Governors have a key role in decision making and, therefore, you are expected to prepare for and attend meetings of the governing body and any committees of which you are a member.
As well as supporting the school, governors need to ask challenging questions to be sure that the school is providing the best possible education. This role is often called ’being a critical friend’.
One of the most important activities you will undertake is a visit to the school. This allows you to learn about the school, to see the school at work and to get to know the staff and the children. Planning these visits in advance with fellow governors and the Headteacher is essential.
Governors will hear or read sensitive information whilst undertaking their duties and great care must be taken not to breach confidentiality.
What does being a governor NOT involve?
The Headteacher is responsible for the internal management and organisation of the school. Governors are not expected to take detailed decisions about the day-to-day running of the school.
It is important for governors to realise they are representatives and not delegates. A delegate has to vote and act in a specific way – this does not apply to any type of governor. Governors listen to concerns and views and then make decisions based on what is in the pupils’ best interests.
Individual governors have no powers in their own right, their strength is in being a member of the team that makes up the governing body. The governing body has a collective responsibility for the decisions it takes.
What do they do?
The governing body’s main role is:
to provide a sense of direction for the work of the school
to support the work of the school as a critical friend
to hold the school to account for the quality of education it provides and the standards achieved
The governing body is responsible for:
Conducting the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational Achievement setting appropriate targets for pupil achievement
Taking general responsibility for the conduct of the school – in practice, this should Include how, in broad strategic terms, it should be run
Managing the school’s budget
Making sure that the curriculum for the school is balanced and broadly based
Determining the numbers of staff
Participating in the appointment of Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher
Establishing a performance management policy for staff appraisal
Drawing up an action plan after an inspection
Full training is available – the “Right from the Start” course expands on this information.