Our Governors

Message From Our Chair of Governors


Welcome to the governing board section of Rivelin’s website.

My name is Dave Higgens and I’ve been the chair of governors at Rivelin since October 2014. I’ve been a governor since 2009 and my two children went through the school but have now both moved on to secondary school. 

The governors feel the school has made some great progress in recent years – largely through the dedication and hard work of the teachers, the teaching assistants and the many other members of staff who support them.  We are also lucky to have such a fantastic group of children. Visitors to Rivelin always comment on how they find our pupils so well behaved and eager to learn.

Our aim is to help make Rivelin an outstanding school in every sense of the word. We like to think we’re a very active board and we are very focussed on our role of supporting Mrs Powell and her team in their quest to get the best possible outcomes for every child while also holding the school to account for the decisions it takes. We try to do this by mixing our formal meetings with other opportunities to get into school to talk to staff, parents and children. But we are always trying to cast our net as wide as possible as try to understand the views of everyone involved in the school.

We are always looking for better ways to communicate with parents, carers and everyone else with an interest in the success of the school. We hope this section of the website helps to make sure parents are informed about what the governors are doing and, hopefully, encourage some feedback. I hope you find the information useful – including the “Chair’s Blog” which I started to give people a more informal idea of what we’ve been up to and what we’re thinking.

If you want to talk to me or any of the governors please contact the Clerk to Governors, Claire Wraith. Mrs Wraith is often in the main school office and can be contact by telephone on 0114 234 1304 or you can send an email to  enquiries@rivelin.sheffield.sch.uk                                                                                                                      

Thanks for reading.

Dave Higgens                                                                                                                                  

Chair of Governors 


The governing board at Rivelin has 12 members. It consists of five parent governors, one member appointed by the local authority and one elected by the staff. The headteacher, Mrs Jo Powell, is also a governor. The remaining four members are all co-opted governors, which means they have been invited to join due to the skills and experience they bring from our local community.

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Parent Governors Local Authority Governor Co-opted Governors Headteacher Staff Governors
Renata Kirby Jonathan Lingard Dave Higgens Joanne Powell Carly Broadbent
Lisa Hood Tracey Naylor
Chris Neal Natalie Bettison
Judy Kelso

Alison Stothard

Sarah Allen

Dave Higgens is the Chair of Governors and Renata Kirby is Vice-Chair



The governing board makes key strategic decisions about Rivelin Primary School. Examples of this include setting the budget and deciding on major expenditure; appointing the headteacher; deciding on staffing structures and monitoring the school’s improvement plan.


The Government says that governing boards should have 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

:: Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent


But the governing board does not manage the school on a day-to-day basis. The governors are very careful to leave everyday decisions about the children and the staff to Mrs Powell – that is her job. However it is also part of the governors’ role to hold Mrs Powell and her senior leadership team to account.


As a governing board we believe are always trying to strike the right balance between supporting the senior leaders in their efforts to improve the school and monitoring the decisions they are making.



We meet as a Full Governing Body 9 times throughout the year. These meetings deal with many of the many statutory responsibilities we have, whilst 3 or the 9 meetings are held called “development meeting” in which we focus on a particular element of school life – eg. maths or Assertive Mentoring or special educational needs (SEN).  These are a little bit like training sessions, where the governors make sure they fully understand particularly topical issues.


The governors try to get into school as much as possible. One way we do this is through Governors in School Days. These involve a group of governors spending a whole day in school (including a school dinner!) looking at different aspects of school life – again,  maths,  Assertive Mentoring and SEN are good recent examples.


Governors occasionally have to sit on ad-hoc panels which are needed in school from time-to-time. The most obvious of these are interviews for new members of staff. Much rarer are panels that deal with things like complaints, exclusions and disciplinary matters.


Among the other responsibilities individual governors have are:

  • Governor responsible for safeguarding – Dave Higgens
  • Governor responsible for special educational needs and disabilities – Jonathan Lingard