Instrument of Government:

1.The name of the school is The District Church of England Primary School.

2. The school is a Voluntary Controlled School.

3. The name of the Governing Body is The Governing Body of The District Church of England Primary School.

4. The Governing Body shall consist of:

(a) 3 Parent Governors

(b) 1 LA Governor

(c) 1 Staff Governor

(d) The Head Teacher

(e) 3 Co-opted Governors

(f) 2 Foundation Governors

5. Total number of Governors : 11 (The Head Teacher to give written notice that s/he chooses not to be a Governor).

6. Foundation Governors to be appointed by the Parochial Church Council of the Parish in which the school is situated.

7. The holder(s) of the following office shall be a Foundation Governor ex-officio:

(a) The Principal Officiating Minister for the Parish of St. John, Earlestown.

8. The Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry within which the school is situated shall appoint a Foundation Governor to act in the place of the ex-officio Foundation Governor whose Governorship derives from the office named in (a) above, in the event that the ex-officio Foundation Governor is unable or unwilling to act as a Foundation Governor, or has removed from office under Regulations 23(2) of the Regulations.

9. The Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry within which the school is situated can request the removal of any ex-officio Foundation Governor at 8(a) above and to appoint a substitute Governor.

10 The term of office for all governors is 4 years.

11. This Instrument of Government comes into effect on 1st September, 2015.

12. This Instrument was made by order of the St. Helens Council Local Education Authority on 25th August, 2015 to comply with Part 5 (Regulations 26-31) of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012.

School Calendar

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What Do Governors Do?

Governors oversee the development of the school but don’t manage it day-to-day. Governors are responsible for providing strategic management, being a ‘critical friend’ and making executive decisions. The governing body makes sure the school provides a good quality education, and sets the school aims and policies together with the Head teacher. There are different categories of governor on a governing body, some elected and some appointed. This mix ensures a diversity of views and experience, but doesn’t mean that governors of a particular category “represent” that group. For example, parent governors don’t act as representatives of the parents of the school and don’t report back to them – rather, they bring a broad parental perspective to discussion and debate. Governors are responsible for promoting high standards of educational achievement and enabling the head teacher and the staff to deliver these, as well as planning the school’s long-term future, overseeing its aims, values and ethos, and monitoring its performance.  This involves:

  • setting the school’s vision and aims
  • establishing & maintaining the school’s ethos
  • setting the school’s plans and policies
  • monitoring and evaluating school performance
  • agreeing budgets, policies and objectives and making sure these are met

Meetings of the full governing body are held at least once a term, normally in an evening, with governors normally giving up around 6-8 hours per month. Governors can also sit on some of the committees that look at things like finance, curriculum, staffing and premises. Occasionally, being a governor can be hard work. There may sometimes be a lot of papers to read, meetings to attend and, sometimes, difficult decisions to be made.

Governor Membership

Membership 2017-2018

Type Full Name Appointed by Start term End term Office held
Associate Member+ Mrs Karen Cliffe Governors 01/10/2017 30/09/2018
Associate Member* Mr Patrick Ferguson Governors 01/10/2017 30/09/2018
Co-opted Mr Michael William Bridge Governors 02/04/2014 01/04/2018 Chair of Extended Services
Co-opted Mrs Julie Clewes Governors 21/10/2015 20/10/2019
Co-opted Mr Frank Maguire Governors 1/09/2015 31/08/2019 Chair of Learning & Progress
Foundation Rev’d Valerie Hughes Diocese 17/01/2017 16/01/2021
Foundation Mrs Lisa Cunliffe Parents 19/01/2016 18/01/2020 Vice Chair FGB
Local Authority Cllr Jeanie Bell LA 01/09/2016 31/08/2020
Parent VACANCY Parents
Parent Mrs Tina Thomas Parents 05/10/2016 04/10/2020
Parent VACANCY Parents
Staff Mrs Susan Swift Staff 18/10/2017 17/10/2021
Head Teacher Mrs Lavern Shelford Governors 01/09/2017 ongoing Head Teacher
Outgoing Governors
Associate Member Mrs Sarah Wright Governors 24/11/2015 30/09/2017
Foundation Mrs Barbara Skeech St John’s PCC 21/06/2013 20/06/2017
Staff Mrs Lisa Isherwood Staff 23/09/2013 22/09/2017
Headteacher Mrs Diane Bate Governors 01/01/2013 31/08/2017
Parent Mr Jonathan Lee Mitchell Parents 05/10/2016 31/12/2017 Chair FGB & Resources


