What do school governors do?

Our School has a governing body of ten members, made up of three elected parent governors, one local authority governor, one elected staff governor, the headteacher and four co-opted governors.

Governors work with senior leaders in the strategic development of the school and in raising standards of achievement. Duties include setting the school’s vision, aims and objectives, approving the school budget and appointing the headteacher.

Governors must both support and challenge the headteacher, so need to gain an understanding of the school’s overall performance in order to explain its decisions and actions. They do this by attending regular meetings, carrying out school visits and meeting with senior leaders. They also attend training in order to keep up to date with the requirements of their role. Governors work as a team and make collective decisions.


If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please contact the Clerk to Governors for more information:

What we do

As governors we take an active interest in the school and, based on a broad knowledge of how the school works, make collective decisions about the school's aims, values and policies. We're not involved in the day-to-day management; our role is to act as a critical friend to the Headteacher and her management team, offering support and constructive advice. It is also our role to question proposals and ask for further information to allow us to make decisions in the best interests of all Middle Street's pupils.

Attendance and Governor List

 19-20 completed governors attendance list.docxDownload
 Governors List August 2020.docxDownload
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There are three main strands to our role:

  1. We have a strategic role

    We are required to think and act strategically to help raise standards. This means, for example, approving the School Improvement Plan (the document that sets out Middle Street's priorities and targets for the year). We also approve all school policies, achievement targets and the school budget.

  2. We act as a critical friend

    We act as critical friends to the Headteacher and staff, looking at the progress that is being made on the School Improvement Plan. Our priority is to ensure that the school is improving in the best interests of pupils. It is our responsibility to recognise where this may not be happening and ensure that we ask the right questions to find out why and help the Headteacher to find solutions.

  3. We ensure accountability

    The Headteacher and her staff are accountable to the governing body for the school’s performance. The governing body must be able to explain decisions and actions to anyone with an interest, and be well-informed about the school and what it stands for and its pupil data. For example, as governors we have a responsibility to explain the aims of the School Improvement Plan to parents and, in the case of an Ofsted inspection, to inspectors. In order to be able to explain the Plan properly we have to ensure we fully understand it ourselves and so the Headteacher is required to explain it to  us, and answer any questions we may have. 

Our training

Once elected or appointed, all members of the governing body attend the Local Authority’s induction training.

Throughout the year all of us are expected to undertake training to develop our skills and understanding of our role, and help us to be as effective as possible.
We also meet with governors from across Brighton and Hove, including other City Centre Partnership schools (Carlton Hill, Fairlight, Elm Grove, St Bartholomew's, St Mary Magdalen, St Paul's, St Mark’s, Tarnerland Nursery and Royal Spa Nursery) to discuss strategic priorities that affect us all.

How we’re elected or appointed

Parent governors are elected by current parents and staff governors are elected by current members of staff. Our co-opted governors are appointed by the rest of the governing body and Local Authority governors are appointed by the Local Authority’s governors’ panel.

Governors normally serve a term of four years, and can then put themselves forward for re-election or re-appointment if they are still eligible.

Governor Biographies

Ray Williams

 I spent all my working life in Education, initially as a teacher and mostly in Local Education Authorities, always in roles in

support of schools.  In retirement, I find that being a Governor helps me to keep up with developments, both locally and

nationally; and, more importantly, I enjoy bringing my skills and insights (hopefully!) to bear in support of the school. Over

many years now, Middle Street has always impressed me with its vibrancy and commitment to the development and well-

being of all its children in the fullest possible sense; and I look forward to many more years of enjoyment and stimulation

as part of this lively Governing Body.

Hannah Jefferies

I have two children who both went to Middle Street. I believe strongly that good partnerships between

parents and the school can make all the difference for children. I am passionate about fairness and believe that all children

should be properly supported to achieve their best, no matter what their starting point. I run a small business working

with individuals and organisations with a mission to educate, providing PR and communications support.

Oli Sharpe 

 In these challenging times for schools I think it's extremely important that a small, secular school like Middle Street

remains not just viable, but successful. This was one of the main reasons why I put myself forward to be a parent governor

for the school that my son has just started going to.

My background is in computing with a lot of consulting experience helping Local Authorities with their IT systems and the

information they hold. I hope this knowledge will both help Middle Street make sensible operational IT decisions as well as

feeding into any strategic thinking about IT education at the school.

I have been one of the parent governors at Middle Street School since March 2017.

Vanessa McGeachin
I am a co-opted governor and also work at Middle Street as a teaching assistant. I was first
elected in 2006 and having been re-elected in June 2019 I am entering my fourth term.
Currently, I act as the link governor for PE.
I love my role as a teaching assistant. I particularly like the caring ethos of the school and
the opportunities to build relationships with all the children. My belief that children need to
be happy before they can learn and fulfill their potential underpins all my work.
I have a long association with Middle Street, both my daughters attended the school and I
have been an active member of the School Association. I am keen to help parents find
ways to support and engage with their children’s learning and I hope my experience and
perspective as a parent, member of staff and governor can contribute to this goal.

Catherine Fehilly

I have worked in Human Resources for over 30 years. I currently work for Brighton and Hove City Council and am the LA

governor for Middle Street. My husband and I moved to Brighton almost eight years ago and we enjoy living close to the

sea and enjoying long walks on the Downs.

Mark Juba

I have two children at Middle Street School, who are both thriving in the supportive and inclusive environment that the

teachers and auxiliary staff take such care to create. I admire both the ethos of the school and the values demonstrated by

the teachers and school head alike, and agreed to become a co-opted governor to try and use my experience and

knowledge to help support the school, especially in the current political and financially challenging environment. I am the

Director/owner of a language school in Timor-Leste, and hope that my business management and financial planning skills

can be used in my role of school governor to benefit Middle Street. I have been a governor since September 2019.