I am delighted to work with a dedicated Board of Governors who are committed to helping the Head Teacher, staff and parents make St Lawrence C of E Primary School the best it can be.

Below you will find a Governor's Update explaining the role of Governors and what we do each year to assist the school with its strategic direction, educational performance and financial management.

We will also keep you informed with our regular news letters as well and with updates about our Children's Centre. 

And you can contact us by emailing

James Toney, Chair of Governors

Governors Update Autumn 2018


Governors' Annual Statement 2017-18

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three strategic functions of the St Lawrence Church of England Primary School governing body are:

1.Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
2.Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
3.Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governance arrangements

The full governing body, chaired by James Toney, meets once a term. Our vice-chair is Geoffrey Barham. In addition, three subcommittees also meet once a term. These are:
a) Resources Committee, which focuses on finances, premises and personnel matters and is chaired by James Magowan.
b) Curriculum and Standards Committee, which is chaired by Geoffrey Barham.
c) Children Centre Committee, which is chaired by Liz Beck. It monitors the Children Centre's management and budget working with the Children Centre Manager and Surrey data to ensure the effective delivery of targeted services.
In addition a Pay and Performance Committee and Headteacher’s Appraisal Committee, both chaired by James Toney, meets regularly.

Attendance of record for governors

Governors have excellent record of attendance at meetings. We have never had to cancel a meeting in the past 12 months for not being quorate.

Summary of work undertaken in the past 12 months

The governing body had a particularly busy year, focussing on academic progress, preparing for June’s Ofsted inspection and improvements to the school premises.
The Curriculum and Standards Committee has spent considerable time discussing data on pupil achievement and progress and how the Pupil Premium grant is spent by the school.
Governors continue to be appointed across key areas  (see overleaf) and regularly meet with staff leads to improve our understanding. We have also undertaken a number of school visits.
The Resources Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school and works alongside the school business manager, approving the 2018/2019 school budget.
We work with the head and school business manager to implement the school development plan and we are pleased to report the school has a solid financial position.
Chris Bessant, the nominated health and safety governor, carries out termly checks of the premises.
The governors reviewed and agreed a wide range of school policies and helped prepare them for GDPR compliance.
Alongside the staff, the governors worked hard to secure funding for a new play facility for our reception class and the replacement of the boiler system in the year six block —thanks to a significant contribution from the Diocese.
The governors are pleased with the increasing number of parents contributing to our annual school fund appeal, which enables us to fulfil a statutory requirement to meet ten percent of major capital projects.
All governors have attended individual training courses. In addition, we have received training as a group in school data and Ofsted preparedness — two areas highlighted for improvement in our annual self-assessment meeting.
James Toney will serve another year as chair of governors following the governors’ school business meeting in September. James Magowan is stepping down as vice-chair but will continue to chair our resources committee. He will be succeeded by Geoffrey Barham.
Two new governors have been appointed for the new academic year - Katrina Turner and Caroline Coulthard. Caroline is our new local authority governor, a position which has been vacant for the past 12 months. Katrina’s appointment as a foundation governor, replacing Marian Stewart, will be formally confirmed at November’s parochial church council meeting.
Minutes of the full governing body and its committees are public records and are available on request.

Future plans for governors

Having achieved a ‘Good’ in June’s Ofsted inspection, the governing body are committed to assisting the school move into the outstanding category and continued performance improvements.
We will learn from the recommendations of the Ofsted report, with a particular focus in the coming academic year on assisting with the development of middle leadership across the school, improving mathematical reasoning skills and reducing persistent absence and lateness.

How can you contact the governing body?

It’s important for governors to be visible to parents and for you to know the work we do for the school.
Our newsletter - and contributions to the weekly school bulletin - will help keep you informed and we now have a dedicated email address below should you have any questions -
You can also contact the chair of governors, James Toney, via the school office.

Update from Chair of Governors

“Governors are knowledgeable and use a range of skills to hold leaders to account. They have responded well to their own audit of their work and have increased their presence so that parents know who they are. Their regular visits to the school allow them to consider the experience of pupils on a day-to-day basis. Consequently, they have a secure understanding of the work of leaders and hold them to account well.”

- Ofsted Report, 2018

This summer’s Ofsted inspection concluded a busy year for the school and its governing body. 

These visits can be stressful experiences but the inspector was quick to acknowledge the big strides the school has made in all areas in the four years since their last inspection.

They were incredibly complimentary about our children, their behaviour, the way they spoke with confidence about their work and their clear passion for our school community. Thank you to all those who contributed to the parent view survey, some of the comments really gave staff a boost after a long year.

Of course, there will always be lessons from every visit and work has already begun on ensuring the school's development continues to go from strength to strength. 

A key role of governors is to provide the oversight for this work, challenging staff on all areas from leadership to finances to teaching and learning.

Marian Stewart stepped down from her role as a foundation governor this summer, after long service to the school. She will be much missed for her considerable contribution and it’s fitting that she leaves after playing such a key role in preparing for the Ofsted visit. 

In addition to providing the oversight for school strategy and finances, the governors have spent considerable time discussing the current situation for the provision of secondary school places for St Lawrence children. Alongside the headteacher, I have held meetings with Surrey Council’s schools commissioner and Councillor Mike Goodman to raise your concerns. We were visited by Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove in July and made representations on behalf of the parents about the issues concerning so many families.

James Toney


Governors Update Spring 2017