A school's governing body is a corporate body. This means it has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members. Governors are drawn from the local community and are
What is the role of the governing body?
The Governing Body acts collectivly as a group. They have a range of duties and powers and a general responsibility for the conduct of the School. The Governance role is strategic and the governing body concentrate on matters related to strategy and school improvement. Operational tasks such as drafting policies, making judgements about the quality of teaching and recruiting and deploying staff are delegated to the school leaders. The agenda of governing bodies is driven by their strategic planning cycle.
The governing body has three core functions:
• Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
The first function is strategic.
The governing body is responsible for the strategic management of the school. The governing body decides what they want the school to achieve, they do this by agreeing a framework with targets, and agreeing policies, in consultation with the head teacher. The governing body then monitors and evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of the framework and policies.
The second is challenge.
It is important that governors ask relevant but probing questions. They examine the performance of the children in the school, and give praise where it is good and seek ways of making improvements when expectations are not achieved.
Thirdly, governors must ensure accountability.
For example, if a task is delegated to a committee, the terms of reference for the group must be clearly set. Governors must evaluate themselves and the actions they take.
What is effective governance?
The Department for Education (DFE) defines the role of governing bodies in the Governor's Handbook.
In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on the core strategic function:
It defines that effective governance is based on six key features:
In the School Governance Regulations the Department for Education explains that the purpose of the governing body is to: