Middle Street Primary School

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Governors’ information and duties

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.

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.


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.

Structure of the Governing Body

The Governing Body (known as The Board) at Middle Street have adopted a Circle Model Structure - a whole Governing Body Approach.

The Board works collectively as a ‘whole team’, meeting 6 times per year, once in each half term, without any separate committees. An annual planner and agenda for each meeting will include all the tasks which the Board is required to consider, and the Board may ‘commission’ assignments or activities arising from the business of the meeting, which will be recorded in the minutes. Any ‘commissioned’ working groups will have Board drafted agreed terms of reference and will report any findings, actions or recommended decisions to the Board at its next meeting. These reports will in turn inform collective strategic decision making by the Board.

In addition to ‘commissioning’ activities or actions on their behalf, the Board, to ensure its core functions are fulfilled, will delegate monitoring responsibilities to ‘monitoring pairs’ or ‘individuals’. The Board recognises the delegated monitoring individuals/pairs are replacing committees in terms of challenge, responsibility and accountability when undertaking their monitoring and reporting back to the Board. The Board recognises that all decisions are made by the full Board and no financial delegated authority is given to monitoring pairs. Meetings of the Board and delegated individuals/ pairs will be considerate of the well-being of staff and Executive lead/headteacher by referring to the DfE teacher workload reduction toolkit.

In each case where a function has been delegated there is a statutory duty for the delegated governor/s to report, by written monitoring reports, any findings, actions or recommended decisions to the Board in time for its next meeting to enable informed collective strategic decision making.

The Board meets at least 6 times a year, considers monitoring reports and recommendations, makes decisions and conducts routine business.

Governor List

Click HERE to access a list of the Board of Governors.

Governor Responsibilities

Governor Attendance