Governance

Members of the Current Board

Mark Goodwin (Chair)

Melissa Conlon (Vice Chair)

William Garment

Eman Ahmed

Andy Bradshaw

Darren Whitman

Ben Hall

Nicola Mason

Judy Nairn

John Wood

Should you wish to contact the Chair of Governors you can do so by emailing: chair@highfieldpriory.co.uk

Highfield Priory is a registered charity and controlled by a board of governors. The Board of Governors is made up of present and past parents who all have a personal interest in the welfare of the school as well as external governors who have kindly offered their time and expertise. The Governing Body aims to include within its membership expertise in different areas which may be useful to the school such as law, accounting, buildings management and marketing. Governors do not receive any remuneration from Highfield Priory for any work carried out on the school's behalf.

School Aims and Charity Purpose

Highfield Priory Independent School was founded in 1940 and is run by a board of governors who are the trustees of the charity. The school is located in Fulwood, Preston and provides primary education for girls and boys aged between six months and eleven years old. The main purpose of the charity is to provide an environment in which each child can develop their talents and aspirations encouraging them to develop to their full potential. The school achieves this by providing an excellent standard of teaching, superb facilities and a wide range of intellectual, cultural and physical opportunities. A central feature in the school’s ethos is that each child when they leave school should make a positive contribution to society and consequently the school has developed strong links with the local community.

More specifically the charity aims to:

  • Provide a high quality education which is tailored to individual pupils’ needs
  • Develop a respect for cultural diversity and tolerance for the beliefs of others
  • Provide a wide curriculum and extra curriculum to ensure that the maximum potential of each pupil is achieved
  • Ensure a secure level of self confidence, integrity, good moral judgment and a consideration for others
  • Create a community within the school where all members are fully involved and to develop excellent relationships between trustees, parents, pupils, staff and former pupils. Enabling our community to foster links with and make a positive contribution to the wider community, locally, nationally and internationally
  • Promote and facilitate the sharing of best practice and knowledge transfer
  • Develop leadership and teamwork skills and ensure that the children have a sense of pride in their achievements
  • Support and participate in activities within the wider community
  • Promote opportunities for continuing professional development and provide supportive performance management
  • Develop a sense of benevolence, social responsibly and community spirit which will stay with them throughout the rest of their lives
  • Promote and facilitate the sharing of facilities and resources
  • Contribute to and support the development of the local economy
  • Demonstrate commitment to the widest possible access to the school and not be selective on the basis of gender, social, geography, cultural, ethnic religious background and intellectual ability.
  • Continue to improve and develop its facilities and systems thereby providing a safe and well maintained environment for the benefit of the community.
  • To preserve the building and environment around the school in an appropriate and sympathetic matter.

The board is assisted by the Bursar who acts as Clerk to the Governors.

The Role of the Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall direction of the school but plays no part in its day to day running which is left entirely to the Headmaster and his staff. However governors maintain close contact with the school, particularly with the Headmaster and the Bursar making themselves available for consultation, should the need arise. Full Governors meetings are held at the school once a month and various sub-committees are elected to deal with specific areas such as finance, marketing, health and safety and facilities management.

Becoming a Governor

Speak to the Bursar to express your interest. Provide a written summary of area of expertise. Elections are held at the general election meeting or you may be co-opted at any point after the GEM.

  1. Decentralisation

    School governors (unpaid voluntary servants) have long played a part in schools in England and Wales. This system of management does not normally operate in Europe and reflects the school system of decentralisation.

    Schools are not provided by central Government but by local authorities or voluntary bodies.

    Schools operate in accordance with policies and legal requirements determined by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and Skills (in England) and the National Assembly for Wales.

  2. The governing body is entrusted together with the Headmaster to establish and monitor values and ethos, deciding its policies, supervising and monitoring the schools performance.

    The Head is entrusted to manage the school from day to day.

    The governing body has responsibility for finance and staffing and by law must aim to promote high standards of educational achievement at school.

    A governor must act with integrity, objectivity and honesty in the best interests of the school. They must maintain appropriate confidentiality for example in relation to individual staff members and pupils.

  3. Categories of governor at Highfield is defined by the constitution:

    1. Parent governors - usually parents with a child at the school who are elected by the parents.
    2. Co-opted governors - are invited by those members of the governing body who have been elected/appointed. They are co-opted so that the school has an adequate representation of expertise on the governing body.
  4. Status of the Governing Body

    Highfield Priory's governing body is incorporated and therefore has its own separate legal existence. Members of the governing body have no personal financial liability for any action of the governing body, committee or individual governor.

    Governing bodies exercise their power and duties collectively but a committee of governors or an individual governor may act on behalf of the governing body in matters which are specified.

    The Chair or Vice Chair can act on behalf of the governing body if matters cannot wait for the next convened meeting. If neither the Chair nor Vice Chair is available and inaction would seriously harm the school, the Head can act as necessary and must seek the governing body's retrospective approval as soon as practicable.

    All governors have an equal say on the governing body and an equal right to serve as Chair or Vice Chair.

    A governor cannot serve and can become disqualified if they are bankrupt, subject to certain criminal convictions or disqualified from being a company director.

  5. Functions of a Governing Body
    1. High standards promoted

      In discharging its functions, the governing body must promote high standards of educational achievements in the school.

    2. Overall strategic management of the school

      The law stipulates that the overall management of the school 'should be under the direction of the governing body'.

    3. School performance and ethos

      The governing body is responsible for the school's good performance and its ethos.

    4. School curriculum

      All governing bodies have a duty to promote the statutory aims of the school curriculum.

  6. Control of premises

    The occupation and use of the school premises during and outside hours is under the control of the governing body.

  7. Finance

    The governing body is responsible for ensuring the financial well being of the school. This includes setting out the financial plans for the year ahead in the form of a revenue budget, capital budget, cashflow and balance sheet.

  8. Staffing

    The governing body in consultation with the Headmaster agrees the complement of staff. It is also responsible for ensuring staff appointed have the qualifications required by law.

    The governing body has control over the regulation of staff conduct and discipline, and must establish procedures for dealing with staff.

    The governing body determines the pay of all teachers at the school in accordance with the appropriate School Teachers Pay and Conditions document.

  9. Health & Safety

    The governing body must comply with employment law, and the law on health and safety.

  10. Pupil Behaviour

    Policies for promoting good pupil behaviour and discipline must be pursued with the headmaster and parents.

  11. Links with parents

    The governing body must ensure that parents have access to specified information about what the children are taught and are sent a report at least on an annual basis.

  12. Complaints about the school

    The governing body is responsible for considering complaints against the school which the staff have not been able to resolve from a parent.

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