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Governors Information

The Governing Body – Overview

These are exciting times for Christopher Whitehead Language College. We are always striving to find ways to excel in raising the achievement of our present students, while looking to the future to secure the education of students yet to join us.

We exist in a challenging environment where restricted income, rising costs and aging buildings mean that we must run fast to stay still. Worcestershire remains one of the lowest funded local authorities for education – a situation that has remained a concern for the past twenty years. The school is part of the F40, fairer funding action group and we hope that the government’s promised fairer funding lives up to its promise.

There are no magic wands in education. We strongly believe that we have the basics right at our school, with good processes, able and talented leaders and staff, and critical yet supportive governors. The continuous improvement we demand can only come through self-evaluation and pursuit of small gains in all areas.

Throughout this year, departments have been paired to review each other to follow on from last year’s intensive set of short internal reviews by the Headteacher and leadership team.

In September 2015, we admitted our first sixth form students and in September 2016 they became our first “Upper Sixth”. The presence of a Sixth Form is raising the educational ethos and levels of aspiration over the whole school.

In April 2017, we began to occupy our new building which provides the basic classroom need for our growing school. However, for our growing school, our performing arts facilities are not up to the standard we would wish, and we have developed an exciting proposal for a facility to meet our aspirations. Our request for funding for this from the Education Funding Agency was declined in March 2017; however we will continue to pursue our ambition to make this happen.

We have a diverse group of able and involved governors, including elected parent governors, who have a key role in leading the school and setting its future direction. If you feel that this is a way you can be part of helping our school move forward and improve, then please get in touch.

NameCategory of Governor & Term of Office

(4 years unless otherwise stated)

Appointing BodyExpiryPositions of ResponsibilityRelevant business that could present a conflict of interest including whether a governor at another school
Mr Graham EvansAppointedGoverning Body24/09/2021Chair, Pay Panel, PersonnelNone
Mrs Susan FairmanAppointedGoverning Body29/01/2023Vice Chair, Chair of Students and Community Committee, Pay PanelNone
Dr Stephen MinchinAppointed Governing Body02/07/2023 None
Mr Peter ThorogoodAppointedGoverning Body17/06/2022Green IssuesNone
Mr Carl FlintAppointedGoverning Body06/02/2021 None
Mr Michael SheathCo-optedGoverning Body28/11/2021SafeguardingNone
Mrs Francesca MooreAppointedGoverning Body17/09/2022 None
Mr Russell WebbParentParents28/11/2021Vice Chair, Chair of Operations Committee, Premises, Health and SafetyNone
Mrs Suzanne LawsonAppointedGoverning Body27/03/2022Chair of Curriculum Teaching and Learning CommitteeNone
Mr Jim BlandenParentParents26/02/2023 None
Mrs Julie SwannAppointedGoverning Body02/07/2023 None
Mrs Jay SlaterParentParents04/12/2023 None
Mrs Lucy FrancisParentParents04/12/2023 None
Mr Daniel StokesStaffStaff01/12/2023 None
Mrs Tracey YarnoldStaffStaff01/06/2022 None
Mrs Pauline WatmoreStaffStaff27/05/2020 None
Mr Neil MorrisStaff HeadGoverning BodyN/A None
Mrs Kate JoinerClerkGoverning BodyN/A None
Strategic Role

The Governing Body is the strategic leader of the school and represents the community’s interest in the school. Its key purpose is to conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school. Details of the Formal Structure are given in a separate section.

The Governing Body has a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

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

The Governing Body appoints the Headteacher, and delegates the day-to-day operation of the school to the Headteacher.

Formal Structure


The Academy Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity. The Charitable Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association are the primary governing documents of the Academy Trust. The Academy receives the bulk of its income through a Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State for Education.

The Trustees (Governors) of Christopher Whitehead Language College are also the directors of the Charitable Company for the purposes of company law. The Charitable Company is known as Christopher Whitehead Language College.

Charitable Objects and Aims

The principal object and activity of the Academy is to advance education for the public benefit, in particular by establishing, maintaining, managing and developing a school, offering a broad range of curriculum for pupils of different abilities, with a strong emphasis on languages.

The principal object and activity of the Charitable Company is the operation of Christopher Whitehead Language College to provide free education and care for pupils of different abilities. The Academy’s specialism is Languages.


