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Bolton Primary School

Caring - Inspiring - Enjoying - Excelling



Welcome to our Governors’ section



A warm welcome from the Governing Board


Thank you for visiting us!  We are volunteers who are passionate about children and their educational needs and we have chosen Bolton Primary School, for a number of wonderful reasons including being parents to some of the children in the school, wanting to support the highest quality learning and support educating your children.


In order to make sure we do this effectively, we have three core responsibilities:

  • We need to ensure that the school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • We need to hold the head teacher to account, while supporting and strengthening leadership
  • We need to oversee the financial performance of the school, making sure that money is well spent


We want to do the best we can to support children's learning, development and their environment.  We want to ensure the curriculum is rich and varied and as the chair of governors want to assure you that every child matters.  You may see board volunteers around the schools as some come into school to support children with activities. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


Name: Mrs Ruth Elstone

Appointment: Headteacher

Dates: 1st September 2017

Committees: All

Other Roles: Designated Safeguarding Lead, English (KS2) Lead, World Views & Religion Lead, PHSE Lead 


Name: Mrs Debbie Tinkler (currently on maternity leave)

Appointment: Staff Governor 

Dates: 17th June 2020

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Early Years Lead, English (KS1) Lead, Computing Lead, Music Lead 


Name: Miss Heather Lowthian

Appointment: Staff Governor during Debbie Tinkler's maternity leave

Dates: 27th December 2021

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: SENCO, Science Lead

Our Strategic Plan 2018-2023

Lisa Wilson - Chair of Governors

I am Chair of Governors  (since Sept 21).  My main curricular areas of responsibility are SEND and English. I provide a parental perspective to the Board of Governors. My two youngest children attend Bolton Primary School and are in Key Stage Two.  

My eldest son was born with disabilities and learning difficulties. He currently attends James Rennie in Carlisle within their post 16 setting.

We live on the family farm in Appleby.  In our spare time we enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors. 



Appointment: Chair of Governors 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: 20th November 2019

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for SEND & English

Mike Innerdale - (supporting) Chair of Governors 

 My role involves supporting Ruth and Lisa in the leadership of the school and making sure we have a clear plan for the future and the Governing Body actively champions the values of the school and monitors the priorities for improvement. I work full time as Regional Director for National Trust and live locally in Colby, spending our family time out and about in the Lakes. I have particular responsibility for monitoring Art and Design Technology throughout the school.



Appointment: Supporting Chair of Governors 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: 19th September 2013

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for Art & Design and Design Technology


Kaya Bennett - Co-opted Governor 

Hi I’m Kaya, I'm a co-opted governor. I am also the manager of Bolton Nursery next door to the school. I’m on the education committee and my main area of interest is in the Early Years. I currently have two children attending the school in Year 1 and Year 4. When not working I enjoy lots of walks in the countryside with my two dogs. I have a real passion for early education and look forward to supporting the school in any way I can. My main areas of responsibility are Safeguarding, Science and the EYFS. 




Appointment: Co-opted 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: 20th January 2020

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for Safeguarding, Early Years and Science 

Bronwen Maxwell - Co-opted governor 

I was delighted to become a co-opted governor in 2020. I have specific governor responsibility for supporting the school to achieve its aims in relation to curriculum development, maths and religion and world views.  As a Professor of Education I spend much of my time evaluating educational policies and practices and researching how school leaders and teachers can make best use of evidence to support the best outcomes for children. In my spare time I enjoy fell walking, trekking and gardening.


Appointment: Co-opted 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: 18th June 2020

Committees: CCC

Other Roles: Chair of CCC & Monitoring Governor for Maths & World Views and Religion

Walter Head - Co-opted governor 

My wife and I moved to Bolton almost 3 years ago when I retired. We have 3 grown up children and one grandchild with another on the way. I grew up in the North East and we moved around due to work. In my spare time, I enjoy motorcycling and scuba diving. In addition to a School Governor, I am a Parish Councillor and Chairman of the Bolton Hall Trustees. I am responsible for History, which I have a real passion for. I am also responsible for PHSE and RHSE.


