Key Roles and Responsibilities of Governing Bodies
The purpose of Governance is to help provide the best possible education for learners. School governors are a team of people who work closely with the Headteacher to make key decisions that directly affect the education and well-being of the children. Individual governors contribute to the work of the governing body in raising standards of achievement.
The powers and duties of a governing body include:
- Providing a strategic view – setting the framework within which the head and staff run the school; setting aims and objectives, agreeing policies, targets and priorities for achieving these objectives; monitoring and evaluating
- Acting as a critical friend – provide support and challenge to the headteacher and staff, seeking information and clarification
- Ensuring accountability – explaining the decisions and actions of the governing body to anyone who has a legitimate interest
The execution of these powers and duties are critical to the successful running of a school and being a school governor is an important position.
What is expected of a Governor?
Education is all about continually changing things for the better and as governors you play a very important part in bringing about those changes. You don’t need any formal qualifications – schools need volunteers with a wealth of life experiences.
To be a governor, you must:
- be willing and able to prepare for meetings
- be able to attend meetings: the governing body must meet at least once a term, but you will probably be asked to serve on more than one committee. How often this meets will vary, but it is not unusual for one committee to meet each half- term
- be available for meetings which will be during the early evening mainly or during the day
- have the time to prepare and participate. If you cannot prepare for, and attend, meetings, you will not be able to help the school effectively
- take an active part in meetings and question the Headteacher appropriately to ensure the strategic running of the School
- monitor and evaluate the schools performance, providing constructive and supportive challenge to the Headteacher and school leadership/management team
Term of Office
All governors serve for a term of four years from the time of their election or appointment, but may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Clerk of the governing body. A governor may be re-elected or re-appointed for a further term. However, parent governors should be aware that they can only stand for re-election or re-appointment if they are a parent of a registered pupil at the school. The Local Authority requests particular Governors to be DBS checked in line with their policy.
Time off from Work
Under employment law, employers must give employees who are school governors "reasonable time off" to carry out their duties. The employee and employer have to agree on what is reasonable time off.
Don’t worry or be overwhelmed; the support and training provided will give you the understanding and confidence to play your part in ensuing that our schools always strive to provide our children with the best education possible.
The Welsh Government has today issued a consultation document “Reform of school governance: regulatory framework”
Consultation end date: 17/02/2017