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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

Current Membership 

Type Full Name Appointed by Start term End term Office held
Associate Member+ Mrs Karen Cliffe Governors 01/10/2019 31/08/2021
Associate Member* Vacant
Co-opted Mrs S Jevans Governors 29/06/2020 28/06/2024
Co-opted Mrs Claire Ryder Governors 07/03/2019 06/03/2023
Co-opted Mr Frank Maguire Governors 1/09/2019 31/08/2023 Chair of Governors
Foundation Rev’d Gareth Banton Diocese 01/09/2019 31/08/2023
Foundation Mrs Lisa Cunliffe Diocese 06/03/2018 05/03/2022
Local Authority Ms Mandy Pierce LA 01/09/2018 31/08/2022
Parent Mr Mike Bevan Parents 22/05/2018 21/05/2022
Parent Mrs Tina Thomas Parents 22/10/2020 22/10/2024 Vice Chair
Parent Ms Naomi Knight Parents 22/10/2020 22/10/2024
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
Mrs S Warburton

Mr Patrick Ferguson

Ms Mandy Pierce

Parent Governor

Associate Member

Local Authority










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

Sharon Jevans None declared None declared None declared
Mike Bevan None declared None declared None declared
Karen Cliffe None declared None declared None declared
Lisa Cunliffe Head of local school None declared None declared
Rev Gareth Banton None delcared None declared None declared
Frank Maguire None declared Governor/Trustee
for other
NW schools
and academies
None declared
Sue Swift None declared None declared None declared
Tina Thomas Works for Learn to Play Live None declared None declared
Lavern Shelford None declared None declared None declared

Outgoing Governors


Name Relevant Business and Pecuniary interests Governance Role
in other
Any material interest
arising from
relationships between
governors and
school staff
Mrs S Warburton None Declared. None Declared None Declared
Patrick Ferguson Principal at feeder high school. None Declared None Declared
Ms Mandy Pierce LA Employee (HR) None Declared None Declared
Nominated Governors
Governor Forum Representative Shared
Compliance Mike Bevan/Vacant
Safeguarding and vulnerable groups inc. pupil premium Frank Maguire/Lisa Cunliffe
Teaching, assessment and learning standards Tina Thomas/Sue Swift


Resources & Extended Services Committee


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

  • Finance Management and budget setting/monitoring
  • Pay Decisions – appraisal process
  • HR – including recruitment, redundancy, staffing structure, staffing policies
  • Premises, health & safety, lettings
  • Quality and reliability of 2, 3, 4 year old provision, breakfast/after school
  • Safeguarding and equality
  • Lettings Policy
  • Charging Policy



L Shelford, K Cliffe (no voting rights), Vacant, F Maguire, Vacant, T Thomas (Chair), Vacant



Governor Resources & Extended Services Autumn 2020 Resources & Extended Services Spring 2021  

Resources & Extended Services Summer 2021


L Shelford Yes Yes Yes
F Maguire Yes Yes Yes
K Cliffe Yes Yes Yes
P Ferguson No No
M Pierce Yes Yes Yes
T Thomas Yes Yes No
K Hughes Co-opted Yes No
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, M Bevan, F Maguire (Chair), S Swift, T Thomas, C Ryder


Governor Learning & Progress Autumn 2020 Learning & Progress Spring 2021 Learning & Progress Summer 2021
L Shelford Yes Yes Yes
L Cunliffe Yes Yes Yes
M Bevan No No No
F Maguire Yes Yes Yes
C Ryder Yes Yes Yes
S Swift Yes No No
T Thomas Yes Yes No


Other Committees
Pupil Discipline Committee
Frank Maguire
Tina Thomas
Mike Bevan
Head Teacher’s Performance Management
Frank Maguire
Tina Thomas
Complaints Committee
Frank Maguire
Lisa Cunliffe
Tina Thomas
Dismissal/Appeals Committee
3 non-staff governors to be selected for each committee when required
Governing Body Attendance (current year)

The District C E Primary – Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2020/21

The District CofE Primary School


Y = Attended, N = Apologies Accepted, NA = Apologies not Accepted, NS = No Apologies sent,

? = Attendance Not Marked, Blank = Not Required

Full governing board Full governing board Full governing board Full governing board
Governor Governor Type 21 Sep 2020 Dec 2020 Mar 2021 Jul 2021
Rev Gareth Banton Foundation governor Y Y Y N
Mr Michael Bevan Parent governor N NS N Y
Mrs Susan Bridge Clerk Y Y N
Mrs Karen Cliffe Associate Member Y Y Y Y
Mrs Lisa Cunliffe Foundation governor N NS Y Y
Mr Patrick Ferguson Associate Member Y Y N N
Mrs Sharon Jevans Co-opted governor Y Y Y N
Ms Noami Knight Parent governor Not in place Y N N
Mr Frank Maguire Co-opted governor Y Y Y Y
Miss Mandy Pierce Local Authority Governor Y Y Y Y
Mrs Claire Ryder Co-opted governor Y Y Y Y
Ms Lavern Shelford Headteacher Y Y Y Y
Mrs Sue Swift Staff governor Y Y Y Y
Mrs Tina Thomas Parent governor Y Y Y Y
Ms Shirley Nield Clerk Y Y
Full Governing Body Attendance (past year)

The District C E Primary – Governor Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2019/2020

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 Autumn  2019 Autumn 2 2019 Spring 2020 Summer 2020
Rev G Banton Yes Yes Yes Yes
M Bevan Yes No Yes No
K Cliffe Yes Yes Yes Yes
L Cunliffe No No Yes Yes
P Ferguson No No No Yes
F Maguire Yes Yes Yes Yes
M Pierce Yes Yes Yes Yes
C Ryder Yes Yes Yes Yes
S Swift Yes Yes Yes No
T Thomas Yes Yes Yes No
S Warburton Yes No Yes Yes

Our Governors

Mr F Maguire (Co-opted Governor)

I was Headteacher of Emmaus School, 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 resigned in order to work as an Educational Consultant. 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.

