The Governing Body

The Role of Governor

Within England there are over 300,000 School/Academy Governors who form the largest volunteer force in the country.

The roles of individual Governors, and subsequently members of a Governing Body, work collectively to perform a strategic role and carry out key functions such as:

  • Discussing and setting the aims and objectives for the Academy
  • Setting the required policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • Setting the required targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • Monitoring and evaluating the progress that the Academy is making towards it’s set aims and objectives.

Finally the role of role of the Academy Governor is to be a source of challenge and support to the Principal, i.e. a 'critical friend.'

As part of Venturers Trust, the Local Governing Body (LGB) operates under a Scheme of Delegation from the Board of Trustees. Two Governors act as representatives of the parent body, the staff are represented by one elected Staff Governor, with co-opted appointments being made by our sponsors based on skills and experience.

For more information about the role of Parent Governor, please click here:-

The Role of a Parent Governor


The Governors are committed to ensuring that children at the Academy achieve their potential and are well-equipped for life after school. We believe that every child can be successful, and as staff work hard to make sure this happens, we expect our students to do the same.

The Governors’ primary role is to support the Principal and staff; to work with the Academy Leadership Team to agree the short and long term strategy for the Academy; to assist in ensuring they have the necessary resources and review the progress of the Academy towards achieving its aim.

The Academy is a member of the Venturers Trust, a multi-academy trust. Ultimate responsibility for the Academy rests with the Board of Trustees of the of the Trust and governance details and scheme of delegation can be found on the Venturers Trust website but much of the work of the Trust Board is delegated to the Local Governing Body (the Governors of the Academy). The details of the membership of the Governing Body at Merchants' Academy are shown below and their biographical profiles can be viewed here.

The Chair of Governors (Robert Bourns), can be contacted in writing via the Academy office in a sealed envelope marked "Chair of Governors - Private and Confidential"


Date of Appointment

Term of Office

Appointed as

Relevant Business and Pecuniary Interests

Meetings attended 2022/23

Robert Bourns 01/05/2020  4 Years

Chair of Merchants' Academy Local Governing Body 

Sponsor Governor (SMV)



Laura Marshall


4 Years

Sponsor Governor (SMV)



Doug Jennings

11/10/2018 (reappointed 11/10/2022) 4 Years

Vice Chair of Merchants' Academy Local Governing Body

Sponsor Governor (UoB)

None 4/4

Karl      Tucker

03/10/2019 4 years Co-opted Governor None 2/4

Maria Tsapali

10/06/2022 4 years Sponsor Governor (UoB) None 1/1

Faith Ford

October 2021 4 years Staff Governor None 3/4

Kelly Phipps

10/06/2022 4 years Staff Governor None 0/1

David Thornthwaite

01/12/2022 4 years Sponsor Governor (UoB) None 0/0

Karen Clark

20/11/2022 4 years Parent Governor None 0/0



Further information about Venturers Trust Governance can be found on the Venturers Trust website