The Cherwell School
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Multi Academy Trust and Local Governing Body

The Governing Body

We are pleased to welcome you to the governors’ section of the site. We hope it will give you an insight into who we are and what we do.

The Cherwell School is an academy managed by The River Learning Trust. Each school within The River Learning Trust is managed by its local governing body and the Senior Leadership Team of the school.

Working in partnership with the Headteacher and staff, governors ensure high standards of achievement for the young people in the school. We focus on strategy and school improvement; we decide what we want the school to achieve, set priorities and monitor progress to realise these aims. We have three core strategic functions delegated to us by The River Learning Trust Board:

  • Setting the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school, within the context of The River Learning Trust
  • Holding the Headteacher and senior staff to account for the educational performance of the school and its students
  • Ensuring the school remains within the budget delegated by The River Learning Trust and making sure the money is well spent.

Annual Report and Accounts 

RLT Scheme of Delegation 2022



The governing body is made up of the Headteacher and people from various different groups who have an interest in the success of the school, including parents, staff, the local authority and the community. The governors welcome a range of viewpoints, and make decisions together about a variety of issues. Between them governors have a wide breadth of skills and experience to enable the governing body collectively to support and challenge the school leadership. As vacancies arise specific skills are targeted to fill gaps in the governing body. As a result, key professional skills are represented from law, accountancy, architecture and project management to educational skills from primary to tertiary.

  • Chair of Governors: Mr Martin Thornley
  • Vice Chair: Mr Jo Harris
  • Headteacher: Mr Chris Price
  • Clerk to the Governors: Mrs Sarah Beauchamp
Parent governors:
  • Kunal Munshaw
  • Tomasz Gromelski
  • Ana Gradiska
  • Shaka Obhiozele
  • Holly Joseph
Staff Governors:
  • Mr Chris Price, Headteacher
  • Mrs Tina Surrage, Support Staff
  • Ms Emma Green, Teaching Staff
  • Mr David Dyer, Teaching Staff
Community Governors:
  • Mr Martin Thornley 
  • Mr Jo Harris
  • Mr Paul Ravenhill
  • Local Authority Appointed Governor:
  • Ms Irene Kirkman
  • Mrs Janine Wooldridge
  • Luke Kennedy
Co-Opted Governors:
  • Mrs Hemara Earl 
  • Mr Peter Clouth


Please see the attached link to the Governors Terms of Office and Links


If you wish to contact a governor, please email the Clerk to the Governors or send a letter (c/o The Cherwell School). The Clerk will forward your message or letter to the appropriate governor(s). If you have any concerns about your own child please contact the school directly in the first instance: Home-School Communication


Governors make a significant contribution to ensuring that every young person receives the best possible education. They are key strategic decision makers in schools. Our school is a rich and diverse community and we want our governing body to reflect that diversity. It is also important that as a group the governors have the range of skills required to fulfill their strategic responsibilities. By being part of the governing body you will be able to contribute to open debate and help the group to make majority decisions.

Why I became a governor – by Sally Addis, EX Vice-Chair

"The main reason I became a governor, and continue to be one, is to try to ensure that all our students have access to and receive an excellent education. On a personal level, helping to shape policy and develop strategy is very rewarding. I find the more time and energy invested, the greater the return. The school draws on the wide range of skills brought by governors and I enjoy using my skills for the benefit of the school."

Becoming a School Governor in Oxfordshire


The River Learning Trust delegates key strategic responsibilities to the governors. The governors then work collaboratively with the Headteacher and senior staff to establish the vision and ethos of the school within the context of The River Learning Trust. We look at where the school is now, ask what we want the school to achieve and how are we going to achieve this. Together with the Headteacher and senior staff, we use the published school performance data, and additional outcomes from the school’s self-evaluation, to inform priorities in the School Development and Improvement Plan. We set clear, ambitious targets for the school and develop policies and budget and staffing structures to achieve these aims. We appoint senior members of staff.

The governor’s act as a critical friend to the school, reviewing the performance of the Headteacher, checking that progress is being made towards targets, and evaluating the effectiveness of policies and the School Development and Improvement Plan. We also help celebrate the school's successes and ensure that parents are involved and informed as appropriate.

Governors get to know the school through attending meetings and by visiting the school during the school day. The governing body is organised into two sub-committees, which take responsibility for holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school, and for the financial performance of the school:

  • Student Impact Committee
  • Resources Committee

Each governor is allocated to one of the two sub-committees and some governors take on specific responsibilities, for example, Safeguarding.


Almost anyone aged over 18 can be a school governor, you don’t have to have a child at the school or have any particular qualifications. Governors are currently drawn from four groups: parents, staff, the local community and the local authority. Currently, there are five Full Governing Body meetings a year. In addition each governor joins one of two sub-committees, which meets six times a year. Some governors take on specific responsibilities, for example, Special Educational Needs and Disability, which will involve further meetings. To help you understand the role, all new governors attend the governor induction programme run by the local authority. Further training is available to enable you to enhance your knowledge and skills. The governing body operates a buddy-governor scheme so that you will be fully supported in the role.


Our committee’s responsibilities are wide ranging and focus on the impact of the school upon the students and wider community. They include being responsible for the standard of teaching at the school, each child’s overall education, communication with parents, the behaviour policy, the use of exclusion and after school activities. We scrutinise all of these areas each year in a series of committee meetings at which the staff and sometimes external consultants present evidence and ideas for us to assess and question. Frequently individual governors meet with staff outside of committee meetings to follow up on areas identified as requiring further support and challenge. We make the issues identified in the School Development and Improvement Plan a focus of our work.

In carrying out its functions the committee will receive information and advice from the Headteacher and other staff and will actively seek opportunities for wider consultation where appropriate.


The Resources Committee's remit is broadly conceived and includes teachers and support staff and school buildings, as well as the school's finances. Its functions include ensuring the school manages its funds in line with The River Learning Trust's financial procedures and approving, then subsequently monitoring, the budget. The Committee makes sure that policies related to resources are being implemented and are regularly reviewed, including health and safety. It also needs to make sure that the risks associated with resources are well-understood and are being managed.

The following staff members attend committee meetings: Headteacher, Finance Director and members of the Senior Leadership Team.

In carrying out its functions the committee will receive information and advice from the Headteacher and other staff and will actively seek opportunities for wider consultation where appropriate.


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