School governors are drawn from different parts of the community and can be parents, staff, from the Local Authority, 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 Head teacher 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, the governors’ essential focus is on:
- Setting vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the Head teacher and school management to account
- Asking the right questions
- Being aware of the importance of objective data and its sources
- Overseeing financial performance
- Setting policies, targets and priorities for achieving set objectives
- Monitoring performance and progress towards those objectives
- Reviewing achievements against the set aims and objectives
- Enabling better governance through training, review and planning
Governing bodies do not:
- Inspect the school
- Authorise all expenditure
- After visiting the school, report back on the quality of teaching
- Decide on how pupils are taught different subjects
- Have the right to exclude a pupil
- Write the school’s policies on their own
- ‘Rubber stamp’ recommendations from the head teacher
- Automatically approve all apologies sent by governors
- Write the OFSTED Action Plan
These are a group of people interested in education who support the school and Head teacher, to ensure the best possible education for your child. Amongst their responsibilities are curriculum, staffing, premises, finances, equal opportunities and health and safety.
The Governors meet regularly and are continuously involved in the life of the school.