I am a governor at two other schools and Member of the Board of the Rainbow Education Multi Academy Trust.

I am proud of the work taking place at The District and believe we provide an atmosphere which rejoices in success and acknowledges real effort on the part of each individual. In our school, all children are of equal value and we strive to provide for each according to need offering positive encouragement and support.

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.

Foundation Governors


Mrs L Cunliffe 

My name is Lisa Cunliffe and I am a Foundation Governor for The District Primary School. I have been involved with governance at the school since January 2012 in a variety of roles. I have worked as a teacher within Newton le Willows for over 15 years and have a passion for education. I have one daughter who attended The District Primary before moving onto Hope Academy and one who is still at the school. I am committed to helping the school in its drive for improvement and look forward to working alongside the team in its future initiatives.


Gareth Banton

Rev’d G Banton

I am the curate for all four of the Newton parishes, and Acting Team Vicar at St John’s. My family moved to Newton in 2018, when I was ordained and we’re really enjoying getting to know the place and it’s people.  Before being ordained, I was a youth worker for twelve churches in South Liverpool, and I spent three years serving in the Liverpool Universities as a chaplain.
This is the first time I’ve held a governor role, but I’ve really enjoyed getting to know some of the staff and students this past year in assemblies and special services.  I look forward to serving the school as a Foundation Governor, and helping it achieve excellence in all it does.  I’m also keen to ensure the relationship between the St John’s Church family, and the District School family continues to thrive and develop.

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.


Mrs T Thomas – Vice Chair
I have 2 children who attend 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 – appointed May 2018

Hi, my name is Mike Bevan and I am a parent Governor, I have 3 children who have all attended The District.  My links with The District go back a long way, I and my 2 siblings also attended  and I  have  friends who I met through the school.

During recent years I have seen many changes to the school and I truly believe that those changes have been for the better, the school is led in a positive way and provides a great atmosphere for all children to learn and feel safe,  I am proud to be part of the District family.  I am a Health and Safety Advisor for the North West Prison Service and believe that the skill-set I have for my job role can be transferred into my role as Governor to assist the school in progressing and developing.


Ms Noami Knight – appointed October 2020.

I have 2 children who attend The District. I am currently studying Criminal Justice at University and work with St Helens Youth Offending Team as a youth Mentor alongside my studies. I am new to the parent governor role and looking forward to supporting the school and staff who are working hard to make this lovely school even better for all the children that attend. I am very friendly and approachable so please feel free to say hello.






Mrs C Ryder 

I have worked at the District CE Primary School since January 2019 in my role as Deputy Headteacher.  I have previously worked in two other primary schools one in St Helens and the other was situated in Wigan.

I am passionate about improving outcomes for our pupils, celebrating their differences and raising aspirations. I am committed to providing an environment that will support, encourage and motivate our pupils.

I value working in partnership with our families and the wider community to help support our pupils to achieve their potential and enable them to flourish.


Mrs S Jevans

My interest in becoming a co-opted governor stems from my personal positive experience of attending a primary and secondary school in an underprivileged area of Warrington and remembering fondly the positive educational experiences which were afforded to me and other students which enabled us to reach our full potential, and have helped shape us into the adults we are today.

I am presently the director with overall responsibility for the UK and Ireland’s leading independent lounge operator, Aspire, as well as a board director for one of the joint venture entities under my remit.  My background is in chartered accountancy, with my having completed an ACA qualification as part of a finance graduate scheme after university.

My hope is to use my skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution to the education and social wellbeing of the children within The District C of E School so that all children have the opportunity to succeed in a safe and supportive environment.



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 a member of the school leadership team.


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 – Susan Bridge – Full Governing Body Meetings

Office Supervisor  – Debbie Sutcliffe – Committees

Latest News

Take a look at our latest news posts below

UKMT Maths Challenge Winners

Congratulations to our UKMT Maths Challenge Winners!! Keira, Leo, Howell and Alfie all took part in the Hope Academy UKMT Maths Challenge and competed against seven other primary schools in St Helens. They had to work as a team to complete 5 timed maths...

STEM Challenge 2020

Well done Sophie-May achieving 3rd Place in the Flying Rudolph STEM Challenge organised by Ellie Hunter from our network school, Ashurst Primary.   The judges from John Moores University were very impressed!   #DistrictProud #DistrictStem #NewtonleWillows...

Reverse Advent Calendar 2020

Wow - a massive thank you to everyone who donated to our Reverse Advent Calendar.   We will be taking our donations to the local food bank next week.   #DistrictProud #DistrictFamily #Education #PrimarySchool #StHelens #NewtonleWillows...

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01744 678250


Patterson Street, Merseyside, WA12 9PZ



01744 678250


Patterson Street, Merseyside, WA12 9PZ

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