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The Bridge Governors

Ashbrook is a Local Authority Maintained School and, as such, is subject to advice and instruction by Milton Keynes Council. This includes a requirement that the school appoints a governing body.

Ashbrook and Holmwood schools together make up a hard federation called The Bridge Partnership. Under the terms of this federation the schools have one Head, Mrs Claire Sharples, and one governing body, The Bridge Governors. The people responsible for the day-to-day running of the schools are the Head and the respective Senior Leadership Teams, and the main role of the governors is to support the schools in their delivery of an effective teaching and learning experience for the children in their care.

The Governing Body has a statutory responsibility to ensure that the schools are carrying out their duties of meeting various requirements laid down by the Local Authority and the Department for Education. These include aspects of the National Curriculum, financial accountability, and child protection and safeguarding. This is achieved by means of a variety of contacts between the governors and the schools, and the aims of these are to familiarise the governors with how the schools are operating in order that they may ascertain that the expected procedures and processes are in place. Governors are also required to be sufficiently informed to be able to offer challenge and effective support where necessary. Further details are provided in ‘What Governors Do’.

All Bridge Governors are expected to attend two meetings of the Full Governing Body (FGB) each term. At these meetings, matters concerning both schools are considered. Each governor is also expected to attend meetings of either the Resources Committee (which oversees the schools’ budgets and matters of expenditure) or the Learning Matters Committee (which considers matters related to teaching and learning). In addition, individual governors are expected to make contact with the schools through formal visits and informal attendance at events taking place at the schools. This gives an indication of what is required of governors at all schools. Ideally, governors will provide a variety of skills and experience but, above all, it amounts to a willingness to commit time to providing support for the school or schools to which they have responsibilities.

Currently the Bridge Governing Body comprises Staff Governors (including the Head), Parent Governors, MK appointed Governors, and co-opted Community Governors. However, from September 2015, the governing bodies of all maintained schools have to be reconstituted according to guidelines issued by the DfE. This places certain restrictions on the relative numbers of governors from each of the above categories and, in addition, results in governing bodies that have fewer members. From September 2015, The Bridge Governing Body will be made up of three Staff Governors (one being the Head), four Parent Governors (two from each school), one MK appointed Governor, and four Co-opted Governors.

Clerk to the Governors of Ashbrook School
Learning and Development Directorate
Saxon Court
1, Saxon Gate East
Milton Keynes

The Governing Body                        


Heather Cormack Deputy Headteacher/Associate Governor
Helen Pidgeon Chair of Governor
Anil Podar Co-opted Governor
Kevin Roberts Governor
Claire Sharples Headteacher
Hayley Waters Assistant Headteacher (Holmwood School)/Associate Governor

What do Governors do?

Governing Bodies DO:
  • Set the overall budget for the school
  • Decide on the level of pay for its school’s teachers
  • Decide on the number of staff 
  • Help to decide the priorities for improving the school when the school improvement plan is being drawn up
  • Ensure the National Curriculum is taught to all pupils
  • Set targets for pupil achievement
  • Publish national tests and exam results
  • Compare the performance of their school to similar schools
  • Receive information about the quality of teaching in the school
  • Have a published strategy for dealing with parental complaints and concerns
  • Ensure health and safety issues are addressed
  • Set the times of school sessions
  • Need to consult the head when making decisions


Governing Bodies DON’T
  • Inspect the school
  • After visiting the school report back on the quality of teaching
  • Authorise all expenditure
  • Share concerns about staff capability
  • Decide on how pupils are taught different subjects
  • Have the right to exclude a pupil
  • Write the school’s policies on their own
  • ‘Rubber stamp’ recommendations from the Head Teacher
  • Automatically approve all apologies sent by governors
  • Need to be aware of the performance objectives which have been set for individual teachers
  • Write the Ofsted Action Plan on their own