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Thirsk School

& Sixth Form College

    Meet the Governors

    Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College

    September 2016

    The three core strategic functions of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College Governing Board are:-

    • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
    • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students
    • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

    These are in accordance with the Government's requirement for all Governing Bodies.

    The Headteacher and the Governing Board work in close partnership. The governors’ role is strategic and the Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.


    Governance arrangements

    The Governing Board of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College was reconstituted on 16th March 2015 and is now made up of 11 Governors:-

    • 1 Local Authority Governor
    • 1 Staff Governor
    • 2 Parent Governors
    • 6 Co-opted Governors
    • The Headteacher

    The expectations on governing boards have increased in recent years. Governors are now more accountable for the performance of their schools and this has resulted in governing boards needing to become ever more professional and individual governors needing very specific skills to perform their roles well. Through this process of reconstitution, the Governing Board undertook a skills audit and our members have between them knowledge of business, management, finance, data analysis and education. Our governors come from a range of backgrounds and work together to fulfil their responsibilities.

    All governors sit on the full Governing Board.  There are no sub-committees other than the statutory committees: student discipline committee, staff discipline committee and the pay review committee.  Governors are appointed when the two discipline committees are required and the governors are appointed to the pay review committee at the first meeting of the academic year. The Governing Board appointed a selection committee in 2015–2016 to oversee the staffing restructure necessitated by the need to significantly reduce the potential financial deficit. There are Lead Governors for finance, data, safeguarding, child protection and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities). They report back regularly to the full Governing Board.

    The Governing Board recently set up an academy working party to consider the school’s response to the Government academy agenda. It is also conducting a self review to ensure effectiveness moving forward.


    Strategic Plan

    In April 2015, the Governing Board established its strategic priorities for 2015-2018. Our vision is for Thirsk School and Sixth Form College to be ‘the leading school of choice for the heart of North Yorkshire’. Our five strategic objectives are for rising standards, thriving students, a 21st Century curriculum, a vibrant and viable Sixth Form College and a secure financial future. The annual School Improvement Plan sets out how this will be achieved.

    The School Improvement Plan for 2016-17 can be viewed by following this link:


    In the School Improvement Plan for 2015 -16, there was a focus on:-

    Rising Standards: closing the gap for disadvantaged students, quality of teaching, collaboration with other schools to share practice, data analysis, boys’ underachievement.

    Impact: Governors scrutinised the data on the progress of our disadvantaged students challenged the school leadership to monitor the effectiveness of the interventions used. Evaluation of this is ongoing. Governors are involved in regular and systematic evaluation of exam results, progress measures, attendance patterns and student outcomes.

    Thriving students: developing effective interventions, parental engagement, effective tutor time.

    Impact: Governors have asked for data on the uptake of extra curricular activities to ensure the school continues to be inclusive for all students. They have undertaken monitoring visits to lessons and spoken to students and to the student council about student engagement and their views on what would improve their experience at Thirsk School.

    A 21st Century curriculum: new schemes of learning, a focus on effective homework.

    Impact: The Governing Board has challenged school leaders to demonstrate how they will meet the challenge of ‘life without levels’ to ensure assessment and data analysis continues to be effective. They have ensured the school meets the statutory curriculum requirements. The Lead Governors for Data have met with the Department Heads in English and Science to scrutinise departmental action plans. The Governing Board has challenged the school leadership to focus on moderation to increase consistency of judgments.

    Sixth Form College: collaboration with other schools, assessment, viable curriculum models.

    Impact: The Governing Board has been active in seeking and supporting collaboration with our two partner schools Boroughbridge and Easingwold to provide an enhanced curriculum offer for our Sixth Form students and to secure financial viability of the provision. The school has collaborated across North Yorkshire with a range of different partners in our Teaching Alliances and for the sharing of training and collaborative practice.

    Secure financial future: review of staffing and structures to avoid a deficit budget.

    Impact: The Governing Board has scrutinised the budget to ensure resources are used effectively and provide value for money. A very significant challenge this year has been the need to reduce the projected financial deficit. The Governing Board, through its selection committee, undertook a review of the staffing structure and some difficult decisions had to be made in order to save money. This has resulted in an improved financial situation but the Board is aware of the potential impact of these cuts and will continue to monitor the situation.


    Attendance record of Governors

    A record is kept by the Clerk to the Governing Board of governors’ attendance at meetings.  Details of attendance can be found at the end of this document.

    Meetings need to be ‘quorate’ to ensure that decisions can be made.

    The Governing Board has adopted the National Governors’ Association Code of Conduct for School Governing Boards.


    How to contact your Governing Board

    Information about the school’s Governing Board is available on the governors’ page of the school’s website.

    All correspondence for the Governing Board should be addressed to the Clerk, c/o the school.


    The dates of Governing Board meetings in the academic year 2016/17 are:-

    13th September 2016

    18th October 2016

    16th November 2016

    6th December 2016

    7th February 2017

    4th April 2017

    22nd May 2017

    4th July 2017


    Thirsk School & Sixth Form College Governing Board – Membership



    Category and Responsibilities

    Term of Office began

    Term of Office ends

    % Attendance at full Governing Board meetings

    Mr Guy Baragwanath

    Local Authority Governor

    Lead Governor for Finance

    Pay Review Committee member




    Mr Graham Cressey

    Co-opted Governor

    Chair of Staff Discipline Committee




    Mrs Gill Donald

    (Chair of Governors)

    Co-opted Governor

    Lead Governor for SEND, Child Protection, Safeguarding and Data

    Pay Review Committee member








    Mr Mike I’Anson

    Co-opted Governor



    Resigned on 14.01.2017 


    Mr Stuart Mason






    Mr Giles Kerridge

    Parent Governor

    Lead Governor for Finance


    Term of office ceased on 10.10.2016


    Mr John Potter

    Co-opted Governor

    Chair of Student Discipline Committee




    Mr Andy Rickard

    Staff Governor



    Resigned on 05.12.2016


    Mr Nick Stafford

    Co-opted Governor

    Chair of Selection Committee

    Chair of Academy Working Party

    Pay review Committee member




    Mrs Gill Thornton

    (Vice Chairman)

    Parent Governor

    Lead Governor for Data





    Mrs Jane Grainger

    Parent Governor




    Mr Owain Pierce-Williams

    Staff Governor





    Two Co-opted Governors








    Mrs D Atkinson

























































     Pay Review


     Selection Committee



    Co-opted governors are appointed through the full Governing Board, parent governors are appointed through parental elections and the staff governor is appointed through staff elections. There are currently no associate members on the Governing Board. Should associate members be appointed to the Governing Board, they will not have voting rights on the Governing Board, or if appointed to any committee of the Board if they are established in the future.

    No members of the Governing Board are governors at another school.

    Register of interests apply to Mrs Donald who is employed by North Yorkshire County Council in another capacity.