Appointment: Co-opted 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: 1st May 2021

Committees: SF&P

Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for History, PHSE & RHSE 

Marilyn Tinkler - Co-opted Governor 

I am very happy to be a Co opted Governor for the school, I am on the Staffing, Finance and Premises committee, my subjects are ICT and Music. I have been an educator for more than 30 years. The early part of my career as a Nursery Nurse, Teaching Assistant, Secondary Teacher of Art, D&T and PHSE and more recently as The Learning Services Coordinator and Health and Social Care / Childcare and Education Lecturer in a Further and Higher Education College. I also work as a consultant and as an International Schools Project Ambassador for The British Council.  I have my own small business - an online florist and gift shop. I grew up and still live locally.  My Grandson attends the school. 


Appointment: Co-opted 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: September 2021

Committees: SF&P

Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for Computing and Music 

Roy Ashley - Co-opted governor 


Appointment: Co-opted 

Appointed by: GB/board 

Date: November 2021


Other Roles: Monitoring Governor for Geography & French

Communication from Governors to Parents 2021/2022


November/December 2021

Governor News – We are looking for a governor to join the team, ideally with an interest/ background
in Health and Safety. Do you know anyone who may be willing to support the school in a rewarding
role? Please contact Ruth or Lisa (Chair of Governors) if you do.

New governor appointment – We welcome Roy Ashley who has kindly joined the governing body. He
will be working on the Staffing, Finance and Premises committee and is now governor for Geography
and French. Thank you, Roy – we value your support.


September/October 2021

Governors Update

Last week we had our first Governor meeting of the academic year. This is the meeting where we agree the roles of the Governing body and sign off key plans. Firstly, I would like to welcome Marilyn Tinkler onto the Governing Body. Most of you will  know Marilyn from her role leading and working with the school on the Erasmus Programme - her knowledge and experience will be a great addition to the Governing Body. It was  the last meeting for Neil Austin, who has decided to stand down at the end of his second term as a Governor - that's 8 years! Neil has done so much to support the school over this time, bringing his expertise in Finance, IT and people management to the school. He leaves a big hole in the team but we thank him so much for all he has done for the school over this time.  

We have now appointed a new Chair - Lisa Wilson. I really appreciate Lisa picking up the Chair mantle from myself as I will look to step down at the end of the year from being a Governor now that my children have left the school. I know Lisa will be a brilliant Chair, bringing her passion for education and school life to the role. This will be a transition year, with Lisa and myself sharing out duties between us as I have been appointed to the Vice Chair role. With Neil leaving, Ric Hall has been appointed as Chair of Staffing, Finance and Premises Committee and Bronwen Maxwell continues as Chair of Children and Curriculum Committee. 


At the meeting we also discussed and signed off the excellent School Improvement Plan that Ruth has spent the summer drafting. This sets out the priorities for the school year ahead and key actions we will be taking to continue to improve the school across all aspects of school life. This year our focus will be on improving Writing and Maths, while continuing the ongoing work to keep Reading at levels that we reached last year. The ongoing support of parents will be critical in this and I would really recommend you having a look at the website and dipping into the Plan.   


I'm looking forward to see the school continue to flourish in the year ahead and it's great to see children out and about at enjoying school trips and sports matches again.  


Mike Innerdale 

Vice Chair 



What is a Governing Body?

Every school has to have a Governing Body which usually includes the Head Teacher, parents, staff, and community representatives. All members of the Governing Body are volunteers and give up their own time for the school.

A Governing Body has provides strategic leadership and accountability in the school. It has three key functions: 

  • To provide a strategic view – working closely with the Head Teacher helping to decide the schools long term direction and strategy for ongoing improvements. This includes setting the policies and targets for achieving the aims and objectives of the vision.
  • To act as a critical friend – acting as a source of challenge and support to the head teacher and staff
  • To ensure accountability - monitoring and evaluating the Schools effectiveness, progress and performance.

The Governing Body is committed to working for the benefit of the school and is always happy to receive your feedback. If you are interested in becoming a Governor, or want more information about our role, please feel free to chat informally to any of our Parent Governors or contact the Head Teacher for further information.


What is a School Governor?

School governors are volunteers who help to run the school. Most schools work with a group of governors - together they’re called the 'governing body'. They are involved in decisions about all aspects of managing the school – such as running buildings and budgets, supporting staff and setting standards of school discipline.

