The Governing Board has three core functions for its school, as set out in the 2019 Department for Education’s Governors’ Handbook:
- Ensuring clarity of ethos, vision and strategic direction;
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
All Governing Boards are required to demonstrate the following 6 features:
- Strategic leadership that sets and champions the vision, ethos and strategy
- Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance
- People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity
- Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities
- Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements
- Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance
Governors’ role is strategic, not operational, in nature and we do not get involved in the day-to-day management of the School, responsibility for which lies with the Head Teacher.
The Governing Board works closely in partnership with the Head Teacher with specific focus on matters pertaining to strategy and school improvement.
As part of our role, we also agree the principles guiding School policies and actively monitor and evaluate how the policy framework is applied within School.
We also have responsibility for reviewing and approving the School budget to ensure financial sustainability, probity and value for money and monitoring progress against this throughout the year.
There are some key areas that sit outside of the Governors’ remit such as the admission of pupils to the school, which is controlled by Bradford LEA.
Previously, Governance of the school was divided between committees with specific remits in overseeing aspects of the performance of the School. These committees looked at Finance, Personnel and Premises (sometimes referred to as “Resources”) and Learning, Teaching and Pupil Support (sometimes referred to as “Standards”). The Governing Board regularly reviews its own performance and is trialling a different structure without sub-committees to further improve communication and raise Governors’ level of understanding in line with the Governor Competency Framework.
Over time, Governors may take on additional responsibilities to support a particular strategic priority of the school (e.g. part of the curriculum or Key Stage), a project (e.g. connected to buildings or I.T.) or to meet a particular statutory responsibility (e.g. special educational needs, safeguarding or looked after children). Having these additional responsibilities enables Governors to learn more about the school and contribute in different ways.
A Governor is often referred to as a “critical friend”, offering both support and challenge to the Head Teacher and staff, whilst aiming for continuous improvement in educational outcomes for all children within the school.