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Our Governing Body

The Governing Body (GB) consists of 14 members from all walks of life who bring a range of skills to their role as a governor. As Helme is a Church of England Academy our GB is made up as follows:

Headteacher, Staff (1 - elected by staff), Foundation (6 - proposed by either the Diocese or the Parish Church Council), Local Authority (1) and Parent (2 - elected by other parents) and Trust Appointed Governors (currently 3)

All members of the GB support the ethos and values of the school. In order to be fully aware of the ethos of the school, members of the GB try to spend time in school when possible, not just when attending meetings. For example this may be in the form of ‘Learning walks’ where a particular aspect is looked at, Health and Safety visits, or attending school council meetings where they can enter in direct dialogue with pupils.

The Governing Body (GB) has a strategic responsibility which encompasses, for example, finance, staffing, the curriculum (including Special Educational Needs), Safeguarding, Health & Safety.

The GB (through the Chair of Governors, the Steering committee, the Resources committee and the Standards & Effectiveness committee) and the Headteacher work together to ensure the needs of the pupils are met.

The strategic responsibility is not to be confused with the day to day organisation and management of the school – this is the Headteacher’s responsibility, although the GB does act as a critical friend.

Therefore some aspects are the responsibility of the GB and others of the Headteacher. There may well be consultation and discussion and, within the guidelines available and legal requirements, a decision will be reached. 

Governors for the 2017/2018 Academic Year:



Type of Governors for the 2016/2017 Academic Year:

Mrs Julie Dempster Head Teacher 01.09.10 24.03.17
VACANCY Foundation - Diocesan    
Mrs Jenny Hill Foundation - Diocesan 09.09.14 08.09.18
Mr Chris Lockwood Foundation - Diocesan 28.11.13 27.11.17
Rev Dennis Shields Foundation 01.10.07 Ex-officio
Dr Merrick Burrow Foundation - PCC 17.11.16 17.11.20
Mrs Anne Mitchell Foundation - PCC 12.03.15 11.03.19
VACANCY Foundation - PCC    
Mr Ben Pace Parent 23.12.14 22.12.18
Mrs Sue Castle Parent 28.04.14 27.04.18
Miss Gillian Spooner Staff 21.09.16 21.09.20
Mr Nigel Codling Associate Member    
Mrs Julie Roberts Observer Resources Committee    
Mr Alex Beaumont Acting Head Teacher 24.04.17 Ex-officio

No Governors have governance roles in other schools.

Attendance at Full Governing Body meetings for the 2016/2017 Academic Year:

Governor 28.09.16 22.11.16 25.01.17 14.03.17 24.05.17 20.06.17
Dr Merrick Burrow Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mrs Sue Castle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Mrs Julie Dempster Yes Yes        
Mrs Jenny Hill Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mr Chris Lockwood Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Mrs Anne Mitchell Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mr Ben Pace Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mrs Jan Roberts Yes Retired Retired Retired Retired Retired
Rev Dennis Shields Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ms Gillian Spooner Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mr Nigel Codling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mr Alex Beaumont         Yes Yes


Governors' Register of Business Interests for the 2016/2017 Academic Year:

We are required to consider our Register of Business Interests on an annual basis.  At the Governing Body AGM on 28 September 2016, Governors completed the Register of Business Interests,  please click on the document below to open it:



To learn more about our Governors, please read their pen portraits below:

Rev Dennis Shields

I bring 42 years’ experience of working full time in education – both in schools and LEA – up to and including Executive Headteacher and Service Manager.  Academic qualifications include: CertEd, DipEd(SEN) and MA (Ed Studies).

I also bring experience of working and studying part time in the church and parish setting of Meltham over the past 22 years as: a volunteer (1994), a Reader (2000), a Deacon (2005) and Priest (2006).  

Mrs Sue Castle

Parent Governor at Helme school for almost 6 years.  My background is Human Resources and Business Improvement in a Corporate background.  My skills help the Governing Body to support the school with Performance Management, staffing issues, strategic direction and School Improvement, for this I remain a critical friend to the school.

Mr Ben Pace

As father-of-two and a government statistician, I bring a desire to see children flourish through a positive and rewarding education, and an understanding of data and numbers which I apply in the school setting to help governance in these areas.

I assumed the role of Vice Chair in 2015.

Mrs Anne Mitchell

My name is Anne Mitchell I have been a Foundation Governor for the past 5 years.  I moved to Meltham 28 years ago and have lived in Helme for 15 years so have a great knowledge of and strong links with the local community.

My professional background is in Health Care and my current role on the Governing body is on the Standards and Effectiveness Committee.  I am keen to support the school in any way I can so our children get the best possible start in life with a great education, in a safe, caring and happy environment.

Mrs Jenny Hill

I have lived in Meltham for 37 years my 3 children were educated at Helme School.  I work in the local Hospice Shop, I volunteer for the Operation Christmas Child, Samaritans Purse shoeboxes and I am Treasurer of Helme Church

Now retired, I previously worked at Yorkshire Electricity as banking officer/sales assistant in the Huddersfield Victoria Lane shop, Team Manager at Yorkshire Water Call Centre in Buttershaw, assisting in setting up a new Call Centre for Equity Red Star Insurance in Bradford, and managing a team of 26 agents. I was fully Display Screen Equipment (DSE) trained and in control of all the Health and Safety aspects of the Call Centre.

​Governors' Committees for the 2016/2017 Academic Year:

The Helme School Governing Body's work is supported by a number of committees.  The terms of reference can be found lower down this page.  Please scroll down for the committees' Terms of Reference.  The arrangements for the 2016/2017 Academic Year are detailed below:

Resources Committee:

Mr Ben Pace (Chair), Mr Chris Lockwood, Rev Dennis Shields, Mrs Jenny Hill, Mrs Julie Dempster.  The committee is supported by Mrs Julie Roberts, Bursar.

Attendance 28.09.16 25.01.17 24.05.17
Mr Ben Pace (Chair) Yes Yes Yes
Mr Chris Lockwood Yes Yes  
Rev Dennis Shields Yes Yes Yes
Mrs Jenny Hill Yes Yes Yes
Mrs Jan Roberts Yes End of term of office
Mrs Julie Dempster Yes    
Mrs Julie Roberts (Bursar) Yes Yes Yes
Mr Nigel Codling   Yes  
Mr Alex Beaumont     Yes


Standards & Effectiveness Committee:

Mrs Sue Castle (Chair), Rev Dennis Shields, Dr Merrick Burrow, Mrs Anne Mitchell, Mr Nigel Codling (Associate Governor with voting rights), Ms Gillian Spooner, Mrs Julie Dempster

Attendance 24.11.16 14.03.17 16.05.17 26.06.17
Mrs Sue Castle (Chair) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rev Dennis Shields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dr Merrick Burrow Yes Yes   Yes
Mrs Anne Mitchell Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ms Gillian Spooner Yes Yes   Yes
Mrs Julie Dempster Yes      
Mr Nigel Codling (Associate Governor) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mr Alex Beaumont     Yes Yes

Complaints Committee:

Any 3 governors from a pool of governors, excluding the Chair, Head or staff, and must include a parent governor.

Pupil Discipline:

Any 3 governors from a pool of governors excluding parent governors or a parent of a child in the school.

Staff Dismissals:  Rev Dennis Shields and Mrs Sue Castle

Staff Dismissal Appeals:  Mr Ben Pace and Mrs Anne Mitchell

Headteacher Appraisal:  Mr Ben Pace, Mrs Jan Wallis, Mrs Elaine Watson and Rev Dennis Shields

Admissions Committee:  Mrs Anne Mitchell, Mrs Melanie Garlick supported by Mrs Julie Roberts, Bursar

Please note that the Attendance Committee communicate with each other at various times throughout the academic year in order to make decisions about requests for individual places.

Pay Committee:  Rev Dennis Shields, Mrs Anne Mitchell, Mrs Sue Castle

For the Terms of Reference, please click on the documents below:

Resources Terms of Reference.pdf

Standards and Effectiveness Terms of Reference.pdf

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