Governors also help to make big decisions about the School’s long-term goals. They support the Head Teacher, but also ask questions and make sure the Leadership Team is taking the school in the right direction.


Who can be a School Governor?

Anyone over 18 can be a school / academy governor – you don’t have to be a parent with a child at the school. However, every governing body includes parent governors, and it can be a rewarding way to be involved in your child’s school.

The most important qualities for being a governor are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. You don’t need teaching experience, but it useful to bring skills from other areas of your life as we need a mix of skills on the Board.

The Governing Body is made up of different types of Governors, these are: -

  • Co-opted governor: this individual is appointed by the governors – often from the local community, with specific skills and experience that the Body need
  • Staff governor: who are employed by the school, are selected by election by the teaching and support staff.  
  • Parent governors: these are parents of children at the school who are eligible to stand for election to be governors by other parents and carers. Parent governors are 'representative parents' rather than 'representatives of the parents', and in common with other governors, are concerned with the welfare of the school as a whole.
  • Local Authority governor: these governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body and are their to represent the broader view of the community and area
  • The Head teacher is a full member of the school’s Governing Body.
  • The Chair and Vice-Chair of Governors are elected annually by the governing body.


What does the role involve?

You will need to be able to work well in a team, as you will be making joint decisions on policy.

As a governor you’ll probably need to attend up to six governing body meetings during the year. These usually take place on an evening. There are also termly sub committees and some task and finishes type groups.  In addition, it would be expected that you visit the school at least half termly so that you have experience and a genuine understanding of the school, while also carrying out the monitoring aspects of your role (e.g. thematic of subject areas)

As a governor you will get the chance to use your own experience and life beyond school to inform conversations  and your perspective and insight to inform decision making in the interests of the school community. It will give you a chance to develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment and make a value contribution to education and our community.

The role usually lasts for a term of 4 years, although these can be extended depending on the need and personal situation of individual Governors.


How do I become a School Governor?

If you are interested in becoming a governor, talk to the current chair of governors, Lisa Wilson, who leads the board. When there’s a vacancy for a parent governor all parents will be informed, and you will have a chance to stand for election.

You can also contact Ruth Elstone, Head Teacher who can be contacted at the school address in writing

Before you put yourself forward, if you are employed please talk to your employer. Many employers recognise the role of school governor as useful work experience and may offer paid leave as part of their initiative to give back to the community. It may also be helpful to speak to current Parent Governors about the role.


Accessing the Minutes of Governor Meetings

The minutes of all meetings are taken and signed off as true and correct record of the meeting. The clerk to Governors carries out this role and a copy of the minutes can then be requested by parents and wider community if they wish. Actions are progressed between meetings and updated at the following committee to track delivery and accountability.

Terms of Reference – Bolton Primary School Governing Body

The following terms of reference, including those delegated to committees, apply to the Governing Body as a whole.

  • ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for all people; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain
  • carry out statutory duties in a transparent and accountable manner, understand the boundaries of their role as governors and provide support for an effective head teacher
  • ensure clarity of vision, ethos, strategic direction and planning, and engage with key stakeholders
  • contribute to the school’s self-evaluation and understand its strengths and weaknesses at all levels
  • provide appropriate challenge and hold the head teacher and other senior leaders to account for improving pupils’ learning, behaviour and safety
  • assist the Head teacher in formulating the School Improvement Plan and monitoring and evaluating its progress
  • establish and review relevant policies

There will be two Full Governor Body Meetings each term - the first one of the term focused on core Governance duties – known as Business (Policies, termly Head Teacher Report, Budget and other core role and committee updates (see standard agenda template).

The second meeting of the term will be focused on Curriculum and Children's Learning (replacing the previous delegated committee) to include the following:

  • Review the School Improvement Plan and discuss progress and outcomes for the children
  • The School’s curriculum and curriculum policy: To ensure that we continue to be ahead of the game with the NC changes, as well as providing broad and exciting educational experiences for the children
  • Standards of attainment and achievement: to discuss available data at each meeting for year groups and also for specific groups of children eg SEN, Pupil Premium
  • Monitoring and scrutiny of teaching and learning (inc receiving curriculum based Governor Monitoring Reports)
  • Review and monitor the communication to parents and other stakeholders from both School and Governors to include School Prospectus, home school communication, newsletter, website and friends events and meetings.