Associate Member + no voting rights

Associate Member* has voting rights

Governor Declaration


Relevant Business and Pecuniary interests Governance Role
in other

Any material interest
arising from
relationships between
governors and
school staff

Jeanie Bell Councillor None declared None declared
Mike Bridge None declared None declared None declared
Julie Clewes None declared None declared None declared
Karen Cliffe None declared None declared None declared
Lisa Cunliffe Head of local school None declared None declared
Patrick Ferguson Principal at feeder high school None declared None declared
Rev Val Hughes None declared Governor at local
None declared
Frank Maguire None declared Governor/Trustee
for other
NW schools
and academies
None declared
Lavern Shelford None declared None declared None declared
Sue Swift None declared None declared None declared
Tina Thomas Works for Learn to Play Live None declared None declared


Outgoing Governors


Diane Bate Saints Community Development Heart of Glass None declared None declared
Sarah Wright Lecturer at Edge Hill University None declared None declared
Barbara Skeech Nursery Manager – local None declared None declared
Lisa Isherwood Spouse/daughter employed at school None declared None declared
Jon Mitchell None declared None declared None declared
Nominated Governors
Governor Forum Representative To follow
Compliance Mike Bridge/to follow
Safeguarding and vulnerable groups inc. pupil premium Frank Maguire/Lisa Cunliffe
Teaching, assessment and learning standards Tina Thomas/Sue Swift


Resources Committee


Quorum : 3 governors – Chair is elected at first committee meeting and terms of reference reviewed

  • Finance Management and budget setting
  • Pay Decisions – appraisal process
  • HR – including recruitment, redundancy, staffing structure, staffing policies
  • Premises, health & safety, lettings



L Shelford, J Clewes, Vacancy (Chair), M Bridge, Cllr J Bell, P Ferguson voting rights, K Cliffe no voting rights, vacancy


Governor Resources









L Shelford Yes  Yes
Cllr Bell Apologies  Yes
M Bridge Yes  Yes
J Clewes Yes  Apologies
P Ferguson Apologies  Apologies
J Mitchell Yes  Apologies
K Cliffe Yes  Yes
Vacancy N/A  N/A
Extended Services Committee


Quorum : 3 governors – Chair is elected at first committee meeting and terms of reference reviewed

  • Quality and reliability of 2, 3, 4 year old provision, breakfast/after school/holiday clubs
  • Safeguarding and equality
  • Budget monitoring
  • Charging Policy


L Shelford, M Bridge (Chair), J Clewes, L Cunliffe, T Thomas, Vacancy (S Swift & K Hughes Co-opted)

Governor Extended Services


Extended Services


Extended Services


L Shelford Yes  Yes
M Bridge Yes  Yes
J Clewes Yes  Yes
L Cunliffe Apologies  Yes
T Thomas Yes  Apologies
K Hughes Apologies  Yes
S Swift Yes  Apologies
Vacancy N/A  N/A
Learning and Progress Committee


Quorum : 3 governors – Chair is elected at first committee meeting and terms of reference reviewed

  • School improvement standards and statutory obligations under the National Curriculum.
  • School’s performance from SATs results, QCA results, teacher assessments and other performance data.
  • School website compliancy
  • Safeguarding and SEND
  • PSHE



L Shelford, L Cunliffe, Rev V Hughes, F Maguire (Chair), T Thomas, Vacancy


Governor Learning & Progress


Learning & Progress


Learning & Progress


L Shelford Yes  Yes
L Cunliffe Yes  Apologies
V Hughes Yes  Apologies
F Maguire Yes  Yes
T Thomas Yes  Yes
Vacancy N/A  N/A


Other Committees
Pupil Discipline Committee
Frank Maguire
Tina Thomas
Rev Val Hughes


Head Teacher’s Performance Management
Frank Maguire
Cllr Jeanie Bell
Jon Mitchell


Complaints Committee
Frank Maguire
Lisa Cunliffe
Tina Thomas


Dismissal/Appeals Committee
3 non-staff governors to be selected for each committee when required


Full Governing Body Attendance (current year)

