What we do
School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the headteacher and deputy headteacher. In some schools, the site is owned by the governing board. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.
The role of the governing board is a strategic one, its key functions are to:
- set the aims and objectives for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)
As school governors…
We contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school by:
- Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
We contribute to the strategic discussions at governing body 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.
We hold the senior leaders to account by monitoring the school’s performance; this includes:
- agreeing on 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 on request 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, making relevant enquiries of the relevant staff, and reporting to the governing body on the progress on the relevant school priority; and
- listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders : pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers.
We 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 an impact.
When required, we serve on panels of governors to appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders; appraise the headteacher; set the headteacher’s pay and agree the pay recommendations for other staff; hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters and hear appeals about pupil exclusions
Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.
Source: Welcome to Governance 6th edition, NGA, 2016