School Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing body.
The governors’ role is not about fundraising, neither it is about cheerleading for the school – though governors might do both those things. School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and are involved in the appointment of other staff. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the head teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.
Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.
The role of the governing body is a strategic one; its key functions are to:
The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.
School governors are drawn from different parts of the community and can be parents and staff or from the LA, the community and other groups. This helps ensure the governing body has sufficient diversity of views and experience but does not mean governors of a particular category represent that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not represent the parents at the school and do not report back to them.
As part of the preparation for an Ofsted Inspection Governing Bodies are asked to complete an audit of responsibilities and are required to indicate whether each of the following are fully in place, partly in place or not in place. (If it is not fully in place an explanation “why not” and what action is being taken is required):-
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