THE GOVERNING BOARD
What Do Governors Do?
Governors contribute to the work of the Governing Board by ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school.
The Governing Board has three core functions:
i) ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
ii) holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the efficient and effective performance management of staff;
iii) overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
- Contribute to the strategic discussions at governing board meetings which determine:
- the vision and ethos of the school;
- clear and ambitious strategic priorities and targets for the school;
- that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum;
- the school’s budget, including the expenditure of the pupil premium allocation;
- the school’s staffing structure and key staffing policies;
- the principles to be used by school leaders to set other school policies.
- Hold executive leaders to account by monitoring the school’s performance, which includes:
- agreeing the outcomes from the school’s self-evaluation and ensuring they are used to inform the priorities in the school development plan;
- considering all relevant data and feedback provided by school leaders and external sources on all aspects of school performance;
- asking challenging questions of school leaders;
- ensuring senior leaders have arranged for the required audits to be carried out and receiving the results of those audits;
- ensuring senior leaders have developed the required policies and procedures and the school is operating effectively according to those policies;
- acting as a link governor on a specific issue/priority, making relevant enquiries of the staff responsible for that area, and reporting back to the governing board;
- listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders: pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers.
- Ensure the school staff have the resources and support they require to do their jobs well, including the necessary expertise on business management, external advice where necessary, effective appraisal and CPD (Continuing Professional Development), and suitable premises and that the way in which those resources are used has impact.
- When required, serve on panels of governors to:
- appoint the head teacher and other senior leaders;
- appraise the head teacher;
- set the head teacher’s pay and agree the pay recommendations for other staff;
- hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters;
- hear appeals about pupil exclusions.
The role of a governor is largely a thinking and questioning role, not a doing role. A governor does NOT:
- a) write school policies;
- b) undertake audits of any sort – whether financial or health & safety - even if the governor has the relevant professional experience;
- c) spend much time with the pupils of the school – if you want to work directly with children, there are many other voluntary valuable roles within the school;
- d) fundraise – this is the role of the PTA – the governing board should consider income streams and the potential for income generation, but not carry out fundraising tasks;
- e) undertake classroom observations to make judgement on the quality of teaching – the governing board monitors the quality of teaching in the school by requiring data from the senior staff and from external sources;
- f) do the job of the school staff; if there is not enough capacity within the paid staff team to carry out the necessary tasks, the governing board need to consider and rectify this.
Governors attend regular meetings and visit the school on other occasions as part of their role. They abide by a Code of Conduct and, at all time, act in the best interests of all the pupils of the school.
ORCHARD GOVERNOR PROFILES
I am in my second year as a Local Authority Governor at Orchard CE Primary School and am currently Chair of Governors. I am an approved External Adviser to Governors for Head Teacher’s Performance Management for the Diocese of Coventry Board of Education. I am a Governor Trainer for Leicestershire and Warwickshire Governor Development Services and have conducted External Reviews of Governance for schools. I am also a panel member for Warwickshire Schools Admissions Appeals.
I have had forty years’ experience in primary education including roles as a class teacher, head teacher and teaching fellow. I have supported other schools and head teachers as a Local Leader of Education, as well as trainee teachers and teaching assistants, while a Teaching Fellow for four years at the University of Leicester, during which time I gained an MBA in Educational Management. My main professional interests and involvements are school self-evaluation and improvement; effective leadership, and performance management. I work across all Early Years and Primary phases.
As Rector of St. Mary’s Church, Broughton Astley I felt it was important to take up my place on the governing board. It has been my pleasure to welcome the children from Orchard School into the Church at various times throughout the year. As a governor, I am concerned to help to preserve the school’s traditional Christian ethos whilst doing my best to ensure that children are provided with all the tools they need to become confident, happy members of our community who are enabled to reach their full potential.
I am the Head Teacher at Orchard. I joined Orchard in September 2013 after working in the city for 9 years. I was first elected as the Staff Governor in September 2014. It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the Governing Board to provide support and challenge across the school ensuring high expectations and outcomes for all pupils.