The Academy Trust is the Admissions Authority, the employer of staff, the owner of the land and buildings, receives revenue principally from the Secretary of State through a Funding Agreement and is an exempt charity (one that is not regulated by, and cannot register with, the Charity Commission).

Members’ Liability

Each member of the Charitable Company undertakes to contribute to the assets of the Company in the event of it being wound up while he/she is a member, or within one year after he/she ceases to be a member, such amount as may be required, not exceeding £10.00, for the debts and liabilities contracted before they cease to be a member.

Public Benefit

The Academy provides facilities for recreational and other leisure time occupation for the community at large in the interests of social welfare and with the interest of improving the life of the community.

Induction and Training of new Governors

The training and induction provided for new Governors will depend upon their existing experience but would always include a tour of the School and a chance to meet staff and students. All Governors are provided with copies of policies, procedures, minutes, accounts, budgets, plans and other documents that they will need to undertake their role as Trustees. As there are normally only two or three new Governors a year, induction tends to be done informally and is tailored specifically to the individual. Advantage is taken of specific courses offered by the Local Authority and other bodies.

Contacting the governors

The governors can be contacted by sending an email to, or by post to Chair of Governors, Christopher Whitehead Language College & Sixth Form, Bromwich Road, Worcester WR2 4AF


The school’s Governing Body comprises the Headteacher, Parent Governors, Staff Governors and Appointed Governors.

Governors are appointed for a four year period (this time limit does not apply to the Headteacher). Subject to remaining eligible, any Governor can be re-appointed or re-elected.

When appointing new Governors, the Governing Body will give consideration to the skills and experience mix of existing Governors in order to ensure that the Board has the necessary skills to contribute fully to the school’s development.

How does the Governing Body work?

The Governing Body normally meets twice in the first term of the academic year and once in each other term. The Governing Body establishes an overall framework for the governance of the school and determines membership, terms of reference and procedures of Committees and other groups. It receives reports including policies from its Committees for ratification. It monitors the activities of the Committees through the minutes of their meetings. The Governing Body may from time to time establish Working Groups to perform specific tasks over a limited timescale.   There are committees as follows;

  • Operations Committee – this meets termly and is responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing policy and performance in relation to Finance, Premises and Personnel. Financial management aspects include compliance with reporting and regulatory requirements and reporting, receiving reports from the Responsible Officer and drafting the annual budget. It also incorporates the role of an audit committee.
  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Committee – this meets once a term to monitor, evaluate and review Academy policy, practice and performance in relation to curriculum planning, communications, target setting and assessment, examinations, student progress, careers guidance and relevant aspects of Pupil Premium.
  • Admissions Committee which meets as required to deal with matters relating to admissions not able to be dealt with by the Students and Community.
  • Student & Community Committee – this meets once a term to monitor, evaluate and review the school’s policies, practice and performance in relation to attendance, exclusions, admissions policy, all pastoral matters and community matters.

The Governors are responsible for setting general policy, adopting an annual plan and budget, approving the statutory accounts, monitoring the Academy by the use of budgets and other data, and making major decisions about the direction of the Academy, capital expenditure and staff appointments. The Headteacher is responsible for the appointment of staff, though appointment panels for teaching posts always include a Governor where possible.

The Trustees and Board of Trustees have devolved responsibility for day to day management of the Academy to the Headteacher, who is also the Accounting Officer.

Aims, priorities and activities

The aims of the school are summarised below:

  • To continue to raise the standard of educational attainment and achievement of all pupils.
  • To provide a broad and balanced curriculum, including extracurricular activities.
  • To develop students as more effective learners.
  • To develop the Academy site so that it enables students to achieve their full potential.
  • To ensure that every child enjoys the same high quality education in terms of resourcing, tuition and care.
  • To improve the effectiveness of the Academy by keeping the curriculum and organisational structure under continual review.
  • To maximise the number of students who achieve 5 A* – C GCSE grades including English and Mathematics.
  • To ensure that all students achieve their potential and meet or exceed their expected progress.
  • To provide value for money for the funds expended.
  • To comply with all appropriate statutory and curriculum requirements.
  • To maintain close links with local FE providers, industries, community groups and commerce.
  • To develop the Academy’s capacity to manage change, and,
  • To conduct the Academy’s business in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, probity and openness.

