Sir Charles Parsons School Governing Body

1. Introduction:
Governing bodies are the strategic leaders of schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. This is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
      • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
      • holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
      • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

2. School Governance Regulations:
The School Governance Regulations published by the Department for Education explains how the governing body of every maintained school must be constituted.

The total number of governors in all schools must be no fewer than seven. There is no upper limit but it is recommended that the governing body consider whether a smaller number of governors would allow business to be conducted more effectively.

The governing body must include:
      • at least two parent governors;
      • the headteacher (unless the headteacher chooses to resign from the governing body);
      • one staff governor; and
      • one local authority governor.

In addition, as the school is a foundation special school within a charitable trust it is required to have at least two trust governors.

The governing body may appoint as many co-opted governors as they consider necessary but the number of co-opted governors who are eligible to be elected or appointed as staff governors must not, when counted with the one staff governor and the headteacher, exceed one-third of the total membership of the governing body.

The governing body of Sir Charles has been agreed as follows:

      a. Three parent governors
      b. One Local Authority governor
      c. One staff governor
      d. One head teacher
      e. Three foundation governors 
      f.  Three co-opted governors


3. The Governing Body of Sir Charles Parsons School:

The governing body at Sir Charles Parsons School is responsible for the strategic direction of the school. The committees can be given delegated authority to make decisions, monitor, evaluate and review particular plans, policies and targets. Although decisions may be delegated, the governing body as a whole remains responsible for any decision made under delegation.

Details of our school governors can be found below.

The downloadable document at the bottom of the page gives further information about the roles of the governors.

Ashley Ferguson - Chair of Governors

I am a parent governor whose son attends Sir Charles Parsons School. I have been a school governor for three years. I am the Chair of the Policy and Curriculum Committee and I also sit on the Finance and Staffing Committee. I have been employed in the construction industry since 1976 and I am a Chartered Civil Engineer working as a Project Manager delivering multi-million pound capital projects for Northumbrian Water. I have been doing this since 1995. My background of managing budgets, timescales and quality as well as dealing with many stakeholders and customers has given me good skills and experience to assist the governing body in challenging the school leadership to deliver the best service for our children.

Nigel Coates - Vice Chair of Governors

I have been a member of the working party (representing Sir Charles Parsons School) which set up the Newcastle Special School Trust (The Compass Trust). I am employed as a Principal Lecturer and Programme Director at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. Prior to joining Newcastle Business School I worked in marketing for a blue chip multinational consumer goods manufacturer, and commercial management/Company Secretary for SMEs in the computer industry and the electrochemical industry. Whilst at NBS, I have undertaken applied research, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and consultancy for both large and small companies. I also undertake research into Learning and Teaching. I am a trustee of Smile for Life Children’s Charity. I am married with two daughters.

Maureen Wallhead - Parent Governor

Most people now recognise me as the mum of Daniel, one of our younger students. Before Daniel, I was a teacher of History & R.E. in Yorkshire & the North East. For 2 years, I lived & worked in the slums of Bangkok. In 1999, I married Melvyn, & in 2000 we set up a charity, Lert Sa Wat Child Development Project, which provides education & medical help for children in North East Thailand. Lert Sa Wat is one of my passions, but has to be term time only. I am a Deacon at Heaton Baptist Church, and have served on the Parents Advisory Group for the Children with Disabilities Short Breaks Team in Newcastle. I enjoy swimming & going to the swings with Daniel; family holidays, especially ski-ing, and visiting our friends in Thailand; Zumba; walking; singing, and going to coffee shops.

Ruth Proctor - Foundation Governor

I am a retired primary school teacher & have been a member of the Governing body at Sir Charles Parson's School for over 15 years, with a particular interest in curriculum developments. I first became a parent governor when my son, Matthew, was a student at the school. He has subsequently moved on & is now living happily & successfully in supported living in Gateshead. I have continued as a governor, as I am a passionate advocate for the school & for all young people with special needs. My other interests are walking, reading, the theatre & singing in a local community choir.

Andrew Foster - Foundation Governor

I am delighted to have joined the governing body of Sir Charles Parsons school and look forward to getting to know, and contributing to, the life of the school. In 2015 I relocated to the North East from South West London where I had lived and worked for more than 30 years. I have worked in Human Resources (HR) in the education sector for almost 30 years and since September 2006 I have been a freelance HR and Training Consultant, working with Local Authorities, Schools and Academies across the country. Before relocating, I was a long standing governor at a 3 form entry primary school in South West London and was Chair of Governors for a number of years. I am married with two grown up children, one who lives in London and one in Leeds. I am part of the music group at my local church and love to see live music and go to the cinema as much as I can.

T. 0191 2952280