Staffing, Finance and Premises Committee

Overall responsibilities and remit:

1. Staffing

  • understand and monitor performance management systems and decisions about salary progression, and hear appeals relating to pay awards
  • review the staffing structure and oversee the process leading to staff reductions, if/as required
  • establish a Salary Policy for all categories of staff and be responsible for its administration and review
  • oversee the appointment procedure for all staff
  • review staff work/life balance, working conditions and well-being, including the monitoring of absence
  • make recommendations on personnel related expenditure to the governing body


2. Finance

  • ensure solvency and probity, and that financial resources made available to the school are managed effectively within financial regulations and best value practices
    • consult with the head teacher, to draft the first formal budget plan of the financial year, and maintain an up to date three year financial plan
    • monitor the budget regularly and report to the governing body at least once a term and update if there are significant anomalies
    • review charges, remissions and expenses policies
    • communicate relevant financial information to parents as appropriate, including ring fenced funding, e.g. pupil premium, and sports and PE funding
    • monitor staffing levels and personnel related expenditure, and determine whether sufficient funds are available for pay increments


3. Premises

  • provide support and guidance for the head teacher on all matters relating to school buildings and site
  • consider and recommend a Health and Safety Policy for the school, monitor its effectiveness and to discharge responsibilities, including monitoring the accident statistics, under Health and Safety legislation
  • review buildings, site, furniture and equipment regularly in the context of Asset Management and site safety and security
  • recommend to the Governing Body priority items for inclusion in the School Improvement Plan that cover the asset management planning categories of Conditions (repair and maintenance) and Suitability


  • ensure that health and safety issues are appropriately prioritised
  • consult with the Head teacher and governing body to oversee premises related funding bids, implementation of contracts and monitor performance of these
  • oversee arrangements, including Health and Safety, for the use of school premises by outside users, subject to governing body policy
  • establish and keep under review an Accessibility Plan
  • Review and adopt the Local Authority Plan for Emergency Situation


Governor Meeting Dates 2022/2023


Full Governing Board

Curriculum & Children's Learning and Well-being


Thursday 24th November 2022 at 5:15pm

Thursday 23rd March 2023 at 5:15pm

Thursday 6th July 2023 at 5:15pm



Full Governing Board


Tuesday 27th September 2022 at 6pm

Tuesday 24th January 2023 at 6pm

Tuesday 23rd May 2023 at 6pm



Staffing, Finance and Premises 

Tuesday 1st November 2022 at 4pm

Tuesday 7th February 2023 at 4pm

Tuesday 9th May 2023 at 4pm


 Governing Body Membership 2021/22


Name of governorGovernor CategoryCommitteeTerm of OfficeDeclarations September 2021

Ruth Elstone







Lisa Wilson



Chair of FGB





Debbie Tinkler





Bolton Nursery

Mike Innerdale

Vice Chair





Walter Head





Chairman Bolton Memorial Hall

Marilyn Tinkler





Ric Hall



Resigned December 2021


Kaya Bennett




Bolton Nursery

Bronwen Maxwell


Chair of CCC




Roy Ashley





Heather Lowthian

Staff (Maternity Cover)





 Attendance at full Governors meetings


Ruth Elstone5/54/46/6
Mike Innerdale3/54/44/6
Debbie Tinkler - maternity leave from December 20211/13/42/2
Lisa Wilson - appointed November 20194/43/45/6
Neil Austin - resigned October 20215/54/4n/a
Andrew Booth - resigned October 20215/54/4n/a
Ric Hall - resigned December 20215/54/41/1
Kaya Bennett - appointed January 20204/44/43/6
Bronwen Maxwell - appointed June 20201/14/45/6
Walter Head - appointed March 2021n/a1/11/6
Heather Lowthian - appointed December 2021 maternity covern/an/a3/3
Roy Ashley - appointed October 2021n/an/a3/5
Marilyn Tinkler - appointed September 2021n/an/a4/6