Would you like to be a governor?

Elections for the majority of our governor roles are held annually in June/July, but we welcome enquiries at any time. Some general information can be found on this page but please get in touch if you are interested in learning more about the role of the Governors or becoming a Governor for The Swanage School. Our Clerk to Governors can be reached on 01929 500599 or by email on clerk@theswanageschool.co.uk

Governor Information Pack


The Swanage School is a locally accountable academy run in accordance with cooperative principles.

Our school is run by the Headteacher and staff, overseen by the Governing Body, who are appointed by the Academy Trust, Education Swanage. Any member of the community is able to join the trust for a £1 annual fee as long as they agree to the trust’s values.

Members of the Trust appoint the majority of Governors, who have an overall responsibility for the school. The Governing Body also includes the Headteacher and two Staff Governors, and two Parent Governors. Governors are subject to DBS checks. Posts last for four years, and if Governors want to serve again they must stand for re-election.

The Governing Body welcomes input from the wider community and will also take advice from the Student Council, which will have members appointed by the students. By adopting cooperative principles of openness and democracy, Education Swanage seeks to make the Trust as locally accountable as possible and to embed The Swanage School in the heart of the community.

Governor Elections and Education Swanage AGMs

Elections for Education Swanage Governors take place at Education Swanage Ltd AGMs each year.

If you would like to be a part of this then you can:

We welcome nominations for Governors from Members, who may nominate anyone who has energy, enthusiasm and relevant skills to act in the role of 'critical friend' to the school's leadership team.

If you have further questions please e-mail clerk@theswanageschool.co.uk.

The number of Members of Education Swanage is unlimited, and we would like to extend our Membership widely within the community. Members need to sign a declaration form and pay a £1 annual subscription. There is more information about Membership of Education Swanage lower down this page and if you would like to become a Member and be able to vote in the Governor elections, please download the application form from the link above and return it to the school office (with £1) marked for the attention of the Clerk to the Governors. New members are formally admitted at each AGM.

The Governance Structure in Detail:

Appointment of the Swanage School Governing Body will be in line with the standard Department for Education Memorandum and Articles of Association. In summary:

  • The Head Teacher will be a Governor
  • Parents will be asked to vote for at least 2 Parent Governors. These Parent Governors must be parents of pupils when they are elected
  • Members of Education Swanage can vote for up to 12 Governors
  • Staff will be asked to vote for at least 2 Staff Governors
  • The Governors themselves can co-opt up to 3 extra Governors

Governors are appointed for up to four years and may stand for re-appointment at the end of their term.

All Governors, otherwise known as Trustees, are also Directors of Education Swanage.


The Governors may appoint Associates to help with the work:

  • The Associates need not be members of Education Swanage
  • The Associates do not need to obtain a DBS check
  • Associates may attend and participate in discussion at Governors’ Meetings, but may not vote.


There are various groups who will be able to choose the Swanage School Governors, and Education Swanage want to involve people more widely if possible.

Education Swanage Members

  • Members pay an annual membership of £1 (mainly to keep track of who is a member)
  • New members are appointed by unanimous vote of members. Anyone can apply to become a member. There is a presumption that new members will be appointed as long as they sign up to Vision and Ethos.
  • Education Swanage Members appoint up to 12 Governors. 

Staff Constituency

  • The Staff Constituency comprises all employees (teaching and non-teaching staff)
  • The Staff Constituency will vote for two Governors, who are members of staff 
  • A Staff Governor will cease to be a Staff Governor when their employment at the school ceases
  • In addition, staff may be appointed as Governors by Members of Education Swanage or co-opted as Governors by the Governors, though the number of Governors who are employees (including the Principal) must not be more than one third of the total number of Governors
  • The Staff Governors, with the Head Teacher, will act as a conduit between the Staff Constituency and the Governing Body. This is in addition to the day to day management structure of the school.

Parent Constituency

  • The Parent Constituency comprises parents of pupils of the school
  • ’Parents’ includes step-parents, adoptive parents and any person who stands in the position of primary carer of a pupil of the school
  • The Parent Constituency will vote for two Governors, who must be the parent of a pupil at the school at their time of appointment. 
  • Parent Governors must obtain a DBS check (paid for by the school)
  • Parent Governors may continue to be Governors for their full term even if the pupils who are their children have left the school
  • The Parent Governors will act as a conduit between the Parent Constituency and the Governing Body. This is in addition to the day to day open door policy of the school.

