WHAT IS A GOVERNOR?
McMillan Governing Body is to provide strategic management, and to act as a "critical friend", supporting the work of the headteacher and other staff.
School Governing bodies are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a good quality education. Together with the headtacher, who is responsible for day to day management, they set the school aims and policies.
Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing funded schools in England.
Schools need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has repeatedly noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management - including by the governing board.
Governors set the aims and objectives for the school and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. In action, this means:
• Appointing and performance reviewing the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay.
• Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
• Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
• Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary
• Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
• Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school
TYPES OF GOVERNORS
Their different titles usually indicate how they came to be on the governing board, or what kind of organisation they are in.
Parent governor - An individual who has a child of legal school age and is elected by the parent body to serve as a governor. They are usually parents who have a child on role at the school, but it is not a legal requirement. It is possible to be a parent governor because you have a child of legal school age, but not attending the school at which you govern.
Local authority governor- Individuals appointment approved by the Local Authority.
Co-opted governor - A co-opted governor is a person appointed by the governing body and who, in the opinion of the governing body, has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
Staff governor-An individual who is a member of staff, usually elected by the staff, to ensure that staff views are represented on the governing body.
Our governing body shall consist of:
x2 Parent governors
x1 Local Authority (LA) governor
x1 Staff governor
x6 Co-opted governors
- Governors of the school have responsibility for the broad policies, plans and procedures within which the school operates. This means they determine, monitor and keep under review such issues. Governors appoint the Headteacher to manage these responsibilities for them and should recognise that the Headteacher, together with the Senior Management Team, is responsible for the implementation of policy, day-to-day management of the school and delivery of the curriculum.
- All Governors are appointed with equal status. Their central and common concern should be the welfare of the school as a whole.
- Governors have a duty to act fairly and without prejudice at all times. The overall good of the school will always override governors personal feelings and individual concerns.
- As they share responsibility for the employment for all staff, governors should fulfill all reasonable expectations of a good employer.
- Governors should consider carefully how their decisions might affect other schools within their local community.
- The governing body should recognise that it is accountable for its decisions but also is accountable to the Local Authority and to the parents of the pupils attending the school.
- Being a governor requires a commitment of significant amounts of time and energy. Individual governors should have regard to this when agreeing to serve.
- All governors should involve themselves actively in the work of the governing body and accept a fair share of responsibilities, including service on committees and working parties. They should also seek and accept appropriate training and development through the attendance of courses and governor events.
- Regular attendance at meetings of the full governing body, committees and working groups is essential.
- Governors should operate as a team in which constructive working relationships lead to effective governance.
- Governors should develop effective working relationships with the Headteacher, senior management team, teachers, staff, parent groups, Local Authority, and other relevant agencies where appropriate. Non-attendance can lead to eventual disqualification.
- Governors should know the school well and take all possible opportunities to attend school events and visit the school in liaison with the Headteacher.
- Although decisions reached at governors meetings are normally made public through minutes or otherwise, regard to confidentiality may need to be exercised in respect of the discussions on which the decisions are based.
- Individual governors should observe complete confidentiality in all matters discussed at the governing body and especially in relation to matters concerning staff or pupils and also any other matters agreed by governing body. Failure to comply with this confidentiality can lead to disciplinary action such as suspension.
- Governors should exercise the highest degree of caution when involved in sensitive issues arising outside the governing body, which may have an impact on the work of the governing body or the operation of the school.
- Governors should express their views openly within meetings but should ensure that they relate to matters proper for discussion by the governing body.
- Governors who wish to raise matters for discussion by the full governing body should make a request to the chairman for the item to be included on the next meeting’s agenda. This should be done in advance of the agenda being prepared.
- Governors have the right to request any matters discussed at meetings to be recorded in the minutes, subject to confidentiality.
- Governors must accept corporate responsibility for all decisions taken by the governing body.
- When governors are unable to attend meetings they should ensure that the clerk to governors is notified in advance of the meeting so that apologies can be recorded.
- Apart from very specific instances where the chairman has to act or take decisions on behalf of the governing body, governors should recognise that they have no individual powers and should only speak or act on behalf of the governing body when specifically authorised.
- All governors visits to the school should be within a framework that has been established by the governing body and agreed with the Headteacher.
- All such visits, whether formal or informal, must be arranged in advance with the Headteacher.
- Governors should be aware of the procedures for responding to criticism or complaints relating to the school are outlined in the school’s complaints policy. Governors should encourage such complainants to adhere to the policy and not get involved, in the event a complaints panel needs to be formed.
- Governors should take every opportunity to maintain and develop the ethos and reputation of the school within the local community.