Governing Body Information
The Governing Body
What is the role of School Governors?
Schools are autonomous institutions with responsibility for their own budgets, maintenance and direction. School governors make collective decisions as part of the governing body whose primary function is to help raise the educational standards and performance of a school by supporting the work of the headteacher and staff. Governors make important decisions on how a school will be run. The governing body is answerable to parents and the wider community.
Some of the things expected of governors include:
- Promoting high standards of achievement
- Planning the school's long-term future
- Overseeing the school's aims, values and ethos
- Setting performance measurement indicators & targets
- Monitoring the performance of the school against those standards
Governors govern rather than manage. They are there to give direction and focus by performing a vital strategic role. The management of a school is the responsibility of the headteacher.
How does it work?
The organisation of each governing body will be slightly different but in general:
Full governing body - will usually meet twice each term and will discuss issues affecting the school as a whole. Generally the full governing body will hear reports from committees on their individual areas of responsibility.
Committees (or sub-committees) - generally these will meet once per term and will include groups responsible for:
Buildings, Health and Safety
- development of the school, health and safety, new buildings, access for the disabled
- ensuring the national curriculum is taught, focus on raising educational standards
- responsible for reporting results and setting targets
- ensuring the well-being of pupils including their social and moral development
- ensuring that all pupils have equal access and are achieving their full potential
- Responsible for monitoring special needs policies and procedures
- pay and conditions, performance management and staffing levels
- management of school finances, deployment of resources, school development plan
- committees to deal with appeals, admissions, pupil discipline and staff dismissal
Individual Governors- individual governors take on particular areas of responsibility:
- Literacy Governor - will ensure delivery of the national literacy strategy
- Numeracy Governor - will ensure delivery of the national numeracy strategy
- Special Needs Governor - will take a particular interest in the operation of policies and procedures for children with Special Educational Needs
How does it affect the school?
The keys to making this organisation work to the benefit of the school are:
- The governing body and committees must set clear goals and objectives for the school and themselves. These are focused on maximising the benefit to children through the development of the school.
- Committees and individual governors get involved by focusing their energies in particular areas, visiting the school to assess needs, identify problems, develop solutions and monitor improvements and then reporting back in order to continually develop the governing body's objectives.
- The governing body must work as a team, with common aims and in a co-operative manner both with each other and with the management team and staff of the school. It is important to remember that the governing body is responsible for the strategic development of the school, not its day-to-day running.
Governors serve a term of office and vacancies occur from time to time. If you are interested in becoming a Governor please enquire at the office. You do not need to have children at any school in order to become a school governor. In fact one of the keys to successful governing bodies is having a governors with a variety of backgrounds and experience.
With certain exceptions relating to individuals who have been adjudged bankrupt, disqualified as company directors or charity trustee or whose employment is prohibited, anyone who is 18 or over can become a school governor. What is most important is the desire to contribute, the willingness to learn, the ability to be part of a team and the time to do an effective job.