All schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions, ultimately to represent the school community.

The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Headteacher, staff and the Local Authority. Whilst the Headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and
finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.

Membership of the Governing Body includes parents, teaching and support staff, representatives from the local community, Local Authority and a Foundation Governor who is appointed by the diocese. The Governing Body meets approximately every 6 weeks; additionally, there are subcommittees which meet more frequently:

• Resources which includes Premises, Finance, Personnel, Health & Safety
• Teaching and Learning which includes the Curriculum Special Educational Needs and Standards

The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts. In the main, these responsibilities relate to:

• Setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement
• Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates
• Management of the school’s delegated budget
• Ensuring that the curriculum for the school is balanced and broadly based

Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others, through a Governing Body meeting. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of informal sub committeemeetings dealing with more specific issues. A number of governors also have other responsibilities (see the list of Governors).

Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Child Protection, Behaviour, Curriculum and Staff Appraisals.

Come and see what the governors do.
Anyone can come and observe at a governor’s meeting as long as they have first arranged this with the head teacher.

Join In
All governors to a school’s Governing Body must be elected. If you want to be part of St Leonard’s Governing Body please enquire about any vacancies by contacting Mr Edward Anderson the Chair or Mr Neil Blackwell, the Headteacher.


Our Governors

Name Type of Governor Term of Office Responsibilities
Mrs Bridget Robb Foundation 22/10/20 – 21/10/24 Chair of Governing Body – Resources
Mrs Cressida Lester Foundation 22/10/20 – 21/10/24 Vice Chair of Governing Body, SEN/Inclusion
Mr Thom Russell Co-opted 15/10/19 – 14/10/27 Chair of Resources, Healthy and Safety
Ms Gemma Barker Parent 12/10/20 – 11/10/24 Chair of Teaching and Learning, Safeguarding
Mrs Caroline Debus Head Teacher All
Mrs Rosanne Elson Staff 07/03/20 – 06/03/24 Teaching and Learning
Mrs Christine Fisher Local Authority 22/10/20 – 21/10/24 Resources, Pupil Premium
Mrs Anila Malik Co-opted 12/09/19 – 11/09/23 Teaching and Learning, Safeguarding
Mrs Linda Keane Associate Member Resources
Mrs Ishrat Hanif Associate Member Teaching and Learning
Mrs Laura Brown Associate Member Teaching and Learning
Mrs Rachel Lacey Associate Member Teaching and Learning, Resources
Miss Alisha Bickley Parent 01/09/23-31/08/27
Ms Bev Martin Clerk to the Governors


Please note – Only full governors have voting rights on committees. Associate Members do not vote.


St Leonard’s CE School Governing Board Vision

As a Church School, St Leonard’s provides love, care and support for all its families, nurturing children as individuals and as learners so that they are able to become valuable citizens within wider society – preparing children for “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10)


St. Leonard’s Church of England Primary School works with our local community for the benefit of all its children and their families. We strive to provide a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment where children and adults alike treat each other with Love, Respect and Responsibility. A caring Christian ethos supports learning in order to realise children’s potential, both as learners and as citizens. The School creates a positive moral framework, ensuring diversity is respected, and everyone is treated with fairness and tolerance. We aim to broaden children’s horizons and expectations, build resilience and self-confidence, and prepare children for their next steps in education and as members of British society. We do this through the ‘St Leonard’s Way’ – where children are Challenged, Engaged and Inspired; we want our pupils to be proud of who they are and what they have achieved, have aspirations for their future, a can-do attitude, and a growth mindset. Above all, we aim to teach our children to embrace ‘Life in all its Fullness’.

Values and Vision

We expect our staff, pupils and parents to follow our School Values, which are based on teachings from the Bible:

    • Love – “Love is patient, Love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13 v 4
    • Respect – “Show proper respect to everyone.” 1 Peter 2 v 17
    • Responsibility – “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” Romans 12 v 6

These values and the School’s Christian vision are shared through lessons, assemblies, and collective worship, and are embedded in the whole ethos of our School and the way we behave towards one another. We welcome all faiths and backgrounds equally, and work to ensure children grow without prejudice.


