Governing body

All Governors are volunteers and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement’.. 

The Board of Governors should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; 
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools that came into force in September 2013 and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies.

How well the Board of Governors does its job has a real impact on the success of a school. Although our Governors are volunteers, they must each have a high standard of professionalism. Our Board of Governors can and should be held to account for its effectiveness.

Governors hold an important public office and their identities should be known to everybody within the Mary Exton community, and wider within the local community. We have provided details here of the current members of our governing body, their roles and responsibilities, and time in office. More information on individual Governors can be found here.  

Structure of the Board of Governors

The board of governors conducts all their business through Full Governing Board meetings. All dates for Full Governing Board meetings are set for the academic year in advance.

Our Governing Board consists of three parent governors, one staff governor, our two co-headteachers, three co-opted governors and a local authority governor. To maximise our effectiveness we also have an associate member who does not hold any voting rights but brings additional experience to our board.

Governors visit the school throughout the year attending assemblies; sitting on interview panels; assisting with various school trips and school projects. In addition, there is an annual Governor Day when Governors are invited to visit the school for a day to see first-hand how various strategies are being implemented, and to consider how these help our children with their learning. The day also provides an opportunity for Governors to meet our pupils, have lunch with the children and talk with them in a classroom setting.


Governance arrangements

The Mary Exton Governing Board is a committed group of unpaid volunteers. Alongside undertaking specialist tasks and responsibilities and regularly visiting the school, each Governor is expected to undertake regular training to ensure they continue to develop their skills. Each Governor attends a number of meetings, and strives to attend all the Full Governing Body meetings throughout the academic year. In the interest of transparency, our governance arrangements, declarations of interest and our latest record of attendance can be found here:

2021/2022 Governance Arrangements & Declarations of Interest


The Board of Governors*: 
Karen Gordon
Co-Chair of Governors (Parent)
Kirstie Buckridge Co-Chair of Governors (Co-opted)
Philippa Cahill Vice Chair & Chair of Resources Cttee (Parent)
Danika Williams Chair of Curriculum & Standards Cttee (Parent)
Diane Graham Local Authority Governor
Jenny Morgan  Co-opted Governor
Julia Reffell Co-opted Governor
Hayley Carr Co-opted Governor
Angharad Paterson Co-Headteacher
Tracy Clements Co-Headteacher
Anne-Marie Day Staff Governor
Tom Ritson

Deputy Headteacher (Associate Member)

Vacancy** Co-opted Governor

*Updated May 2023

**Please contact the school office team for further details.

Types of Governor:
  • Staff Governors - Selected by election from teaching and support staff paid to work at the school. Do have voting rights.
  • Parent Governors - Selected by election (or appointment if insufficient people stand for election) and drawn from parents and carers of children at the school. Do have voting rights.
  • Co-opted Governors - Appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. Do have voting rights.
  • Local Authority Governors - Appointed by the local authority. Do have voting rights.
  • Associate Members - Appointed by the Governing Board but hold no voting rights at Full Governing Board meetings.
Contacting the Governors

If you would like to speak to any of the Governors, please feel free to approach us at school events, or contact the school office.  The school will ensure messages are passed on and the Governors will respond to you within five working days. If it is an urgent matter regarding safeguarding then the Chair of Governors can be contacted directly via email on

If you are interested in becoming a Governor please contact the school office and our Governors will be in contact to discuss any vacancies the set of skills you feel you would be able to bring to the Governing Board.

For further information, please read the following document which contains frequently asked questions about the 'Role of the Governor'.

FAQ - Role of the Governor