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Governing Body

Wanstead Church School Governing Body

Dr Alexandra Harborne, Chair of Governors
Mrs N. Denchfield, Headteacher, Ex-officio
Fr Jack Dunn, Ex-officio
Joan Barnes
Avril Carnelley
Jonathan Day
Mike Keefe
Margaret Thoresby
Kate Spencer-Ellis, Vice Chair
Hannah Turbet
Elaine Turner
Mark Willingham




Wanstead Church School was founded in 1790 by the Revd Samuel Glasse Rector of Wanstead, and since that time it has been part of the work and the ministry of the parish of Wanstead. The Rector remains formally the owner of the land on which the school sits and the school’s foundation is reflected in the appointment of its governors. It is classified as a voluntary aided school which protects its religious and denomination culture.


Who are the governors?

There are 12 governors of whom a majority are ‘foundation’ appointments to ensure the school’s Anglican character and parish links.

Fr Jack Dunn, the Rector of the Parish of Wanstead is an ex-officio foundation governor.

Mrs Denchfield, the Headteacher, is an ex-officio governor.


6 further foundation governors are appointed by the PCC and Diocese

Joan Barnes

Avril Carnelley

Jonathan Day

Margaret Thoresby   

Hannah Turbet       

Mark Willingham  


There are two elected parent governors

Alexandra Harborne

Mike Keefe


There is one Local Education Authority Governor

Kate Spencer Ellis


There is one staff governor

Elaine Turner                              


What do the governors do:


The governors act collectively on the professional advice of the Head Teacher to set the strategic direction of the school.


  • We review and approve the school development plan
  • We approve the school budget.
  • We appoint the Head Teacher and with the Head Teacher, the Deputy and other teaching staff.
  • We establish a staff disciplinary committee
  • We review the curriculum policy and agree the sex education policy
  • We manage the Head Teacher’s performance Management
  • We are responsible for Health and Safety
  • We must ensure the school profile, including performance data, is published.


As a voluntary aided school we have certain other very specific responsibilities:


  • We set and administer the school admissions policy and oversubscription criteria (subject to the DFES admission regulations and the guidance of the Church of England)
  • We are formally the employer of all staff at the school
  • We set the schools Religious Education policy
  • We set the schools Collective Worship policy
  • We are responsible for finding 10% of the cost of all capital projects (new building, alarm systems, etc.).


What the governors don’t do:


  • We do not have responsibility for the school’s day to day management – this belongs to the Head Teacher
  • We have no responsibility for the allocation of staff to classes
  • We are not responsible for pupil discipline unless the Head Teacher decides to exclude a pupil for more than 5 days in which case we must review and agree the decision.
  • We are not responsible for staff performance management or discipline unless the Head Teacher takes formal proceedings in which case we must formally consider this.


How do I raise a concern about the school and how are the governors involved?


Because governors do not have responsibility for the day to day management of the school we are not a first point of call for complaints. We can only consider matters that have first been raised with the class teacher and then the Head. If, after this, the matter is still unresolved, we can be formally approached and take action through the complaints committee. Such matters should be addressed in writing to the Chair of Governors at the school office. The governors corporately are not able to initiate any discipline matters.




Most of what we do is on the public record and the minutes are available from the school office upon request. Matters referring to individuals (staff or students) are kept confidential.




If you have any questions about the work of the governors please do approach us, parent governors in particular have a responsibility for this.