Student Constituency

  • The Student Constituency comprises all pupils at the school
  • Students do not vote for Governors on account of their age
  • Students cannot be Governors on account of their age
  • The Student Constituency will be represented by a Student Council
  • The Governing Body would like students to have a voice in the running of the school and will ensure surveys are conducted to seek their opinions on meaningful issues
  • The Governing Body would like students to give feedback on teaching and learning at the school
  • The Governing Body would like the Student Constituency to feel that their constructive opinions are valued, and that they are part of the team that makes the Swanage School a success. As part of this, the Student Council will act as a conduit between Student Constituency and the Governing Body.

Community Constituency

  • Members of the wider community are not directly involved in running the school
  • Members of the wider community will not vote for Governors (unless they are members of Education Swanage)
  • Members of the wider community may be appointed as Governors by Members of Education Swanage or co-opted as Governors by the Governing Body
  • The Governing Body hopes that the school’s relationship with the community will be good for both the school and the community, would like the wider community to feel that their constructive opinions are valued, and that they are part of the team that makes the Swanage School a success. As part of this, the Governing Body considers the Community Constituency to be any person or business with premises inside the catchment area of The Swanage School
  • The Governing Body hopes that some businesses, organisations and individuals in the community will be involved with school clubs, work experience, and community service
  • The Governing Body wants the school to be an asset to the community, and the community will be able to use the school’s facilities at a modest charge (with any profits going to The Swanage School)


The Governing Body:

Phil Ashby, Governor, is a former Royal Marines Commando and currently combines being a mountain guide in the French Alps with life in Swanage. He has a daughter at the school.  

Claire Barnes, Governor, is a Chartered Organisational Psychologist and also has experience in advertising, media and strategic planning. She has over 20 years experience as a school governor. 

Hannah Etherington, Governor, has worked in education for over 20 years and is Deputy Headteacher at a local primary school. Her experience includes staff and curriculum leadership and she is a Safeguarding Lead. Hannah has two children at the school. 

Tanya Hamilton-Fletcher, Chair of the Staffing, Finance & Premises Committee, has worked in children's social care for over 30 years managing services for children in care, care leavers and children who are disabled across Dorset. She has been a Brownie Guider for the same length of time and is a founding committee member for the charity Friends of Dorset Care Leavers. Tanya lives in Swanage and has grandchildren at the school.

Adam Hines, Staff Governor, teaches physics at the school and is the Lead Practitioner for Science. 

Laurie King, Governor, is a digital designer and illustrator and a keen runner and cyclist. He lives in Swanage with his wife and two children, one of whom attends the school. 

William Knight, Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee, has a background in IT and senior management and has been a school Governor for 30 years, including at St George’s Primary School. He lives in Langton.

Jenny Maraspin is the Headteacher and sits on the board in an ex officio capacity.

Tim Marcus, Chair of Governors, is an IT expert (and is our E-safety Link Governor) and works as a Senior Civil Servant in the Cabinet Office advising UK government departments on IT strategy and spending. He also has a long-established digital agency that has a niche in developing websites for the education sector. He lives in Swanage with his wife and two children, both of whom have attended the School.

Dan Parker, Parent Governor, has a background in theatre production and live events. He lives in Swanage with his wife and two children, who attend the school. 

Robert Patterson, Governor, is a qualified accountant and has held senior roles relating to internal audit, assurance and inspection. He is also a trustee of Swanage Railway. 

Amanda Rowley, Chair of the Community & Engagement Committee, is one of the founding Governors of the School. She runs an advertising and marketing company. Her children have both completed GCSEs at the school. Amanda is the link governor for Health & Safety.

Jessica Starmer, Governor, is our Link Governor for Mental Health. She works as a pilot for British Airways and has also been involved in developing human factors, performance and peer support. Jessica has a particular interest in mental health and emotional response.

Rachel Tapping, Governor, supports adults with disabilities and autism to live successful lives in their communities and has many years of volunteering experience supporting pupils with special educational needs. Rachel's daughter attends the school. 

Isobel Tooley, Chair of the Student Committee, is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and uses her business, analytical and finance skills to support and challenge the school’s leadership team. She lives in Langton with husband Steve and their two children.

Sophie Weld-Davies, Governor, runs her own crafting business whilst also working for the NHS. Her two children have both attended the school. 

Further Information 

Register of Interests

Governing Body Meetings and Minutes

Governor Roles and Meeting Attendance

Scheme of Delegation

Governance Impact Statement

Contact the Governing Body

You can contact the Governing Body by emailing the Clerk to Governors on clerk@theswanageschool.co.uk or by writing to them c/o The Swanage School, High Street, Swanage BH19 2PH.