Voluntary Aided School​

St Benedict's is a Voluntary Aided Catholic School. A voluntary aided school is one not established by the Local Authority but by the voluntary body providing the school. In the case of St Benedict's the voluntary body is the Catholic Diocese of Clifton. The majority of the Governors of a VA School are appointed by the voluntary body and are called foundation governors. The others are appointed by the Major and Minor Authority, or elected by the parents and teachers. 

Teachers are appointed by the Governors subject to the establishment and education qualifications prescribed by the Local Authority. The Governors appoint all other staff. 

The Governing Body, which meets at least once a term (6 times a year), is made up of individuals representing the whole school community who bring a wide variety of skills to support the school, including finance capabilities, management experience, teaching experience and pastoral care.  All undertake their duties with dedication and passion in a voluntary and unpaid capacity.  As a voluntary aided school, we are advised by both the Catholic Diocese of Clifton and Somerset County Council.

The term 'critical friend' is often used to describe the responsibilities and role of the Governing Board.  In essence, this means the Governing Board ensures it understands the school's "big picture" by 

  • supporting the aims of the school
  • working closely with the Headteacher and all staff to gain a strong knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the school
  • assisting the Headteacher with strategic planning
  • monitoring and evaluating the progress made towards the school's targets.

All Governors belong to at least one of the sub-committees which also meet on a regular basis and deal with specific areas of the school:

  • ​Teaching & Learning Committee
    The committee is​ responsible for ensuring:

    Learning Principles 1-9 (Teaching & Learning policy) are achieved.

    Link visit reports are up to date and all actions arising have a clear end date.

    KS1 & KS2 progress data is reviewed and an Action Plan drawn up as appropriate.

    Teacher development is continuous and in line with the needs and priorities of the school.

  • Personnel & Pay Committee
    The Committee will work in consultation with the headteacher  to provide guidance to the governing body on priorities and issues relating to staffing, pupils and community relations at the school.

  • Finance / Buildings Committee
    The Committee will work in consultation with the headteacher and School Business Manager to:

    • provide guidance to the governing body on all financial matters,
    • provide guidance to the governing body on priorities, including health & safety,
    • provide guidance to the governing body for the maintenance and development of the school's premises.

  • Admissions Committee
    The committee is responsible for

    • determining within statutory provisions and the governing body policy whether any child should be admitted to the school,
    • reviewing admissions arrangements,
    • any items which individual governors may wish to include relating to admissions.

  • Discipline, Appeals & Complaints Committee

T​he Governing Board has several statutory duties including appointment of the Headteacher as well as agreeing some of the school policies and procedures.  It is accountable for its decisions and reports on the school's overall performance, decisions and actions to those with a legitimate interest such as Ofsted inspectors.

All Governors receive induction training upon appointment and continuous updates and training are provided by Somerset County Council and the Diocese to ensure that Governors receive the information they require to execute their duties to the best of their abilities.

It is essential that the Governing Board maintains high standards at all times, it has committed to a Code of Conduct and declares pecuniary interest where relevant.  It is committed to ensure confidentiality is observed at all times.  

The Governing Board is not involved with the day-to-day running of the school and as such any enquiries of this nature should be directed initially to the class teachers and the Headteacher in accordance with the school's policies and procedures.

If you would like more information about becoming a school Governor, please contact the Clerk to the Governing Board via our email address below or via the school office.

Copies of non-confidential minutes of Governing Board meetings are available upon request.  Please contact the Clerk to the Governing Board via the school office.

Governors can be contacted via the School Office or by email: stbensgovernors@educ.somerset.gov.uk (this is a confidential email address, administered by the Clerk to the Governing Board).

Governing Board Constitution​​​


Governor Type​

​Link Governor for:


Term of Office​ End Date​

​Appointed​ by:


​Mrs Cindy Stockting


​Elected Parent Governor

​Chair of Governors; Performance Management appointed governor

​Mr Jon Stratford

​September 2021

​Bishop of Clifton

​Foundation Governor

​Vice Chair; Chair of Finance & Buildings Committee; Performance Management appointed governor

​Mr Vince Schwartz

​August 2021

​​Bishop of Clifton

​Foundation Governor

​Pupil Premium governor; RE Link Governor

​Mrs Catherine Johnstone

​November 2021

​​Bishop of Clifton

​Foundation Governor

​Numeracy Link Governor; Chair of Personnel & Pay Committee

​Mr David Byrne

​April 2020

​​Bishop of Clifton

​Foundation Governor


​Foundation Governor

​Training Governor; Health & Safety governor; Chair of Admissions Committee

​Mr Peter Tatar

​September 2020

​​Bishop of Clifton
​Foundation Governor
​Pupil Premium Governor

​Mr Paul Justin
​January 2022​
​​Bishop of Clifton

​Elected Parent Governor

SEN and G&T Link Governor

​Mrs Carleigh Down

​November 2020

​​Bishop of Clifton

​Local Authority Appointed Governor

​PE Link Governor; Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee

​Mr Nathan Robertson

​September 2021

​​Bishop of Clifton

Elected Staff Governor

​Mrs Katherine Mitchell

​September 2019​

​​Clerk to the Governing Body

​Mrs Nicola Cherry


​Pupil Premium Governor

​Mr Paul Justin

​Child Protection Governor

​Mr Peter Tatar

Associate Member

​Literacy Link Governor

​Mrs Hannah Richards


Governors' Register of Interests:​

Mr P Tatar - spouse employed at the school

Mr J Stratford - spouse employed at the school

Mr V Schwartz - daughter employed at the school

Mrs C Stockting - grandchildren attend the school

Mrs C Down - son and niece attend the school; related to Mr N Robertson

Mr N Robertson - British Gas employee; grandchildren attend the school​​​; related to Mrs C Down​

© 2018 St Benedicts Primary School     01761 418594     stbenedicts@educ.somerset.gov.uk