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St Luke's Governing Body

Welcome to St Luke's School Governing Body

The Structure of our Governing Body

Individual Governors are volunteers who are appointed or elected to our school Governing Body. Our School's Instrument of Government specifies the structure of our Governing Body. Our Governing Body Constitution consists of nine governors, made up of two parent governors, one local authority governor, the Headteacher, two co-opted governors, and two foundation governors.

The governors of St Luke's School believe it is important that Governing Bodies reflect the diversity of the school communities they serve. Diverse governing bodies promote inclusive school environments and provide diverse role models for staff and young people. 

Types of Governors and their Role

Parent Governors

Parent Governors are elected by other parents at the school, except in certain circumstances where they are appointed by the Governing body, for instance, when the number of vacancies is greater than the number of parents standing for election. Any parent or person with parental responsibility, or a carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election can stand as a parent governor. Parent governors can remain in office until the end of their term of office, even if their child leaves the school. The role of the parent governor is not a spokesperson for the views of parents. They are the same as any other governor on the body, providing a ‘parental viewpoint’, i.e. representative of parents rather than the representative of parents.


Headteacher Governor

The Headteacher is a governor by default, although they do not have to take up the role. They can resign from their governor role. The role of the Headteacher is to implement the strategic framework established by the Governing body, which they will help develop as a member of the Governing body. The Headteacher is responsible for the operational and day-to-day running of the school. One of the Headteacher’s responsibilities it to provide information to the Governing body so that it can meet its three core objectives.


Staff Governor

Teaching and support staff who are employed to work at the school under contract of employment, at the time of election, are eligible to stand for election to the Governing body. Their role will end either at the end of their term of office, of if they leave the school. The role of a staff governor is the same as any other governor, strategic leadership and holding the Headteacher to account but also includes providing a ‘staff viewpoint’. It is important for prospective staff governors to fully understand the role prior to appointment. Staff governors are not a spokesperson for the views of all staff.


Local Authority Governor

A (LA) Local Authority Governor is nominated by their LA to the Governing Body. A LA Governor is representative of the Local Authority and is the same as any other governor; they provide an ‘LA viewpoint’ and they should participate in the same way as other governors. They are not required to be affiliated to a political party, although they should be aware of local issues.


Co-opted Governors

Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the Governing body, have the skills and experience required to contribute to effective governance and success of the school. Those eligible to be staff governors can be co-opted governors. Co-opted governors act in the best interests of the school and wider community but should not be required by others, such as the appointing Governing body or community, to take a particular stance on issues discussed at Governing body meetings.


Foundation Governors

Foundation Governors are either appointed or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold (ex-officio), e.g. the local vicar. Where appointed, foundation governors in the school are appointed by the Winchester Diocesan Board of Education after consultation with the Parochial Church Council of St Luke’s Church, Sway. Foundation Governors are appointed to secure compliance with the school’s trust deed and to preserve and develop the religious character of the school.

                      Together the above governors make up the Governing Body at St Luke’s School


The Role of the Governing Body

Each governor is responsible for contributing to the Governing body’s discussions and in meeting its three core functions. The Governing Body is legally accountable and must operate in the best interests of the school.


The task of the Governing Body is to lead the school strategically, focusing on 3 core functions:

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


The Governing Body will delegate functions to individual Governors, the Headteacher and Committees, but remains accountable and is responsible for all decisions made. The Governing Body meets three times per year.

Specific roles within the Governing Body

The Chair of Governors

The Chair of Governors, with support from the Vice-Chair and the clerk, is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the body and has the vital role in setting the highest of expectations for professional standards of governance. The Chair should undertake an annual review of the clerk and should look to the clerk, as the governance professional, for advice and information to support their role. The Chair is permitted to act in cases of urgency where a delay in exercising function would be likely to be seriously detrimental to the interests of the school, a pupil, parent or member of staff.


The Vice-Chair of Governors

The Vice Chair of Governors, supports the Chair and with the clerk, is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the Governing body and has the vital role in setting the highest of expectations for professional standards of governance. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair will act as Chair.


Link Governors

In our school, some governors are linked to specific areas of responsibility, for example, SEND, Safeguarding, Pupil Premium, Health and Safety. The role of link governors is to ensure that someone has specific oversight of a particular area and to deepen the Governing body’s knowledge of a particular area. The role will involve visiting the school and meeting with staff leads to understand how the strategic objectives are embedded, how money is being spent and any particular issues affecting delivery. These roles should always remain strategic and not operational.