The Governing Board of St. Leonard’s aims to ensure the School delivers the best education and life preparation it can for its pupils. We base our work on the following actions and principles:

    • Establishing the strategic direction of the School by setting clear values and objectives
    • Monitoring the School’s performance, and holding leaders to account
    • Overseeing the financial performance of the School, and ensuring money is well spent
    • Having the confidence to hold courageous conversations in the interests of the children at our School
    • Knowing our School: the staff, the parents, the children, and the community
    • Showing commitment to ask challenging questions, attend meetings, and be proactive
    • Seeking continuous improvement in our approach, and ensuring the Governing Board has the training to carry out its responsibilities
    • Building strong relationships with, and listening to, all our stakeholders
    • Being open, approachable, effective, and responsive


Governing Board Priorities

In 2023-2024, the St Leonard’s Governing Board is prioritising the following actions and aims:

  1. Supporting our Headteacher

Governors are supporting our new headteacher during her induction and beyond, to be effective in her role for children, staff and the community.

  1. Supporting Staff to deliver excellent Quality of Education

Governors are working to ensure our Leaders of Learning and our Teachers provide the best education they can for our pupils. We are monitoring the successes and challenges of our new school structure, working with the Senior Leadership Team, teachers and TAs to improve progress and outcomes for all.

  1. Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs

Governors are focused on helping children with special educational needs to make the same progress as all children on their journey through School and in life. Governors ensure the needs of these children are understood and met by monitoring whole-School policies and training, and evaluating the impact of actions that support each child’s learning. We extend this work to other children facing barriers, seeking to creating opportunities for children from all backgrounds. We do this by monitoring the effective use of Sports and Pupil Premium funding, seeking to enrich pupil experiences through extra-curricular activities such as Residentials and after-School clubs, as well as sports events.

  1. Attendance

Governors are fully aware of the challenges our families have faced in recent years, and continue to face, and are proud of the resilience of our pupils in maintaining their learning progress in this period. We are now monitoring the progress of our children to ensure they are able to make the most of being in school. We continue to work with families where there are ongoing health and/or financial concerns which provide barriers to children attending school full time, to try and ensure children do not miss out on their educational development.

  1. Implementing a Broad Curriculum

Governors monitor and analyse progress and attainment, using national tracking tools to compare our performance with other schools. Our Teaching and Learning committee enables Governors to see how the School is developing a broad, exciting, and engaging curriculum which embraces the diversity in our community, while ensuring that core subjects such as Mathematics, Reading and Writing remain at the heart of the education the school provides.

  1. Community Engagement

Governors celebrate a School community that is inclusive and embraces diversity. We want our school to continue to work with the community, engaging with families and organisations from all cultures so that all our children feel valued and the school is recognised for its care of their futures. We support the work of the school in engaging with communities so that they are able to fully support our children with the School’s learning goals.

  1. Leadership and Communication

The Governing Board offers an open, responsive, considerate and challenging body that supports the Senior Leadership Team of the School in their decision making, but also sets high standards for School Improvement. We ensure money is well spent, and think about how actions of today will lead to success tomorrow. We constantly work to improve communication within the School, and with parents, ensuring we have measures in place to listen, and to address challenges where they arise.

  1. Professional Development and Wellbeing of our Staff

We want our staff to be proud to be part of our School, and to have a positive impact. As well as recognising the hard work of our teachers, we promote a healthy work-life balance, and provide opportunities to discuss positives and concerns. We believe that a positive professional working environment is the best source of high quality education for our children, and extend the same care to our staff as we do to our pupils and community.



To contact the Chair of Governors please email: and mark your email ‘For the attention of the Chair of Governors’