What does a governing body do?
The responsibilities of a school Governing Body include:
- Developing the strategic plan for the school
- Determining the aims, policies and priorities of the school
- Setting statutory and not statutory targets
- Monitoring and evaluation the work of the school
- The appointment of the Headteacher, overseeing the appointment of staff and ensuring the implementation of range of personnel procedures
- Oversight of the budget
- Securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour
- Ensuring that all children in the schools have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is suitable to age, aptitude and ability, which prepares them for adult life.
- Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff
The key point to note about this list is that the responsibilities have a strategic focus. In carrying them out, the Governors work with the Headteacher and her team as the professional leaders of the school. The day-to-day responsibility for running the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher and her senior colleagues.
What do governors do?
They contribute to the work of the governing body in raising standards of achievement for all pupils. This involves providing a strategic view for the school, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability. The individual governor has a responsibility, working alongside other members of the governing body, to the staff and pupils of the school, the school’s wider community and, where they are representatives, to the constituency they represent; in the case of parent governors this would be all the other parents in the school community.
However, while governors may represent a particular constituency they are not delegates of that group and they do not advocate for individual children, staff of interest groups. All governors have the same responsibilities and status.
In practice, the kinds of things that governors do include:
- Getting to know the school: its needs, strengths and areas for development
- Attending meetings (full governing body, committees and working groups)
- Contributing to task groups or special panels such as those for appointments
- Acting as lead or link governors for a class or a particular topic
- Working as a member of a team
- Speaking, acting and voting in the best interests of the school
- Reporting the perspectives of constituencies, wherever appropriate
- Respecting all governing body decisions and supporting them in public
- Acting within the framework of the policies of the governing body and the relevant legal requirements
- Committing to training and development opportunities
When do governors meet?
Meetings of the full governing body take place in school each half term. The main committees meet every term, usually a week before the full governing body meeting. Additional meetings with the Headteacher are called as and when necessary. Minutes of the full governing body are available on request.
Governor roles and responsibilities
The Governing Body is responsible for contributing to raising standards of achievement for all pupils. Governing Body members contribute to providing a strategic view for the school, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability through full Governing Body meetings.