The Role of the Local Governing Body

In order to understand the role and responsibilities of the local governing body within Star Academy, Sandyford, it is important to recognise that the governing body of a school that is part of a multi-academy trust, such as this one is, is very different from that of a single academy school or a community school.

The main difference is that the trust is the accountable body and ultimate decision-making body and not the local governors, or local governance tier as they are known, and it is the trustees who decide how governance works at individual academy level and what responsibilities are delegated to the local tier.  The trust board can, at any time choose to remove those delegated responsibilities or change the committee structure.

So, in a nutshell the local governing body is a committee of, and dependent on, the trust board for any decision-making powers.

So, what is the role of the local governing body at Star Academy Sandyford?

The local governing body is an informed local community resource with a unique local perspective and a delegated responsibility to provide challenge and support to the academy and the Trust.  Local governors are the “eyes and ears” of the trustees in the local community.

In line with the trust’s Scheme of Delegation, local governors are responsible for supporting academy improvement and engaging with academy leaders and the community in order to ensure that all students reach their full potential, regardless of background or level of ability.

This academy is part of a local cluster.  This means that the governing bodies of two or more academies come together to form one local governing body chaired by an Executive Chair.

Fully supported by the Trust’s Governance Team and the Executive Chair, local governors of Star Academy Sandyford are responsible for:

  1. Knowing, understanding and challenging pupils’ overall progress and attainment. This means being clear about where the attainment gaps are, what provisions are in place to close those gaps and the impact of those provisions.
  2. Monitoring child protection and welfare in the academy including attendance, behaviour, suspensions and permanent exclusions.
  3. Receiving and noting summary management accounts and risk registers provided by the academy.
  4. Hearing any appeals as part of the complaints process and sitting on discipline panels in relation to suspensions and permanent exclusions.
  5. Evaluating their own effectiveness through the local governing body action plan, skills audit and clerk-led self-evaluation.

School visits help governors to understand more about their academy and the reality of school life.  We encourage governors to take on specific roles, dependent upon their interests and visit their academy.

Being a governor is a very rewarding experience.  You will be part of a team who is working to improve the life chances of children, some of whom come from very challenging backgrounds.  You will learn new skills whilst giving something back to the community you live and work in.  Our local Governors are committed to Transforming Lives, they give their time and energy to oversee the academy and take on a lot of responsibility.  Governance is enhanced by a team from a diverse range of professional, social and cultural backgrounds, if you are interested in becoming a local community governor please get in touch with Michelle Eaves our Governance Clerk.

Contact the Governors

Michelle Eaves Photo

Michelle Eaves, Head of Governance and Clerk to the Governors

Any communication for the Governors can be made via the following:


Telephone: Leave a message via 01782 235055

Address: FAO Clerk to the Governors, Star Academy Sandyford, Burnaby Road, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. ST6 5PT

The Governors

NameTypePosition(s)Register of interestLink RoleElectedTerm Ends
Jon HankeyLocal Community GovernorExecutive ChairHeadteacher at Ball Green Primary School Member of Stoke on Trent Local Authority’s "School Forum" Member of Stoke on Trent Local Authority’s "Tas and Finishing Work Group" Member of Stoke on Trent PEIA Educational Challenge BoardLeadership and Management an Wider Curriculum02/06/202231/08/26
Chris RoutledgeLocal Community GovernorVice ChairChair of Trustees at St Barnabas Bradwell, and St Andrews PorthillBehaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development01/08/1531/08/26
Gemma BeckettLocal Parent GovernorLocal GovernorHeadteacher at Heron Cross Primary SchoolPupil Premium, Early Reading and Phonics07/06/2131/08/26
Dave SprosonLocal Community GovernorLocal GovernorMark David Sproson – Director of Pirtek Leicester (family Business)TBC26/09/2325/09/27
Iain MacDonaldLocal Community GovernorLocal GovernorNoneSafeguarding and SEND01/09/2331/08/27
VacancyLocal Parent GovernorLocal GovernortbaTBCTBCTBC
Charlotte KnowlesLocal Staff GovernorLocal GovernorNoneStaff Voice09/02/2308/02/2026
Clare NorcupLocal Staff GovernorLocal GovernorNoneStaff Voice11/09/2310/09/27