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A TOP primary school head has backed a report stressing the critical role played by governing bodies in the creation of successful schools.

Anne Jones, of St Swithun’s Catholic Primary in Southsea, which is judged ‘outstanding’, said she agreed wholeheartedly with the findings of the report, carried out by education inspector Ofsted. She said: ‘Strong governing bodies are vital, and here at St Swithun’s we have a superb team who are involved in all aspects of school life.

‘Each governor is linked to a class and a specific subject and they all come in regularly to observe classes and share their expertise that spans a range of areas from finance to law.

‘Governors are not just figureheads – they are part of the running of the school. We call them our “critical friends” and I can’t speak of them highly enough.’

Portsmouth’s schools have more than 100 governor vacancies, especially parent governors. To enquire about volunteering visit and click on learning, then schools and governors.