What do governing bodies do?
Governors are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education.
Governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
Governing bodies are the key strategic decision-making body of every school. It is their role to set the school's strategic framework and to ensure all statutory duties are met.
The governing body should ensure that the school has a medium to long-term vision for its future. The governing body should also ensure that there is a robust strategy in place for achieving its vision. This strategy should address the fundamental questions of where are we now, where do we want to be, and how are we going to get there.
The governing body should set and safeguard a school ethos of high expectations of everyone in the school community. This includes high expectations for the behaviour, progress and attainment of all pupils in the school, and for the conduct and professionalism of both staff and governors.
Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
Governing bodies should work to support and strengthen the leadership of the Headteacher, and hold them to account for the day-to-day running of the school, including the performance management of teachers. Governing bodies should play a strategic role, and avoid routine involvement in operational matters. It should focus strongly on holding the Headteacher to account for exercising her professional judgement in these matters and of all their other duties.
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent Governing bodies are responsible for making sure their school's money is well spent.
They should do this by making sure they have at least one governor with specific skills and experience of financial matters, and by asking questions such as:
- Are we allocating our resources in line with our strategic priorities?
- Are we making full use of all our assets and efficient use of all our financial resources?
- Are other schools buying things cheaper or getting better results with less spending per pupil?
- How can we get better value for money from our budget?
The governing body helps to set, and keep under review, the broad framework within which the headteacher and staff run the school. In all its work, the governing body focuses on the key issues of raising standards of achievement, establishing high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning.