Governors work as part of a team supporting a school and the Head Teacher to decide the school's policy, help recruit staff and manage budgets.
The Strategic Role
- Ensuring the school has clear aims, vision and values that are supported by the whole school community
- Ensuring evidence of this in the day to day running of the school
- Focus on raising standards of achievement, establishing high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning so that every pupil achieves his/her full potential
- Decide with the Headteacher, staff, pupils and parents the direction of the school development planning progress
- Ensure that the resources that the school receives are directed to the school's priorities as determined in the School Improvement Plan (SIP)
- Help to set and review the policies that provide a broad framework within which the Headteacher and staff should run the school
- Ensure that there are systems in place to monitor progress toward targets and gather evidence accordingly
- Use the evidence to review progress against targets to see whether policies and practices are effective. Check on the school's achievements and progress over time and in comparison with similar schools
- Take advice on this from the Headteacher before making their decisions
- The governing body should be one of the key players in the school improvement planning process. Governors should be involved in the review of the SIP and drawing up of plans for the coming year
Governing Body committees can draw up detailed plans for their area, for example, premises development or governing body development. This process enables the governing body to have a clear understanding of the direction of the school, the allocation of resources along with the monitoring process, ensuring the plans that are implemented are effective.
The Critical Friend Role
- Recognising and celebrating the achievements of the school
- Recognising where the school is not achieving as it should
- Providing support and encouraging strategies to bring about improvement
- Striking an appropriate balance between supporting and challenging
The role of "critical friend" involves monitoring and evaluating how the school is progressing. Governors need to build a trusting relationship with the Headteacher and staff to achieve this.
- Evidence gathering to show progress has been made toward agreed targets
- Using the SIP to know the actions to be taken and the outcomes expected
- Asking questions about progress and challenges ensuring objectives are met
- Making judgements about results
- Ensuring action is taken once concerns are identified
- using a search analysis of pupil achievements to provide a focus for the evaluation of teaching and learning
It is not the governor's role to make judgements about teachers. It is, however, the role of the governors to ensure that monitoring of teaching takes place and the necessary actions are taken to develop and support the quality of teaching.
The Accountability Role
In this role, governors:
- Are required to conduct the schools to promote high standards of educational achievement
- Have the right to discuss, question and refine proposals while respecting the professional roles of the Headteacher and other staff, and their responsibilities for the management of the school
- Must be prepared to account for the school's performance and to explain its decisions and actions to anyone who has a legitimate interest
The governing body will need to account for the whole school community for the performance of the school. Governors must ensure that the school prospectus and school profile are up to date and available to all.