Castleside Primary School

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Our Governing Body

Governors work closely with headteachers, school staff and representatives from our Trust.

Welcome from the Chair of Governors

Hello, my name is Judith Robson and I feel very privileged to be Chair of Governors of Castleside Primary School, working with such a professional and caring team of staff and governors.

Governors are volunteers and our main role is to work with the school ensuring that your children receive the best education in a supportive and safe setting. To this end we have three core strategic functions which are:

Making sure that everyone, including yourselves, is clear about the school’s vision for your children and how the school plans to realise the vision.

Working with the Headteacher to ensure that your children do the best they can and that all staff are supported and trained, to work with them to the best of their ability.

Making sure funding is well spent, by seeking value for money and targeting resources to areas that will best help children achieve their full potential.

We also try to visit the school as often as possible to see for ourselves how well the school is functioning. We do this by observing lessons, doing book scrutinies and talking to staff and children.

The governors come from a range of backgrounds and have different skills, but we could not do our job without the expertise of the Headteacher, Leadership Team, Staff Governors and fantastic staff at Castleside School. On a personal note, my passion is our community and I firmly believe that the children at Castleside Primary School benefit greatly from being at the very heart of our local community, from the choir singing at local events to children delivering parcels of fruit to the elderly, this all serves to give our children a sense of belonging. I believe we should aim to give all of our children ‘Roots and Wings’

Best Wishes

Judith Robson
Chair of Governors

Governing Body Committee Structure

How To Become A School Governor

If you require further information on the roles and responsibilities of School Governors or you are interested in becoming one, please contact our Head of Governance.

Castleside Primary adhere to the statutory guidance from the Department of Education. This means that governing bodies must have regard to it when carrying out duties relating to the constitution of governing bodies in maintained schools. For further information please view or download the full document below.

The Constitution of Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools

Governor Attendance

Schools are required to display a record of Governor attendance at meetings for each school academic year.

✓ – Attended meeting
A/A – Apologies sent and accepted by meeting
N – Did not attend
n/a – Not a member of the committee

Record of Attendance 2023-2024

Archived Attendance
You can also view previous years attendance on our website.

Committee Terms of Reference

Full Governing Body 

CHAIR: Mrs J Robson
 Terms of Reference   

Strategic Leadership and Accountability: 

  • In collaboration with school leaders determine a clear and explicit vision for the future.  Ensure this is communicated to the whole organisation.  
  • Set strong and clear values and ensure these are embedded across the organisation and adhered to. 
  • Determine the strategic direction for the school. 
  • Monitor and evaluate pupil progress and attainment by receiving reports and information from the Headteacher and other school leaders; compare against national and local benchmarks over time.  
  • Receive reports from committees, working parties or individuals and agree actions. 
  • Approve the SEF and monitor throughout the year. 
  • Approve the School Improvement Plan priorities and monitor throughout the year progress towards agreed actions. 
  • Ensure there is a transparent system for performance management of all staff which is clearly linked to the school’s priorities.  Have oversight of staff performance throughout the year. 
  • Ensure there are mechanisms in place to listen to and respond to the views of parents/carers, pupils, staff, local communities and employers. 
  • Agree recruitment process to be followed in relation to Senior Leader posts; where delegated ratify appointments. 
  • Final approval of the annual budget plan. 
  • Monitor the school’s budget throughout the year. 
  • Agree virement and expenditure limits for the Headteacher. 
  • Hold at least 3 meetings each academic year.  Ensure that committee meetings are held in accordance with the agreed terms of reference.   

People and Structures: 

  • Elect and/or remove Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Governors. 
  • Appoint Committee Chairs or delegate to each committee. 
  • Consider and agree delegation of functions to individuals or committees. 
  • Agree committee terms of reference and membership. 
  • Establish a register of Governors business interests. 
  • Ensure Governors information on the Get Information About Schools (GIAS) register and the school website is up to date and compliant with current requirements. 
  • Confirm the Instrument of Government and subsequent amendments. 
  • Appoint Co-opted, Local Authority and where necessary Parent Governors to the Board. 
  • Review and monitor the Governor Induction Process. 
  • Have regard for Governors professional development.  
  • Where necessary, suspend or remove Governors from the Board. 
  • Appoint/dismiss the Clerk to the Governing Body. 

