Bath & Wells Multi-Academy Trust
Swainswick Church School is an academy within the Bath & Wells Multi-Academy Trust (BWMAT).
For more information about the trust, and contact details - see our specific BWMAT page.
The MAT governance structure includes members, and a board of Trustees who are responsible for the strategic direction of the whole trust. The Local Governing Board at the individual school level is responsible for the individual scheme.
Within the BWMAT, there is a scheme of delegation which clearly sets out what decision making is delegated to the LGB and school, and which decisions remain at the trust level.
Responsibilities of the Governors on the Local Governing Board
The LGB has a largely strategic role, deciding what the school wants to achieve, setting and reviewing targets, and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Headteacher.
The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, day-to-day management and control of the school, and reporting to governors on the delivery of the objectives agreed within the school’s development plan.
The governors and Headteacher work together in partnership to develop the key policies for the school and to decide which decisions are reserved to the governors, which are shared between the governors and Headteacher, or delegated to the Headteacher. The principal areas of responsibility are reflected in the sub-committees listed below.
All Governors sign the BWMAT Governors Code of Conduct.
In 2017, the Governing Body and the School developed and consulted on a Three Year Strategic Plan to detail Swainswick's Journey to 2020. You can read more about this plan and how it was used on the Vision and Values Page.
We have reviewed the success of the 2017-2020 strategy and will be publishing our new strategic plan early in 2022.
In accordance with government recommendations the membership of the governing body is widely drawn to reflect the various aspects of school life and to represent a balance of interested parties, comprising : –
2 x Parent Governors. Parent Governors are usually parents of children at the school. Most are elected by the parents. If not enough parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint an individual to the position.
2 x Staff Governors. Headteacher, plus one staff Governor.
2 x Foundation Governors. One Foundation Governor is appointed by the Diocese of Bath and Wells Board on the nominations from Swainswick and Woolley Parochial Church Council.
BWMAT Appointed Governors. These governors are appointed by the BWMAT with input from the governing body. This is on the basis of the skills they can bring to support the effective governance and success of the school.
The Clerk of Governors. Not a Governor as such, the Clerk is a paid administrator appointed to assist Governors in fulfilling their duties.
The usual term of office, that is, how long governors are expected to serve on the board is four years for all types of governor. The governing body can, however, determine the term of office for governors to be less than four years.
Governing Committee Structure
The Governing Committee structure at Swainswick was reviewed in Autumn 2021, to ensure that it aligned to the updated BWMAT Scheme of Delegation.
The committee structure is as follows, and all committees have been mapped to the scheme of delegation for clarity of purpose and responsibility.
Swainswick Church School Local Governing Committee (LGC)
The LGC takes a strategic role avoiding routine involvement in operational matters, acts as a critical friend to the school and is accountable for its decisions – specifically:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, strategic direction and Christian distinctiveness
Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
Safeguarding is a standard agenda item and it is reported on at every LGC
Resources & Pay Committee
• Overseeing financial performance and making sure money is well spent
• Monitor, and review all matters relating to the maintenance and development of the school premises and grounds, security and Health and Safety.
• Ensure the school is staffed sufficiently for the fulfilment of the school’s development plan and the effective operation of the school.
• Holding the headteacher to account for the performance management of staff
• Responsible for determining pay progression of all school based staff
• Approves and supports restructuring of school-based posts (not Headteacher)
• Monitors terms and conditions, pay grades, roles and contracts to ensure they do not deviate from Trust standards
• Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
• Monitor and evaluate:
o Curriculum intent, progression, implementation and impact.
o rates of progress and standards of achievement by pupils, including any
o underachieving groups.
o the impact of quality of teaching on rates of pupil progress and standards of
o Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Equal Opportunities
o Pupil Premium, ‘narrowing the Gap’, and Sport Premium and ensure their
o effective implementation.
o the impact of continuing professional development of improving staff performance.
• Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Schools vision, values and ethos
• Consider the extent to which the school intentionally embeds it’s Christian values, and the impact on Christian distinctiveness.
• Monitor and evaluate impact of the school’s communications; ensuring it is aligned to the Trust’s key messages and promotes the voice of parents, staff, and pupils.
Further detailed information on the structure and function of the Local Governing Committee at Swainswick Church School, its Committees and their Terms of Reference is detailed in this document: Swainswick LGC Structure and Responsibilities, and it's appendix: Swainswick Committees mapped to the scheme of delegation.
Governors at Swainswick welcome constructive comments which may help them to improve the strategic direction of the school. We ask that this is done by letter or email addressed to the Chair of Governors and sent to the school office. It is not the role of the governors to respond individually to these comments but they will be taken into account when discussions are held.