At Christopher Whitehead Language College we aim to get the best for, and from, each student. We intend to enable each student to realise his or her full academic, creative and physical potential and to develop positive social and moral values.  Our school is a community in which children, staff and parents should be part of a happy and caring environment.

Key priorities, activities and targets are identified in the School Development Plan and are influenced by the significant challenges and opportunities arising from national changes in education policy and funding.

Key priorities for the year in our School Development Plan for year 2016/17 are:

Curriculum: Attainment, Assessment & Progress 

  1. To introduce assessment and progress using 9 – 1 across years 7 – 11.
  2. To update PMR / whole school tracking systems to track students from year 6 – year 13.
  3. To ensure accuracy of teacher assessment / benchmarking throughout all key stages.
  4. To develop schemes of work and assessments across all key stages to reflect new expectations.

Curriculum: Teaching and Learning 

  1. To develop a habit of home learning that is underpinned by evidence based research.
  2. To further develop best practice in marking and feedback across years 7 – 13.
  3. To reflect on action points from Blink reviews and develop a robust Blink review process for 2016 – 2017.
  4. To support teachers in identifying and considering the needs of ALL STUDENTS (Rhinos/Pandas/Dyslexic/AN).

Personal development, behaviour and welfare of learners

  1. To develop the Values and Ethics curriculum across years 7 – 13.
  2. To ensure that the social and emotional health and well-being (mental wealth) of students and staff is maintained.
  3. To identify students who are missing school and ensure they are appropriately supported and their attendance improved.
  4. To develop the consistent use of the existing rewards system.
  5. To use social media effectively and safely in all departments.

The activities include the following:

Implementation of the School Development Plan

  • Staff training – all aware of new performance measures.
  • All students are entered for 8+ subjects which fulfil the attainment eight “buckets”.
  • Moderation is a standing item on department meeting agendas (where required).
  • New data analysis pack developed.
  • TED in summer 2016 and March 2017 to support new course development.
  • On-going CPD.
  • Regular assemblies and workshops in e-safety.
  • Attendance courts still being held. Registration now closes at 9am. Real focus on punctuality.
  • Training given in September 2016, what makes a good Learning Mentor and also training in attendance and safeguarding.
  • Extend the development and use of the school website.
  • Roll out parental access to hub in summer 2016 – access to assessment and attendance data. Also an opportunity to send out key documentation such as the newsletter and data forms.
  • Introduction of student ambassadors in all departments from January 2016.


  • Ensuring effective use of Pupil Premium funding
  • Review of staffing levels in the light of budgetary pressure.
  • Safeguarding and child protection – the Governors continue to ensure that the highest standards are maintained in the areas of selection and monitoring of staff, the operation of child protection policies and procedures, health & safety and discipline.
  • Staffing – the success of the school is reliant on the quality of its staff and so the Governors monitor and review policies and procedures to ensure continued development and training of staff as well as ensuring there is clear succession planning.
  • Prevention of fraud and mismanagement of funds – The Academy has appointed an independent, external Responsible Officer to carry out checks on financial systems and records.

Plans for future periods

Christopher Whitehead Language College will continue to strive to provide outstanding education and improve the levels of performance of its students at all levels. The school will continue to aim to attract high quality teachers and support staff in order to deliver its objectives.

The Academy is currently working:

  • To successfully build up the Sixth Form:

2016/17: Year 12 at full size; Year 13 at half of full size (Sixth Form 75% of final size).

2017/18: Year 12 and 13 both at planned size (Sixth Form 100% of final size).

  • To implement the agreement to increase our Planned Admission Number (PAN) from 224 to 254, beginning with Year 7 in 2017/18 and spreading up the school to reach Year 11 by 2021/22.
  • To complete and bring into use a new building meeting the basic classroom need for the expansion of the school (sixth form and lower school).
  • To specify, plan, fund and implement the necessary building works to provide performing arts facilities for the build-up of the Sixth Form and increased PAN.

The Academy will continue to work with partner schools to improve the educational opportunities for students in the wider community.


Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Bromwich Road,

Phone: 01905 423906

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