Compliance and Evaluation: 

  • Consider business provided by Local Authority and other sources 
  • Suspend or end suspension of staff members. 
  • Ensure all statutory policies are in place and there is an effective policy review cycle. 
  • Review and agree the Governor Code of Conduct. 
  • Confirm arrangements for completion of a Governor Skills Audit. 
  • Ensure there is regular self-evaluation and review of individual’s contribution to the Board as well as the Board’s overall operation and effectiveness. 
  • As necessary, consider an external review of the Board’s effectiveness. 
  • Ensure school website is up to date and compliant with current DfE requirements. 

Curriculum and Standards Committee 

CHAIR: Mrs J Robson
 Terms of Reference  

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body). 

Curriculum Planning and Delivery: 

  • Review, monitor and evaluate the curriculum offer.
  • Contribute to the development and monitoring of the: 
  • Self Evaluation form 
  • School Improvement Plan 
  • Targets for school improvement
  • Develop and review policies identified within the school’s policy review programme and in accordance with its delegated powers (e.g. sex education and pupil discipline/behaviour). 
  • Ensure that the school’s policy on SEND is consistent with the Code of Practice and Equalities Act and receive termly reports from the Headteacher/SENDCo and an annual report from the SEND Governor. 
  • Ensure the SEND Policy is monitored and reviewed regularly and that the policy is known to parents/carers.
  • Ensure the school complies with the provisions of the Equalities Act 2010. 
  • Where necessary ensure that the 14-19 curriculum is broad-based and provides vocational training as well as academic qualifications. 
  • Where necessary ensure that all pupils have access to careers advice. 

Assessment and Improvement: 

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of leadership and management. 
  • Monitor and evaluate the quality of teaching and learning and the impact on rates of pupils progress and standards of achievement 
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of continuing professional development on improving staff performance. 
  • Receive pupil progress and achievement data; monitor and evaluate rates of progress and standards of achievement against agreed targets for all pupils and for all groups of pupils. 
  • Monitor and evaluate provision for all groups of vulnerable children e.g. looked after children and ensure all their needs have been identified and addressed. 
  • Monitor and review impact of Pupil Premium, Sports Premium, Early Years Premium and Year 7 Catch-Up funding. 
  • Monitor and review pupil attendance data against attendance targets. 
  • Monitor and review pupil exclusion information. 
  • Set priorities for improvement and monitor and evaluate the impact of improvement plans which relate to the committee’s area of operation. 
  • Regularly review the Assessment Policy and ensure that the policy is operating effectively. 
  • Ensure the school is fulfilling its responsibilities regarding child protection and the requirements of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 
  • Receive reports from external sources and agree actions to address recommendations; monitor and evaluate progress made. 
  • Ensure all children have equal opportunities. 
  • Ensure Safeguarding policies are adhered to; monitor and review all safeguarding policies/procedures within school. 
  • Advise the Finance and Premises Committee on the relative funding priorities necessary to deliver the curriculum. 
  • Monitor pupils’ attitudes, values and development of other personal qualities within the school through the provision of R.E. and PHSCE.  Ensure parents are informed of the right to withdraw their child. 


  • Monitor the school’s publicity, public presentation and relationships with parents/carers and the wider community. 
  • Identify and celebrate pupil achievements. 
  • Oversee and monitor arrangements for out of hours provision, extra-curricular activities and educational visits including overnight stays.  
  • Ensure that adequate provision is made for pupil transition. 
  • Ensure all statutory requirements for reporting and publishing information are met. 
  • Review and monitor the school’s website to ensure that it is accessible and fully compliant with current DfE requirements. 
  • Ensure the school works well with its community, parents and other schools. 

MEETINGS: at least termly

Staffing Committee

CHAIR: Mr J Arden
Terms of Reference

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body).
  • Carry out an annual review of the staffing structure in consultation with the Headteacher and Finance and Premises Committee.
  • Ensure the school is sufficiently staffed to fulfil the effective operation of the school and the School Improvement Plan (SIP).
  • Oversee the recruitment and selection procedures for all staff.
  • Make recommendations to the Finance and Premises Committee on personnel-related expenditure.
  • Develop and review policies identified within the school’s policy review programme and in accordance with its delegated powers (e.g. Appraisal, Whistleblowing, Recruitment and Selection).
  • Keep under review work/life balance, working conditions and well-being including monitoring attendance management.
  • Review the Single Central Record to ensure compliance with current statutory guidance.
  • Approve the Staff Code of Conduct and ensure all staff are aware.

MEETINGS: at least annually
DISQUALIFICATIONS: where there may be a conflict of or pecuniary interest; any Governor whose spouse/partner is involved

Delegation to the Headteacher

School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009
The Governing Body can delegate the power to appoint outside the leadership group to:

  • The Headteacher
  • One or more Governors with the right of the Headteacher to advise
  • One or more Governors and the Headteacher

Governing Body delegates to … responsibility for the appointment of:

  • Permanent teaching staff posts
  • Permanent support staff posts
  •  Temporary staff

Governing Body delegates to the Headteacher responsibility up to and including first written warning / first and final written warning / dismissal of:

  • All staff other than Headteacher
  • Headteacher to a committee of the Governing Body

Finance and Premises Committee

CHAIR: Mr J Arden
Terms of Reference

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body).


  • In conjunction with the Headteacher to draft and propose the first formal budget plan of the financial year for approval by the full Governing Body.
  • Establish and maintain an up-to-date three year financial plan, taking into account priorities in the School Improvement Plan, roll projection and signals from central government and the LA regarding future years’ budget.
  • Ensure that priorities detailed within the School Improvement Plan are appropriately costed and are reflected in the annual budget.
  • Monitor the budget position statement to identify and address any anomalies from the anticipated position and report termly to the full Governing Body.
  • Review and monitor outstanding debts and action taken.
  • Review and monitor Direct School Meals Provision by income and expenditure statements.
  • Review the year end outturn report.
  • Monitor and approve virements and expenditure over the Headteacher’s delegated limit.
  • Appraise and approve spending decisions where competitive quotations or tenders are required.
  • Ensure the school operates within the financial regulations of the Local Authority and the requirements of the DfE Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS).
  • Approve annually the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) submission prior to the 31 March deadline and monitor the implementation of any identified actions.
  • Monitor expenditure of all voluntary funds held on behalf of the Governing Body by review of an audited annual statement of income and expenditure.
  • Annually review the outcomes of the asset register stock check and approve the disposal of obsolete items.
  • Ensure appropriate use of the Early Years Premium, Pupil Premium and Sports Premium
  • Review and monitor the school’s website to ensure that it is accessible and fully compliant with current DfE requirements.
  • Review and monitor all financial policies including lettings, charging and remissions and expenses policies.
  • Consider and promote income generation.
  • Annually review income generated from contracts and lettings; oversee the use of premises by outside users.
  • Where necessary, monitor and review Wrap Around Care provision including review of annual income and expenditure statements where applicable.
  • Ensure all appropriate insurances are in place.
  • Annually review and approve the school’s Financial Procedures Manual.
  • Monitor service level agreements annually and make decisions in respect of service level agreements ensuring value for money.
  • Make decisions on expenditure following recommendations from other committees.
  • Ensure pay decisions can be appropriately funded.
  • Ensure as far as is practical that health and safety issues are appropriately funded in accordance with agreed priorities.
  • Annually review financial benchmarking data.
  • Monitor the implementation of actions arising from the Internal Audit report or of a financial nature from other inspection regime reports.
  • Ensure appropriate systems and procedures are in place to detect and prevent fraud and ensure any instances of fraud are reported immediately.


  • Establish, review and monitor the Health and Safety Policy ensuring that the school meets health and safety requirements.
  • Ensure actions are taken in respect of relevant health and safety legislation.
  • Ensure that premises and the learning environment are maintained and are fit for purpose.
  • Provide support and guidance for the Headteacher and Governing Body on all matters relating to the maintenance and development of the premises and grounds, including health and safety.
  • Ensure that an annual inspection of the premises and grounds is undertaken and a report received identifying any issues. Inform the Governing Body of the report and set out a proposed order of priorities for maintenance and development for the approval of the Governing Body.
  • Ensure professional surveys and emergency works are arranged as necessary.
  • Oversee the use of premises by outside users.
  • Establish and keep under review an Accessibility Plan and an Asset Management/Building Development Plan.
  • Monitor data on accidents and incidents.

