The Role of the Governor
The Governors play an active role in the life of the School. They have a strategic role in ensuring the quality of educational provision ad have a responsibility to challenge and monitor the performance of the School. Our School Governing Body is made up of Community, Parent and Staff Governors. Governors are appointed for a four year period and bring a wide variety of talents and experience to the roles, encompassing many areas of business and professional life. Our Governors come to us through a variety of routes but they are all volunteers who work together for the benefit of the School and are the link between the School and the community it serves.
School Governing Bodies
All Schools are accountable to their Governing Bodies, which in turn are accountable to parents and the community. Parent and Staff representatives are elected to the Governing Body. In addition the Governing Body can appoint its own Community Governors, and it is traditionally these posts which the Governing Body uses to cover skills gaps, hence these posts are often being offered to Governors from the business community.
The Value of School Governance
Governing Bodies make decisions which are in the best interests of the students. Keeping the decision making as close as possible to those that are affected by the decisions makes for sound and efficient leadership and governance. Fulfilling the role of the School Governor is, therefore, both a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding. Not only do Governors bring their own knowledge and skills to the role, but, in learning how schools are run, they often develop their understanding of leadership. The majority of employers appreciate this and are supportive of their staff taking on the responsibility. In addition, contributing to the growth and development of a school and seeing tangible improvements in the attainment and well-being of the students is a satisfying and important contribution to the local community.
The Role of the Governing Body
The Governing Body is responsible for the conduct of its school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school. It is the school's accountable body and as such:
provides a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework. It appoints and performance manages the Headteacher, agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structures;
monitors and evaluates the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets, and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy;
signs off the self-evaluation process and responds to school improvement service and Ofsted reports as necessary. In addition it holds the headteacher to account for the performance of the school and ensures that parents are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate, with information to the community being made available as required.
In order to do this, Governors need to gain knowledge of how their school operates through training, by attending meeting and by getting to know their school community, for example through a small number of visits to the school during the school day. Governors need to work together as a team, under the leadership of the Chair of the Governing Body.
The Governing Body at our school meets three times a year, once every term. Between these full meetings our committees meet on a regular basis. This is where the main work of the Governing Body is carried out. At our School the committees currently focus on:
Behaviour & Wellbeing
Estates & Facilities
Teaching & Learning
These committees are organised each year, and evolve to suit the school's priorities.
all Governors meetings begin at 4.30pm
Governing Bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year
Governors will also join a minimum of 2 committees. Each committee will meet at least once per term
Meeting dates are usually set well in advance and meetings generally last between two and three hours
Governors are expected to be well prepared for these meetings and attendance is expected, with apologies only for good reasons.
The Governing Body delegates work to committees and/or working parties and task groups which meet between the Governing Body meetings. Governors will be expected to play a full role in agreeing how their Governing Body works, and then in supporting this. In addition some Governors volunteer to fulfil specific roles, such as being Special Educational Needs Governor, or the Health & Safety Governor, or the link for a particular year of subject.
Skills and Training
Governors do not need specific skills, but many of the tasks they are required to undertake can benefit from general business knowledge such as understanding management systems, budget planning and HR functions.
Local Authorities are required to ensure that training for Governors is available (which may include online learning) to ensure that Governors are properly inducted to their role and trained for specific tasks such as appointing the Headteacher and then carrying out the Headteacher's performance review.
Governors are encouraged to join the National representative body, the National Governors' Association. It is often through these channels that governors develop their knowledge of wider issues affecting schools.