Committee Membership, Register of Pecuinary/Business Interests & Attendance,
2022-23 Swainswick Local Governing Cttee Composition & Sub-Committee Membership - to be uploaded after LGC on 20 Oct 2022
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Chair of Governors
Shannon joined the Governing Body in Autumn 2015. She has one child at the school, and wanted to become a Governor after her son’s overwhelmingly positive introduction to the school – his comment at the end of his first day was “Why is everyone in Swainswick so kind?”. She is interested in how we help children to develop the skills they will need for an increasingly complex World, and passionate about the positive power of the natural environment and the rhythm of the Seasons in the lives of children.
Her professional background includes consulting, with a focus on process improvement and managing change on large scale business transformation projects. She subsequently went on to complete a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development, and worked with a number of organisations to understand their environmental and social impact, and develop projects to deliver a meaningful positive impact through their core business activities.
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Paula and her daughter joined the Swainswick family in 2018.
Paula is an educator and sustainability consultant who is passionate about helping schools decarbonise and empowering pupils and school staff to take action on climate issues.
In her free time she loves swimming, walks among trees and along cliffs, making stuff, trying to keep her houseplants from dying, and cuddling with her two furry purries and her one crazy dog.
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Chair of Standards Cttee
Sacha and her family moved to Swainswick in 2018 and feel very blessed to be a part of the school community, having been made to feel very welcome by staff, pupils and parents when they arrived towards the end of Year 1 with their daughter Pippa. Working as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, Sacha has extensive understanding of mental health and best practice for supporting and finding strategies that work for each individual. She is passionate about supporting the school and its pupils/parents in her role as Parent Governor and is excited to be part of such a dedicated team of Governors.
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Rich has one child at Swainswick and lives with Jessie and their two tore children in Larkhall. They moved to Bath in 2012 after several years in London, though Jessie is originally from the south west.
Rich’s work is in public services, particularly working with the NHS, social care and the welfare system to support disabled people of all ages. His work is mainly based around Whitehall, though also involves meeting lots of different people who use the care system and professionals who work in it across the country.
Rich has previously been a governor of a primary school and a trustee of various disability charities.
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Elizabeth moved to Swainswick in 2021 and has one daughter at the school, and a younger son who she hopes will join in 2024.
She has had an overwhelmingly positive experience of living in the area so far, and is delighted with how happy her daughter is in her day to day life at school.
In her professional life, Elizabeth has worked on large scale power generation projects in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as consulting on renewable energy in the UK. She started life working in international development and has an MA in Post Conflict Reconstruction.
BWMAT Appointed Governor
Jess has two children at Swainswick, and has lived with her family in Bath for over ten years.
Jess became a Governor in July 2022 because she is passionate about the incredible environment the school offers to its pupils and wants to play a role in the wonderful school community.
Jess works in the charity sector and has worked primarily in international development over the past 15 years.
Jess will bring her professional experience in governance, finance and operational strategy to the role, as well as her passion for encouraging the children at Swainswick to be citizens of the world.
Nominations to be approved at LGC Dec 2022.
Foundation Governor Safeguarding Governor
"I have lived in the valley for almost 30 years, first, in Woolley and then, from 1993 in Upper Swainswick. Although we did live abroad for a few years during that time.
I am an active member of St. Mary’s Church and sit on the PCC for Swainswick with Woolley. As a community we are very privileged to have an active village school and I am passionate about growing the close links between the school, the Church and the Community.
I have recently retired from the NHS having worked as a Health Visitor for many years. Since 2008 I became the specialist nurse for safeguarding and child protection within the community in B&NES. I worked with the statutory and voluntary agencies and gained valuable experience in Safeguarding which I can put to use in the school."
Mrs Sarah Charles
Sarah is a class teacher in the Reception/ Year 1 class and has shared responsibility for the EYFS and phonics development across the school.
She has taken on many different roles within the Swainswick community- once as a parent volunteer and now as a teacher and governor.
After being awarded her teaching degree from Bath College (now Bath Spa University) in 1990, Sarah taught at Widcombe Infants School in Bath for seven years; before taking a career break to enjoy family life with her 3 children.
She has taught at Swainswick Church School for the past 14 years.
Clerk to Governors
Robert joined the Swainswick LGC as Clerk in 2019, he is also the clerk for a number of other primary schools in the Bath cluster of the BWMAT.
Governors who have served on the Governing Board in the last 12 months
Robert Shackell - BWMAT Appointed Governor until 9.12.2022
Claire Davies - BWMAT Appointed Governor until 16.12.2021
Nicky Lewis - Parent Governor until 31.07.2022