The Governing Body – A Definition
The Governing Body, together with the Head Teacher and Senior Teacher, forms the school Leadership and Management team and shares responsibility for the school. The Governing Body acts, collectively, as a ‘critical friend’ to the school, holding it to account for the standards it achieves.
It must ensure that all resources, including the school budget and staff, are properly used to meet the needs of all children and provide value for money. Governors help to form the School Development Plan and are responsible for monitoring all aspects of its effectiveness in terms of outcomes for pupils.
The role of the governing body 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 its aims and objectives
- oversee the financial performance of the school, making sure its money is well spent
- be a source of challenge and support to the Head Teacher, (act as ‘a critical friend’).
Who are the Governors?
The Governing Body is usually made up of 5 groups who represent the stakeholders of the school:
- foundation governors
- parent governors
- local authority governors
- co-opted governor
- associate members
This range of people is intended to provide a broad and balanced selection of viewpoints and to represent each sector of the school’s community.
Individual governors have no ‘power’ as such and cannot act or speak on behalf of the Body.
Decisions are made by the Body as a whole. Governors are not ‘delegates’ for a group. All governors are equal and represent the various groups of stakeholders of the school.
The term of office for school governors is usually 4 years, after which time they may stand for re-election.
When at full capacity the constitution of the Governing Body at Much Birch is as follows:
Staff: there are 2 staff governors. The Head Teacher, as well as managing the school, is also, nominally, a governor and is responsible for providing the GB with the information it needs to plan strategically for school improvement. Additionally there is a teaching governor, elected from and by the staff of the school.
Foundation Governors: in line with its Church School status, we, at Much Birch, also have 3 Foundation Governors.
Parents: 3 of our Governing Body places are for parents, elected from and by the parents at school.
Local Authority: 1 of our Governing Body places is for a Local Authority governor. Local Authority governors apply to be governors and are proposed to the Governing Body by the Local Authority or the County Council.
Co-opted Governors: 3 of our Governing Body places are for co-opted governors. These governors do not have to be staff or parents, but are co-opted onto the board because they may have specific skills or knowledge that are required at a certain time.
Associate Members are persons who, from time to time, may be appointed by the governing body as members of any of its committees but who are not governors and do not carry the same responsibilities/voting rights as governors.
Governor vacancies are advertised in the school newsletter and on the school website.
What does the work of a Governor involve?
The role of Governor is a voluntary position.
All governors are assigned to a specific subject area within school in order to monitor progress being made.
Additional areas of areas of responsibility that are shared amongst members of the Governing Body are:
- special educational needs
- safeguarding procedures
- pupil premium
- school council
- early years education
In order to fulfil their responsibilities, Governors are expected to attend:
- half-termly full governing body meetings
- half-termly governance planning sessions
- half-termly sub-committee meetings, (Curriculum & Standards/Finance/Premises).
Governors also gain an insight into the day-to-day life of the school through class visits, attendance at assemblies, church services, performances and other key events throughout the school year.
Contacting your Governing Body
We are always willing to listen to parents, teachers and pupils. If you would to get in touch with us please do so through via the school office, addressing all correspondence to Rev. Mark Johnson, Chair of Governors.
You can, of course, also approach us when we are at school but please be aware that, as the governing body makes decisions collectively, we might be unable to give you an immediate response to your query.