Bennett Memorial’s Local Governing Body

The Local Governing Body (LGB) includes members of the local community, as well as elected parent and staff governors. The current governors are listed below:

  • Mr Simon Curtis (Chair)
  • Colonel William English CBE (foundation governor)
  • Reverend Canon Bryan Knapp(foundation governor)
  • Mr David Pate (Vice-Chair)
  • Mr James Shaw Hamilton (foundation governor)
  • Mrs Hilary Smith (parent governor)
  • Mr Peter Town (staff governor)
  • Mrs Sarah Walker (parent governor)
  • Mr Jon Sparke – headteacher (ex-officio)

The LGB meets three times a year and conducts visits to monitor the school’s performance and ethos, as outlined in its terms of reference below. It also has a sub-committee to work jointly with governors of Claremont School on governing the Altius Teaching Alliance. The LGB reports directly to the Tenax Board of Trustees who are legally responsible for the governance of the Trust’s schools.


The current terms of reference for Bennett Memorial’s LGB are set out below:

1. The Local Governing Body (LGB) has been established to assist with the good governance of the Academy which is Bennett Memorial Diocesan School and for this it is accountable to the Directors of the Tenax School Trust. It operates according to Articles 100-104 of the Trust’s Articles of Association and the associated Tenax Governance Plan, as a committee established by the Directors, to whom they delegate certain functions of the Directors of the Trust.

2. The LGB shall have a minimum of 5 members appointed by the Trust, one staff member, two elected parent members and the Headteacher.

3. Directors of the Trust shall have the power to co-opt additional members to the LGB. Members of the School Leadership Team may be invited to attend meetings as required.
4. The LGB shall meet at least three times a year, and in any urgent circumstances, and its proceedings shall be recorded and reported to the Trust at the earliest convenient time and in any case at the next full meeting of the Trust.

5. The quorum for a meeting of the LGB, and any vote on any matter thereat, shall be any three of the members of the LGB, or, where greater, any one third (rounded up to a whole number) of the total number of members of the LGB at the date of the meeting, provided that no quorum shall be reached unless local governors appointed by the Directors of the Tenax Trust are in the majority of those present.

Responsibilities of the LGB

6. The responsibilities of the LGB are set out in the Tenax Governance Plan, as follows:

a. Standards
i. Approving a school improvement plan, produced at the start of each school year, which should contain appropriately challenging targets at each key stage and identify areas of underperformance with robust strategies for improvement
ii. Ensuring that the curriculum and its planning is fit for purpose, fully compliant with external and Trust requirements and enables pupils to flourish and maximise their potential
iii. Examining progress towards targets for all pupils and all Raise-identified pupil groups and in each year group (not just end of key stage), challenging the headteacher on progress towards targets at a granular level; acknowledging and celebrating significant improvement and strong performance
iv. Holding the school to account for the quality of teaching and its improvement, ensuring that full and reliable information teaching and its effectiveness at raising standards is available; celebrating strong teaching or significantly improved teaching and its impact
v. Ensuring that the quality of staff professional development is such that it enables the staff team as a whole better to meet the needs of the pupils in the school
vi. Monitoring behaviour, exclusions and attendance, and ensuring that patterns are promptly identified by the school and appropriate interventions are put in place and monitored
vii. Monitoring safeguarding and health and safety in the school to hold the school to account for maintaining high standards of compliance and best practice; this will include ensuring all pre-employment checks are properly undertaken and recorded
viii. Monitoring the achievement of pupils with SEND and who are disadvantaged to ensure that they achieve as well as other students

b. Distinctive ethos, character and local traditions
i. Monitoring the character and quality of religious education to ensure that it meets the requirements, denominational or not, of the school’s character as established in the Funding Agreement
ii. Monitoring the character, content and quality of assemblies or collective worship to ensure that the meet the requirements, denominational or not, of the school’s character as established in the Funding Agreement
iii. Ensuring the quality and appropriateness of the PSHE and sex and relationships education offered to pupils, including the promotion of fundamental British values
iv. Where there are established local relationships in place, for example with a local church, ensuring that these are appropriate to the school’s character and are nurtured and maintained in the interests of the pupils the school serves
v. Holding the school to account for the quality of the programme of extra curricular development, and for levels of pupil participation in the programme, including by disadvantaged students, monitoring that programme and challenging the headteacher where necessary to improve it further; responsibility for the approval of residential and overseas visits.

c. Maintenance of good communication with and the confidence of parents and the wider local community
i. Holding the school to account for the quality of external communication about the school to parents and the wider public, including the school website
ii. Monitoring communication with parents, both pupil-specific and general, and ensuring it is regular, clear, helpful and positive
iii. Ensuring that opportunities to project or represent the school at local, regional or national level are taken
iv. Ensuring that for the purposes of pupil recruitment the school publicises itself well and attracts good numbers of applicants – the aim should be for every school to be oversubscribed
v. Challenging the school to take responsibility for meeting its obligations for wrap-around childcare

d. For the designated Teaching School in the Trust, the LGB will additionally take responsibility for providing appropriate and rigorous governance oversight and challenge via a Committee made up of 1-2 members of the LGB and at 1-2 governors from the partner teaching school. This committee meet at least 3 times a year and will report to the Bennett LGB and the governing body of the partner school jointly. The Committee’s responsibilities will be set out in separate terms of reference and will include:

i. Holding the Alliance to account for the expenditure of its annual grant income
ii. Approving the Alliance’s annual development plan, ensuring it is sufficiently strategic, ambitious and targeted on areas of relative underperformance
iii. Challenging the Alliance to generate an appropriate level of additional income through professional development provision and through targeted school to school support grant application
iv. Ensuring that the impact of the Alliance’s work is strong and measurable
v. Ensuring that appropriately rigorous records are kept of income, expenditure and impact
vi. Ensuring that all staff employed by the Teaching School Alliance, or contracted to it, meet expectations of productivity and are held properly to account for performance
e. Policies
In addition to the three main areas of LGB responsibility, the LGB will:

i. Ensure that the headteacher is observing all Level 1 Trust-wide policies
ii. Ensure that Level 2 policies are completed and sent to the trust Board for ratification
iii. Ensure that Level 3 policies are developed or reviewed and sent to the Trust Board for ratification.

7. The Committee shall not act beyond the powers delegated to it by the Trust and shall, in the case of any serious matter of concern relating to its remit, report to and seek advice from the Trust Board.