Chair of Governors, Louise Carver:

Clerk to the Governors, Polly Kearsey-Gutkowska: 


Overview of Sheldon's Board of Governors from the Chair, Louise Carver.

I am delighted to be the current Chair of the Board of Governors for Sheldon School. Sheldon’s Board of Governors plays an important role in overseeing what happens in the school and in both challenging and supporting the leadership team to deliver the school’s objectives. Our core purpose is to ensure excellent education for all Sheldon students, and our 3 core roles, set by the National Governance Association, are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
  • Holding the executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

We meet as a full Board six times a year, but much of the work is carried out in committees, each of which meets five or six times a year and reports to the Board of Governors. I meet at least once a month with the Headteacher, and we both meet with the Committee Chairs and Vice-chair before each full Board meeting.

The Board of Governors is supported by a Clerk - a Governance Professional - who is trained and qualified to advise the Chair and other governors on relevant compliance requirements and policies. The Clerk also manages the governor induction process, ensures information on training is provided, and provides administrative support to governor meetings.

Sheldon’s governors come from many different walks of life and have a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and qualifications. We are all volunteers but what we all have in common is a passion for promoting the opportunities which education provides for our young people and a shared interest in using our expertise and experience to benefit the school. Engaging with staff, students, and parents is vitally important to us, and we achieve that in several ways, including linking individual governors with a Faculty, attending functions and meetings in school, and participating in the recruitment and selection of key members of staff.

It is one of my responsibilities to ensure that the Board of Governors includes individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds who bring a wealth of expertise so that the Board can operate successfully in achieving its aims. We have governors with professional backgrounds in finance, business management, marketing, human resources, and education, as well as governors who represent school staff, the parent body, and the community.

It is the governors’ responsibility to ensure that the Sheldon Charters are upheld as well as overseeing progress towards the school’s aims and the objectives set out in the School Development Plan. The school aims to enable all young people to become:

  • successful, independent learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

The Sheldon Charters Board is the guardian of the Charters, and its role is to ensure the Board of Governors works within the Charters set out in our constitution. Once a year we report to the Charters Board. We are also held to account by a Members Group, which is formed of individuals independent of the school who ensure that we are carrying out our 3 core roles correctly and effectively.


Committee Chairs

Resources Committee: Katherine Hathaway

Strategy & Audit: Kathy Barnes

Culture & Community: Nicola Dowd

Quality of Education: Judith Vosper