The District C E Primary – Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2017/18

It is a requirement to hold a termly full governing body meeting and committee meetings.  These may increase dependent upon needs of the school

Name 03/10/2017 17/01/18 20/03/18 08/05/18 Summer 2
L Shelford Yes Yes Yes Yes
M Bridge Yes Apologies Yes Apologies
J Clewes Yes Apologies Apologies Apologies
K Cliffe Yes Yes  Yes  Yes
L Cunliffe Yes Yes Yes Yes
P Ferguson Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies
Rev V Hughes Yes Yes Yes Yes
F Maguire Yes Yes Yes Yes
S Swift NA Yes Yes Yes
T Thomas Yes Yes Apologies Yes
Cllr J Bell Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies
J Mitchell Yes Term ended 31.12.17 N/A N/A
V Hughes Yes Yes Apologies Apologies
L Isherwood (Outgoing) Term ended 22.09.17  N/A  N/A  N/A
Vacancy N/A N/A N/A N/A
Governing Body Attendance (previous year)

The District C E Primary – Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2016/17

Name 22/09/16 29/11/16 31/01/17 14/07/17 23/05/17 12/07/17
D Bate Yes Yes Apologies Yes Yes Yes
L Isherwood Yes Apologies Yes Yes Yes Yes
J Mitchell Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies Yes Yes
T Thomas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
L Cunliffe Yes Yes Apologies Yes Yes Yes
V Hughes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
M Bridge Yes Yes Yes Yes Apologies Apologies
F Maguire Apologies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
B Skeech Yes Yes Apologies Apologies Apologies Vacancy
Cllr J Bell Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Apologies
J Clewes Apologies Apologies Yes Apologies Apologies Yes
P Ferguson Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies
S Wright Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies Apologies
K Cliffe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
L Shelford NA NA NA NA Yes Yes



The District C E Primary – Governor Attendance at Resources, Learning & Progress and Extended Services Meetings 2016/17

Extended Services


Learning & Progress





Extended Services





Learning & Progress


Extended Services





Learning & Progress


D Bate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Apologies Apologies Yes
L Isherwood NA Yes NA NA NA Yes NA NA Yes
J Mitchell NA NA Yes NA Yes NA NA Yes NA
T Thomas Yes Yes NA Yes NA Yes Apologies NA Apologies
L Cunliffe Apologies Apologies NA Yes NA Apologies Apologies NA Apologies
V Hughes NA Apologies NA NA NA Yes NA NA Yes
B Skeech Apologies Apologies Yes Apologies Apologies Apologies Vacancy Vacancy Vacancy
M Bridge Yes NA Yes Yes Yes NA Yes Yes NA
F Maguire NA Yes NA NA NA Yes NA NA Yes
J Clewes Yes NA Yes Yes Apologies NA Yes Yes NA
P Ferguson NA NA Apologies NA Apologies NA NA Apologies NA
K Cliffe NA NA Yes NA Yes NA NA Yes NA
L Shelford NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA Yes


Our Governors

Mr F Maguire (Co-opted Governor)

I was Headteacher of the first purpose built, joint denominational church school in the country. Prior to this I was Headteacher of a primary school in Halewood.  In December 2007 I retired to carry out consultancy work and I currently work as an Educational Consultant and act as a School Improvement Partner for several schools in Liverpool. I am also engaged independently by schools and Local Authorities to advise on raising standards, performance management, staffing structures, skills audits and create staffing needs which match financial circumstances.
Other aspects of my work include acting as an adviser/consultant for the Diocese of Liverpool, working particularly with newly appointed Headteachers as mentor/coach and with school governors.  I have been a governor with The District since 2012.

Mrs L Shelford

I am proud to be the Headteacher of The District CE, a school with a strong Christian ethos and a wonderful history. I have previously worked in Wigan, Bradford, Batley and other St Helens schools.

Prior to taking up the post of Headteacher at The District, I was Head of School at Platt Bridge Community School in Wigan for two years and Deputy Headteacher for nine years.

I have worked in eight previous schools and also as a Local Authority consultant. I have supported many schools in diverse contexts, and most of my career has been spent working in areas of socio-economic deprivation.

