the duration of their time in that role. Many of our governors serve more than one term of office, which further extends the wealth of experience and depth of knowledge available to the Governing Body.
The Governing Body acts as a group. We have a range of duties and powers and a general responsibility for the conduct of the School.
We are a Voluntary Aided School, which means we have more autonomy in some areas of policy than governing bodies of other types of schools. We differ in that we are responsible for:
The Governing Body acts as a ‘critical friend’ by:
The full Governing Body meets twice each term and the Minutes of these meetings are available on this website. Smaller committees with specific and differing functions meet in addition to the full Governing Body, thereby extending the work and reach of the Governing Body. These committees have delegated responsibilities from the full Governing Body and frequently report back to the full Governing Body.
The Governing Body communicates with parents via an annual Governors' Newsletter and Impact Statement, which explain the Governing Body's most recent involvement in leading and managing the school. From time to time, usually in the Autumn Term, a parents’ questionnaire is sent to all families to obtain views on specific areas of school life. In addition, the Governing Body endeavours to create opportunities to come face to face with parents at a variety of school events.
Parents are welcome to contact the Governors by e-mail or through the School Office. However, please kindly note that any individual queries regarding your child in school should in the first instance be directed to your child’s class teacher and then the Headteacher if required. If necessary, the Headteacher will consult with the Governing Body regarding any unresolved queries.
We are a corporate body, so individual governors are generally protected from personal liability, provided that we act honestly, reasonably and in good faith.
We have a Constitution which is written up in a legal document called the Instrument of Government. This sets out the number of members in each category of governor and confirms that the school has a Christian foundation.
Types of Governors
The Governing Body of St Nicholas School is skills-based. We have fourteen members on our Governing Body.
Foundation Governors (8):
They have a special responsibility for ensuring that the character of the school as a Church of England Voluntary Aided School is preserved and developed.
The Rector is an Ex Officio Foundation Governor, by virtue of being an incumbent of the Parish.
PCC Foundation Governors (5): elected by the Parochial Parish Council.
DBE Foundation Governors (2): elected by the Diocesan Board of Education.
LA Governor (1): Appointed by the Local Authority.
Parent Governors (2): Elected by the Parents.
Headteacher Governor (1): Automatically an Ex Officio governor.
Staff Governor (1): Elected by the staff.
Co-opted Governor (1): Appointed by the Governing Body.
Governors, however appointed, have equal rights to participate in the work of the Governing Body and are expected to contribute their own views and constructively challenge decisions. However, they always work as a team and are bound by the collective decisions of that team.
Please explore the other pages in this section of the website to find out more information about our governors.