Who are School Governors?
School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.
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 board 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 board.
What do governors do?
School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and deputy headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher 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:
- set the aims and objectives for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)
Governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities. Governing bodies are therefore required to publish on their website information about their members. The information they should publish should, include for each governor:
their category of governor;
which body appoints them;
their term of office;
the names of any committees the governor serves on;
details of any positions of responsibility such as chair or vice-chair of the governing body or a committee of the governing body;
any relationships between governors and members of the school staff including spouses, partners and relatives.
Categories of Governor
Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body and are people who the governing body believes have skills which will contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. There is no restriction on the categories of people who can be appointed as co-opted governors.
Parents, including carers, of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as parent governors. They are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors. The law does not allow elected members of the local authority, or people who work at the school for more than 500 hours in a year, to become parent governors. The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a parent governor at the school.
Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Both teaching and support staff employed to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship; volunteers are not eligible. The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a staff governor at the school.
Local authority governors are appointed by the local authority (formerly local education authority) or nominated by the local authority and appointed by the governing body. Anyone who is eligible to be a staff governor cannot be appointed as a local authority governor, but any other eligible person can.
School Governors can be contacted through the school office.
The Governor's Meetings
All Governors are expected to attend the 'Full Govenors' meeting, which is held once a term. The chairman of the Governing Body is Mr Philip McKennell, and the vice-chairman is Mrs Paula Spence.
In addition to these meetings, there are two committee meetings whcih also meet termly, the Curriculum Committee and the General Purposes Committee. The Curriculum Committee deals with Teaching & Learning matters, and the General Purposes Committee deals with premises, finance & staffing matters.
Finally, there are specific committees which meet as the need arises and some Governors have specific roles within school.
The Committee Stucture for Stubbins Primary School is listed below.