St Luke's Academy About Us

Local Governing Body

St Luke's Local Governing Body is under development at present. More information about its members will be added to the website in the new year.
St Luke's Academy belongs to a Strategic group of the Special Schools within the White Horse Federation and the Chair of this group is Philippa Dancey.
In the interim, whilst the new Local Governing Body is established, if you need to contact the Chair of Governors in relation to issues at St Luke's, please contact Mrs Dancey on [email protected].


The governance of a multi-academy trust differs from those of maintained schools. The White Horse Federation (TWHF) believes that placing statutory responsibilities firmly at its centre, in the remit of the board of trustees, allows the local governing board (LGB) to focus on providing support, overcoming challenges in the delivery of educational excellence, and achieving outstanding outcomes for all pupils.

There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the LGB chair and central services. The clerk to the board of trustees will hold contact details for all members of LGBs within TWHF. However, routine communication for day-to-day school business should come from the chair of that LGB, managed by the school or through an LGB clerk, if such a position is deemed necessary.

The principal and the chair of the LGB are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all material needed to keep members well-informed about the school and TWHF. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the LGB are well communicated to the board of trustees. This can be done via the elected chair’s representative on the board of trustees. Senior executives from TWHF will be nominated by the CEO to sit on an LGB. Trustees reserve the right to attend any LGB meeting.

The White Horse Federation has a very clear and shared understanding of what constitutes good and effective governance. Schools within TWHF will be judged to have outstanding governance when members of the LGB:

  1. Talk about teaching and learning.
  2. Know a great deal about the school and its community.
  3. Are ambitious for the school and its community.
  4. Ask questions which make colleagues reflect, and that these discussions lead to delivering the very best outcomes for every child and adult within the school community.
  5. Maintain strong and effective relationships within TWHF.

In order for the shared model of governance to be effective for TWHF and the schools, it is essential that there is effective communication between the board of trustees, the LGBs, chairs groups, principals, the central team, and the executive leadership team.

Current Local Governors

Rachel Skates Co-opted Governor
Darren Swenney Staff Governor
Richard Lewis Observer
Ray Williams Parent Governor

Darren Sweeney - Staff Governor

Darren Sweeney was a primary school teacher approximately twenty years ago, after spending a similar period of time working in the engineering and manufacturing industry as a qualified electrical fitter. During his time as a teacher, he has qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader, a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Manager and Educational Visits Coordinator, all roles that he as undertaken during the ten or so years he has been working at St. Luke's.

He now work teaching Design and Technology (resistant Materials) to Key Stage 3, runs the Forest School sessions for KS3. and also helped devise a course in Woodland Management for Conservation, which he also leads, for Key Stage 4 students, who may gain an Open College Network award following sustained engagement with the course.

Rachel Skates -Co-opted Governor

Rachel Skates has been in primary school teaching for 15 years and is the principal of a one form entry primary school for the past 5.

She has a passion for making things better for disadvantaged children and hope to use her skills and knowledge to help all children at St Lukes.

Register of Interests 2020-21 & Attendance 2019-20

Local governors have been appointed by the board of trustees and will serve a four-year term.

NamePositionNature of InterestDate RegisteredDate CeasedDates of ServiceAttendance 2019-20
Rachel SkatesCo-opted GovernorNil24/9/19--3 of 3
Darren SweeneyStaff GovernorNil24/9/19--3 of 3
Ray WilliamsParent GovernorNil24/9/19--2 of 3
Richard LewisObserverDirector of Special Schools for TWHF24/9/19--1 of 1

Lee Ann Farach - Left 15/12/2020

Camilla Thonally - Left 15/12/2020

Chris Down - Left 15/12/2020

Caroling Down - Left 15/12/2020

Vanessa Aris - Left 15/12/2020

Sushma Patel - Left 15/12/2020

Ivor Williams - Left 15/12/2020

Steve Colledge - Left

Jerry Giles - Left

The White Horse Federation Local Governing Body

Each school has its own local governing body (LGB). The chair of each LGB will also sit on a collective group of similar chairs, from which one representative will be elected and then co-opted onto the board of trustees. This process will be repeated every two years, thus affording new chairs the opportunity to be similarly elected.

TWHF board of trustees has clearly identified the areas of responsibility that they delegate to the LGBs. Although not in any way legally responsible, and not itself accountable for the statutory functions, the LGB has an important role to play in assisting the school to operate effectively in line with the wishes of TWHF board of trustees as communicated to the LGB.

To learn more, visit The White Horse Federation website.

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