I have two children and as a parent and an educationalist I am committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to succeed. I aim to ensure that all our pupils experience excellent educational provision, led and taught by highly skilled and nurturing adults. I am keen for parents to engage in school life and to support their child’s learning journey, throughout their time at The District.

Vice Chairperson


Mrs L Cunliffe 
My name is Lisa Cunliffe and I have been a parent governor at The District Primary School for over 4 years and have just been appointed Foundation Governor. I have two daughters who attend the school.  I have been part of the community of Newton le Willows all of my life and have always tried my best to support it in anyway I can. I am currently Head of School at St Mary’s Catholic Junior School and have a passion for children’s education. I have a particular love of English and History and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Year of Reading at The District.


Rev’d V Hughes 
Revd Val Hughes works in the Newton team Ministry as Vicar of St John’s and takes an assembly every week in school with either KS1 or KS2. She has been a Governor at District since 2013. She is also Vicar of Emmanuel Church Wargrave and Vice Chair of the Governors there.

Mrs S Swift

I have worked at the District CE Primary School since 2014 in my role as Head of Safeguarding and Extended Services.  I have worked within the Local Authority for many years, and have enjoyed  the day to day challenges of working with children and  families.

In my role here at the school I have attended Governing Body and sub-committee meetings to deliver reports related to Safeguarding and Extended Services.  My work at the school enables me to develop good working relationships with our children, their parents, staff and many partner agencies.  I have developed a good knowledge of the local community and understand the dynamics of the local area.  I enjoy and thrive on the challenge that comes with every aspect of school life and about high quality education and each and every child reaching their full potential.  Nothing but the best is good enough.

Cllr. Jeanie Bell
I am the cabinet member for public health and well-being, arts and culture at St Helens council and I have been a Newton councillor for three years. I have back ground in post 16 education as well as engagement work with 14-16’s and young offenders.

Mrs T Thomas 
I have two children at The District I have worked as a primary teacher for the last 15 years and am currently working as a Dance specialist in schools throughout the North West. I have been a parent governor for over 4 years. I am keen to support the school and its staff in developing all aspects of school life and moving the school forward to give our children the best start to their education.


Mr M Bevan – awaiting photo and pen portrait – appointed May 2018



Mrs S Warburton- awaiting photo and pen portrait – appointed May 2018



Mrs J Clewes
I joined The District C E in February 1995, after teaching at two primary schools on the Wirral. On joining The District, I held the role of Upper School Team Leader until I was appointed Deputy Headteacher in April 1999.  I have also spent time as Acting Headteacher on three occasions.  I am immensely proud of working at The District C E Primary School and being part of the school team.  It’s a fantastic place to be; the team effort between the children, parents and staff make it the wonderful school that it is.  As a member of the governing body, I serve on all of the different committees whilst as part of my role as Deputy Headteacher, I am responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities within the school.


Mr M Bridge
I currently work for IBM and outside of work I am also a Justice of the Peace.
I am married with three children and my interests are Rugby League, Motor Sport and DIY.
I am passionate about the benefits of a good rounded education and what it means both to the individual and the community as a whole.
I believe that I am discreet, fair and open minded. I have a wealth of knowledge and common sense  which I bring as a School Governor.

Mrs K Cliffe
I have worked at The District C E Primary School since July 1996 first as Office Manager then on completion of a BA (Hons) SBM as a School Business Manager.  I have been involved at governing body meetings since 2002 becoming an Associate Governor in September 2014.  I am Chair of the St Helens Primary Admin Network and Treasurer of NAHT St Helens Branch.


Mr Patrick Ferguson
Patrick is a highly skilled educationalist with over 14 years’ experience as a school leader. In 2010 he became a National Leader in Education, and has since helped many schools throughout the north-west region to overcome difficulties. As well as being Principal of De La Salle, he has served as Executive Headteacher of a Liverpool primary school and Executive Principal of De La Salle for more than a year after he left. He was shortlisted for the TES awards in the secondary school of the year, Headteacher of the year and leadership team of the year categories.

In January 2015 he joined Hope Academy as Principal, and he is employing the same focused drive for improving standards that he has used at previous schools; building upon strengths, addressing areas of weakness, and maintaining excellent levels of communication both within the school and in the wider community.

L.A. Official

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01744 678250


Patterson Street, Merseyside, WA12 9PZ



01744 678250


Patterson Street, Merseyside, WA12 9PZ

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