The governing body of any school has three main roles:
It acts as a critical friend to the head teacher by offering support, constructive advice, a sounding board for ideas, a second opinion on proposals and help where needed. The governing body will also challenge, ask questions and seek information in its role as critical friend.
It has a strategic role working closely with the head teacher and the senior leadership team to set the overall direction for the school. Below are the key areas in which the Wood End governing body has an important role:
- Standards – ensuring a strategic and systematic approach to promoting high standards of educational achievement
- Targets – setting appropriate targets for pupil achievement at Key Stages 1 and 2
- Curriculum – ensuring that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based
- Reporting results – reporting on teacher assessments and examination results
- Policies – deciding how, in broad strategic terms the school should be run
- Finance – determining how to spend the budget allocated to the school
- Long term priorities and objectives over a 3 year period – to plan set and agree.
- Staffing – deciding the number of staff, the pay policy and making decisions on staff pay.
- Appointments – appointing the head and other staff
- Discipline – agreeing procedures for staff conduct and discipline
- Pupil Behaviour – agreeing a statement of general principles on which the school’s behaviour policy, including bullying prevention is based
- Inspection follow-up – drawing up an action plan after OFSTED inspection
- Health & Safety – to ensure all aspects of H&S in school are set in place.
- Premises – to ensure the overall environment is maintained and improved as required.
Finally the governing body has an accountability and lawful role and must be prepared to account for the schools performance and explain any decisions or actions taken to anyone who has a legitimate interest, including parents, pupils, staff and the wider community. The accountability responsibility includes community cohesion and ensuring the welfare of all the children and staff at the school.
The full governing body meets at least termly and different committees meet more frequently than that. Typically a governor commits around 50 hours a year to the role.