The clerk is the Governing body’s governance professional. They are paid to undertake the role and report directly to the Chair of the Governing Body. A Governing body must have a clerk.



Committees have delegated authority to make decisions. Each Committee has clear Terms of Reference that set out their responsibilities. The following Committees meet three times per year to review and discuss delegated items.

  • The Education and Behaviour Committee
  • The Resources Committee


The following Committee only meets when needed

  • The Performance Management and Pay Committee

Please find below further details of our Governing body, including the names, types of governors, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.

Jenny Francis - Co-opted Governor and Chair of Governors

Jenny Francis is Chair of Governors. She is a Co-opted Governor and Chair of the Performance Management and Pay Committee and Education and Behaviour Committee. In addition to this, she is also a member of the Resources Committee. She is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Governing Body. Jenny was appointed by the Governing Body on 21st November 2023 and her term of office comes to an end on 20th November 2027.

Elizabeth Smith - Foundation Governor

Elizabeth was appointed by the Diocese of Portsmouth and Winchester on 16th January 2023 and her term of office comes to and end on 15th January 2027. She is a member of the Education and Behaviour Committee. 

Rachel Goplen - Headteacher

Rachel Goplen joined the Governing Body in 2005 and is a member of all Committees, the Education and Behaviour Committee, the Resources Committee and the Performance Management Committee.

Simon Barnes - Local Authority Governor

Simon Barnes is a Local Authority Governor and our Vice-Chair of Governors. He was nominated by the Local Authority and appointed by the Governing Body on Thursday 17th March 2022. His term of office ends on 16th March 2026. He is also a member of the Resources Committee.

Doug Henney - Co-opted Governor

Doug Henney is a Co-opted Governor and joined the Governing Body on Thursday 17th March 2022. His term of office ends on 16th March 2026. He is Chair of the Resources Committee and a member of the Pay and Performance Management Committee. He is also our Training Liaison Governor.

Reverend Jane Mitchell - Foundation Governor

By virtue of her office, the vicar at St Luke's Church is a Foundation Governor. Reverend Jane Mitchell joined our Governing Body on Thursday 8th August 2019. Vicar Jane is a member of the Education and Behaviour Committee and the Pay and Performance Management Committee.

Claire Vincent - Staff Governor

Elected by school staff, Claire Vincent, joined the governing body on Wednesday 21st September 2020. Her term of office ends on 20th September 2024. She is a member of the Education and Behaviour Committee. 

Matt Berryman - Parent Governor

Matt Berryman is a parent governor. Elected by parents, he took up office on 20th June 2022. His term of office ends on 19th June 2026. He is a member of the Resources Committee.

Phillippa Murphy - Parent Governor

Phillippa Murphy is a parent governor.  Elected by parents, she joined the Governing Body on 4th July 2022. Her term of office ends on 3rd July 2026. She is a member of the Education and Behaviour Committee.

Claire Backhouse - Clerk

Claire Backhouse is clerk to the Governing Body.


Our Register of Governor Pecuniary Interests and Attendance information is outlined below. The Attendance information relates to the number of meetings individual governors should have attended in 2022 -2023 and the number of meetings attended.


Pecuniary Interest Disclosed

Date of SigningAttendance at Meetings 2022-2023
Simon BarnesNone20/11/2023

6 out of 6 meetings attended.   100%

Rachel GoplenEmployed at the school / Ofsted Inspector8/11/20239 out of 9 meetings attended.   100%
Jane MitchellNone14/11/20234 out of 6 meetings attended.    66%
Jenny FrancisNone15/11/20239 out of 9 meetings attended.    100%
Doug HenneyNone17/11/20236 out of 6 meetings attended.    100%
Claire VincentNone16/11/20236 out of 6 meetings attended.    100%
Phillippa MurphyNone15/11/20236 out of 6 meetings attended.    100%
Matt BerrymanNone8/11/20234 out of 6 meetings attended.    66%
Elizabeth SmithNone16/11/20234 out of 4 meetings attended.    100%
ClerkNone18/11/20213 out of 3 meetings attended.    100% 

'The governors are very capable and committed and have a very clear

understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses' - OFSTED