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Governors and their Role

The Governing Body and its role

 

School governors are drawn from different parts of the community and can be parents and staff or from the LA, the community and other groups. This helps ensure the governing body has sufficient diversity of skills, views and experience but does not mean governors of a particular category represent that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not represent the parents at the school and do not report back to them.

 

Governors are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools such as ours this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’

 

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

 

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 

When a school is inspected by Ofsted, its governing body will be required to show evidence that governors conform with their three core functions

 

In the work that they do, a governors’ essential focus is on:

 

                Setting vision, ethos and strategic direction

                Holding the headteacher and school management to account

                Asking the right questions

                Being aware of the importance of objective data and their sources

                Overseeing financial performance

                Setting policies, targets and priorities for achieving those objectives

                Monitoring performance and progress towards those objectives

                Reviewing achievements against the set aims and objectives

                Enabling better governance through training, review and planning

 

Another aspect of the governors role has traditionally been referred to as being a ‘critical friend’ of the school whereby in addition to the duties laid out above governors can and should also:

 

                Offer support

                Provide constructive advice

                Act as a sounding board - for the headteacher’s ideas

                Give a second opinion on proposals - which includes asking questions  and challenging assumptions

                Help in arriving at the best solution - to further the best interests of the school

 

The list below (which of course is not exhaustive) is a further exampler of the role of the governor and which shows that the role focuses not on the operational aspects of how the school is run day-to-day – that is the head teacher’s responsibility – but on the strategic direction of the school.

 

Governing bodies do:

Governing bodies don’t:

Set the overall budget for the school Inspect the school
Decide on the level of pay for the school’s teachers After visiting the school, report back on the quality of teaching
Decide on the number of staff Authorise all expenditure
Help to decide the priorities for improving the school when the school improvement plan is being drawn up Decide on how pupils are taught different subjects
Ensure the National Curriculum is taught to all pupils Have the right to exclude a pupil
Set targets for pupil achievement Write the school’s policies on their own
Compare the performance of their school to similar schools ‘Rubber stamp’ recommendations from the head teacher
Receive information about the quality of teaching in the school Automatically approve all apologies sent by governors
Have a published strategy for dealing with parental complaints and concerns Write the OfSTED Action Plan
Ensure health and safety issues are addressed  
Set the times of school sessions  

 

 

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