Welcome to the Governing Body

Welcome to our school!


I hope this introduction will explain more about the role of the Governing Body and how it fits within the school.


Being part of the formal leadership structure of the school, the Governing Body  holds the school, and its senior leadership, to account via several statutory responsibilities. (More details are below.)

Our governors are a mix of elected parents, members of the community, together with a Local Authority representative. We are supported by our clerk, Mrs Susannah Adams.



The governors of The Discovery School are:


Name Type of Governor Term of Office

Date of Appointment

Mrs Catriona Stringer Chair of Governors/Co-opted Governor


4yrs  01/07/2015
Ms Anne Gouldthorpe Vice Chair of Governing Body/Safeguarding Governor/Local Authority Governor 4Yrs 01/09/2015
Mrs J C Butler  Co-opted Governor 4Yrs 30/03/2016
Mr Roland Parrott  Co-opted Governor 4Yrs 07/02/2017
Mr Adam Lowing  Parent Governor 4Yrs 18/05/2016
Miss Kate Alback  Parent Governor 4Yrs 01/05/2015
Mrs Lorna Miles  Parent Governor 4Yrs 18/05/2016
Mrs Martine McCahon  Parent Governor 4Yrs 28/02/2017
Miss Davina Stapley  Staff Governor 4Yrs 18/03/2016
Mrs Susannah Adams  Clerk to the Governing Body: Susannah.Adams@kent.gov.uk    

The Governing Body is separate from our fantastic Friends of Discovery School (FoDS), the registered charity which works hard to raise money for the school. Further information on FoDS, our parent/teacher association (PTA), can be found in its section of the website by clicking here. I hope to see you at some of its upcoming events.

With best wishes


Catriona Stringer
Chair of Governors.

The Governing Body, their roles and responsibilities and any business interests are shown below:-

The Governing Body is established according to an Instrument of Government which is recorded and agreed with Kent County Council and can be downloaded below. As can be seen above, Governors are a mix of Parents, Local Authority, Staff, The Headteacher and “co-opted” Governors - as set out in the Instrument of Government. The co-opted Governors are appointed so as to maintain a good blend of experience and skills on the team.


Government legislation has recently changed and the Instrument of Government for all schools has had to be updated. At The Discovery School, our new arrangements took effect on 1st June 2015 and all appointments to the Governing Body are now made according to this document. Governers normally serve for a fixed term of 4 years. Parent Governors are elected by parents with each individual parent having a single vote.

Click here to view the Terms of Reference for the Governing Body.


Click here to view Instrument of Government.

What do we do?

As you might imagine, there are reams of documents describing the role of the Governing Body. Some high level key tasks are :-

  • ensure safety and wellbeing of all children (Safeguarding is our top priority)
  • set the strategic direction, vision and ethos of the school
  • monitor and challenge the progress of children in the school
  • recruit and performance manage the Headteacher
  • ensure the school meet its statutory responsibilities
  • ensure financial probity
  • ensure the premises are well managed


The Full Governing Body (FGB) meets at The Discovery School five to six times per year. It follows a clear agenda and the minutes of the meeting, apart from any confidential items, are a matter of public record. The last few sets of FGB minutes are available on this Website. Normally, the meetings are timed so as to align with key activities in the school year. For example, at the end of the summer term, the meeting will review SATS results and use these to plan monitoring and interventions for the following year. Likewise, school accounts are signed off to align with the requirements of KCC and financial reporting timelines.

If any activity is required outside of the scheduled meetings, extra-ordinary meetings or committees may be convened. Examples of this would be to recruit and appoint a new Headteacher, Duputy Headteather or to investigate a complaint against the school.

Some schools have many sub-committees to manage specialist areas. At Discovery, we have a relatively simple structure. This is called the “Finance, Health & Safety” (FHS) team which pretty much “does what it says on the tin”. From a finance point of view, this is where the school accounts and spending are approved. In addition to managing any health and safety issues raised, the FHS team also carry out routine safety inspections at the school and deal with buildings and premises management. The Pay Committe approve the overall approach to performance pay increases and ensure, with the FHS, that the school budget supports the pay bill.


More details on the role of school Governors can be found from the NGA Website.