MEETINGS: at least termly
DISQUALIFICATIONS: where there may be a conflict of or a pecuniary interest


Virement Limits Expenditure Limits
Limit set for Headteacher without prior written approval of Chair of Governing Body

Where the cumulative effect of multiple virements on the same budget heading exceeds this limit, details are to be reported to the next Finance and Premises Committee meeting for information and retrospective approval 
£3,000 Any items of expenditure up to £5,000
Limit set for Headteacher with approval from Chair of Governors

A log of these approvals will be maintained and details reported to the next Finance and Premises Committee meeting.
£3,001-£8,000 Above this limit if item was previously
notified to the Governing Body.

Prior Finance and Premises Committee or Chair of Governors approval (whichever is the soonest) to be sought outside of these limits and reported to the Finance and Premises Committee at the earliest opportunity. 

NB: Any goods/services purchased and works to be carried out are subject to Durham County  Council Contract Procedures Rules (January 2014) for quotations i.e. quotations or tenders to be  invited from capable contractors based on the likely value of the procurement over its lifetime:  

Between £500 and £5000 at least one quotation
Between £5001 and £50,000 at least three quotations 
Over £50,000 full tender exercise

Pupil Discipline Committee 

CHAIR: Mr P Rogerson
 Terms of Reference  

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body). 
  • Consider representations from parents/carers in the case of fixed term exclusions in line with statutory guidance. 
  • Consider the appropriateness of any permanent exclusion or any exclusion where one or more fixed period exclusions total more than 15 school days in one term or where a pupil is denied the chance to take a public examination in line with statutory guidance. 

MEETINGS: held as necessary
DISQUALIFICATIONS: prior knowledge; any Governor whose child is involved  

First / Pay Review Committee 

CHAIR: Mrs J Robson
 Terms of Reference  

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body). 
  • Annually agree the Teachers’ Pay Policy. 
  • Act in accordance with the Teachers’ Pay Policy when carrying out the annual review of teachers’ salaries. 
  • Report to the Finance and Premises Committee on pay review related expenditure. 
  • Consider any requests made in accordance with personnel policies e.g. flexible working, leave of absence etc. (unless delegated to the Headteacher). 
  • Make any decisions under the personnel procedures adopted by the Governing Body e.g. disciplinary, grievance, ill-health, capability etc. (Unless delegated to the Headteacher). 
  • Deal with matters relating to staffing reductions.  

MEETINGS: at least annually 
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Headteacher; Chair of Governors (if have prior knowledge); where  
there may be a conflict of interest; any Governor whose spouse/partner is involved; staff  (annual pay review and matters relating to staffing reductions) 

Appeals Committee 

CHAIR: Mrs J Tyers
Terms of Reference  

  • Elect Chair (if delegated by full Governing Body). 
  • Consider any appeal against a decision made under the personnel procedures adopted by the Governing Body.
  • Consider any appeal against a decision made by the First/Pay Review Committee during the annual review of teachers’ salaries. 
  • Consider any appeal against selection for redundancy through a staffing reduction process. 
  • Consider complaints against the school in accordance with the agreed school Complaints Procedure. 

MEETINGS: as and when required.  
QUORUM: Must have at least the same number of Governors as were present at the  
original hearing.  
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Headteacher; Chair of Governors (if have prior knowledge); any  
Governor involved in the original hearing; where there may be a conflict of interest; any  Governor whose spouse/partner is involved; staff (appeals in relation to salary or staffing reduction decisions) 

Headteacher’s Performance Review Committee 


Terms of Reference  

  • Set, with the support of the External Advisor (EA) or Education Development Partner (EDP) Headteacher’s annual performance objectives. 
  • Monitor throughout the year the performance of the Headteacher against agreed performance objectives.
  • Review, with the support of the External Advisor (EA) or Education Development Partner (EDP) achievement of performance objectives. 
  • Make recommendations to the First/Pay Review Committee in respect of the Headteacher’s annual pay progression. 

MEETINGS: Autumn Term plus monitoring meetings   
DISQUALIFICATIONS:Headteacher and staff

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