Clifton Green Primary Governing Body

The governing body at Clifton Green works with the headteacher and the school staff to help fulfil the school’s aim for all children to secure high achievement and experience opportunities that enrich their lives.

The headteacher and the senior teachers are responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the school, while the governors operate at a strategic level and act as a ‘critical friend’. A critical friend offers support, constructive advice, and acts as a sounding board as well as providing challenge to the headteacher and school, asking questions and seeking information to arrive at the best solution.

Who are we?

The Chair of Governors is Mr John Kesterton.

John joined us as Co-opted Chair in September 2019 as an experienced Chair of Governors having served at our near neighbour Vale of York Academy. He also has a year's experience as a Trustee with Hope Learning Trust York. A career teacher since graduating from York University in 1979, he moved in 2010 from Headship to work full time across the North East as a Trade Union Officer for ASCL, the school and college leaders union. Now part time with ASCL and semi-retired, John's only governor role is with Clifton Green. Married to Hazel, their two children, albeit they’re grown up now, attended Dringhouses Primary and then Millthorpe School before going to York Sixth Form College. Their successful experience in York schools combined with his own passion for the education sector and desire to serve, encouraged John to become a Governor and he is delighted to be able to support Clifton Green Primary School .  

John can be contacted on

The full governing body is drawn from the wider community that the school serves. The usual term of office is four years but many governors stand for re-election and serve more than one term of office. Our governing body is made up of 15 governors (which includes the headteacher), a clerk, and associate governors, as follows:

  • Two Parent Governors who are elected by parents/carers of registered pupils and were parents/carers at the time of their election. Parent governors do not have to leave if their child leaves during their term of office, but they can if they wish to. When a parent governor vacancy arises, nomination forms are circulated to all parents.
  • One Local Authority Governor who is nominated by the City of York Council. They usually live locally and are interested in the school and community, but our LA governors are not councillors and don’t represent any political party.
  • Two Staff Governors, one is the headteacher and the other is elected by the teaching and support staff employed to work at the school. If they leave the school, they cannot remain on the governing body.
  • Ten Co-Opted Governors who are appointed by the governing body. These are people who live and work locally and bring specific skills to the governor team.
  • We also have a clerk to the governing body and two associate governors who attend meetings and contribute to discussion, but do not have voting rights.

You can see the full list of governors and relevant information about them here:

What does the governing body do?

The governing body has an important part to play in guiding the school and raising school standards.

Its three main roles are to:

  1. set the vision and strategic direction of the school
  2. hold the headteacher to account for the school’s educational performance
  3. ensure that financial resources are well spent.

Some of the things we do as a governing body include:

  • Agreeing the aims and values of the school.
  • Making decisions on the school’s budget, expenditure and staffing.
  • Ensuring individual pupils’ needs are met, including special needs, monitoring and reviewing the school’s progress and approving school development plans.
  • Fulfilling our statutory duties to ensure that the school provides a safe, healthy and inclusive environment.

In practice, we:

  • Hold full governing body and sub-committee meetings to manage the business.
  • Invite staff to governing body meetings to tell us what is happening in their area.
  • Make visits to the school.
  • Have links with particular areas of the curriculum such as literacy or numeracy.

How does the governing body work?

The full governing body has legal duties and powers, and all governors share in that corporate responsibility, working by collective decision-making and shared power. Governors do not represent the individual interests of parents, staff, or any particular group within the school or wider community.

The full governing body meets five times a year, but most of our work is delegated to three main committees:

  • Teaching, Learning and Curriculum (TLC), which monitors what and how children learn, their achievements and the quality of teaching as well as attendance and behaviour.
  • Resources, which manages the financial, premises, staffing and teaching & learning resources as well as monitoring health and safety.
  • Pay and Performance management, which manages the headteacher’s performance, monitors the performance management processes for other staff and has responsibility for teachers’ pay.

These committees meet between three and five times a year. As well as being members of the full governing body, all governors sit on one or more of the committees depending upon their interest and skills, and they might have special responsibilities for a subject area or year group.

Terms of Reference & Minutes