School Governors

Thank you for reading this page. I hope that is an indication that you are interested in the role of the governor’s of Burlington School.

The Role of The Governing Body

There are three strategic areas in the role of the governing body.

  1. Ensuring the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure it’s money is well spent.

The day to day running of the school is left to the head teacher and the management team.

Types of Governors

Our Governing Body consists of:

1 x Local authority governor
2 x Foundation governors
2 x Parent governors
2 x Staff governors (including the head teacher)
2 x Co-opted governor

The term of office for all elected or nominated Governors is four years. The headteacher and the Principal Officiating Minister of the Parish are Ex-Officio members and do not have a defined term of office.

This gives a team of 9. Other people can be added to the body as Associate Members to provide the skills and expertise required.

What would I be expected to do?

School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing body.

Strategic leadership

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Burlington Church of England Primary and Nursery School is Voluntary Controlled so the Local Authority is the employer. The Governors hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make decisions about balancing resources.

The role of the governing body is a strategic one with three key functions:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school. They set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend).

The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing board.

Governors will be expected to visit the school to ensure they are familiar with the ethos of the school and to carry out their monitoring duties. We realise that all governors are volunteers but we would like them to be as professional as possible in carrying out their roles.

How regular are the meetings?

Full Governing Body meetings are held at least 4 times a year. Sometimes meetings can be called at short notice but usually dates are set at the start of the academic year. Finance Committee meetings are also at least four times a year as well as Full Governing Body meetings. Minutes are available upon request, please contact Mrs Linda Dean, Clerk to Governors

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about the Governors please contact Mrs Linda Dean, Clerk to Governors

If you want to find out more about Governor Roles please visit

List of Governors

Pam Anderson:  Foundation Governor – Chair of Governors

Pam is a Learning Mentor at a local secondary school and has been a member of the board for several years. She has close links to the church and is a church warden. Her daughter is currently attends Burlington. Pam also attends Finance Committee meetings.

Father Stephen Tudway: Ex-officio Foundation Governor

Stephen is member of the governing body following his appointment as vicar of the Parishes of Kirkby, Broughton and Duddon in January 2020. He is also a governor at Broughton in Furness CE Primary School and Millom Secondary School. He has had significant governor experience in schools beyond Cumbria. Stephen also attends Finance Committee meetings.

Sarah Powell:  Head Teacher

Sarah has been Headteacher at Burlington since 2012. She has two children in local primary and secondary schools. She attends Finance Committee meetings.

Graham Withers:  Staff Governor

Graham was employed in 2014 and was previously on the SLT at a larger primary school in Kendal. He is a keen snowboarder and mountain biker.

Esther Benson:  Co-opted Governor

Esther has three children currently in school. She is an art teacher at a local secondary school in the Lake District. She brings knowledge of secondary transition.

Lauren Newby: Parent Governor

Lauren joined the Governing Body in October 2020. She has two children in school and another at a local secondary school. She brings knowledge and experience of economic regeneration.

Ceri Laisby:  LA Governor

Ceri works in a local primary school. She has two children currently in school.

Ian Jones:  Co-opted Governor

Ian has had two children through Burlington School and wanted to continue his involvement with supporting the Governing Body. Ian works for a local steel fabricator and brings an understanding of finance to the board. He is the Chair of the Finance Committee.

David Ritchie:  Parent Governor

David is a father of three, two who are currently in school. He works as a naval architect at BAE and has an understanding of how a larger business works. He is the school’s GDPR officer. David also attends Finance Committee meetings.

Elizabeth Thompson: Associate Member

Elizabeth is the School’s Business Manager and is invited to Finance Committee meetings and Full Governing Body meetings. She has no voting rights on any committees.

Linda Dean:  Clerk to the Governors

Linda has been Clerk for a number of years. She is a Licensed Lay Minister Reader at St Cuthbert’s Church and is a retired local primary headteacher.

Governor resignations in past twelve months: None

Business/financial Interests: None