Governors of a school have legal duties, powers and responsibilities to ensure that the school provides the best education for all pupils. They act together to do this.
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM ?
Governors are volunteers who come from all walks of life.
In New Horizons there are four main categories of Governors. They are —
Parent Governors — elected by other parents and they have a child in the school or at school in the Authority
Staff Governors — elected by other members of staff
Local Authority ( LEA ) Governors — appointed by the local Authority by nominations from political parties. At New Horizons we are eligible for one nomination from the Liberal Democrat party.
Co-opted Governors — representatives invited to join the Governing Body and appointed by other members of the Governing Body.
The Headteacher is a Governor.
Associate Governors can be appointed for their expertise in some field of Governance.
All the main categories of Governors serve a four year term of office from when they start, which can be at any time during the academic year. Governors have the option of resigning at any time during their term of office.
WHAT DO GOVERNORS DO ?
Governors commit time and effort in working with other Governors who make up the Governing Body, the Headteacher and the Local Authority, to raise standards of achievement for all pupils in the school.
Governing Bodies have to monitor and evaluate progress towards the school’s priorities and targets, support the Headteacher and staff, as well as challenging their expectations, and account to all stakeholders for the school’s overall performance and for the decisions that they have made.
They do NOT run the school day to day.
The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and for advising on and implementing the Governing Body’s strategic framework. Headteachers draw up aims, policies, targets and plans for the Governing Body to consider adopting.
The staff, including the Headteacher, are accountable to the Governing Body for the delivery of the curriculum, use of resources and for the quality and effectiveness of the teaching and learning which takes place.
Governors key functions are to —
- Determine the strategic plan for the school
- Agree the aims, objectives, policies and priorities of the school.
- Monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards the aims and objectives.
- Decide and monitor how the school budget should be spent.
- Appoint the staff , including the Headteacher.
- Support and challenge when necessary the Headteacher and staff.
- Ensure that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which takes account of age, aptitude and ability.
- Ensure the health, well-being and safety of all staff and pupils.
- Ensure that the school buildings and grounds are welcoming and safe.
HOW OFTEN DO THEY MEET ?
Most Governing Bodies meet 4-5 times per year as a full Governing Body and the meetings last ideally about 2 hours.
Most Governing Bodies operate with Committees to focus on certain parts of their duties. The Committees meet 3-4 times per year, but more often, if necessary.
There are sometimes working groups to work on specific items or policies and these meetings may be one off or as required.
Most Governors attend all the main Governing Body meetings and Committee meetings according to which Committee they have joined. They may also visit the school, following agreed visiting guidelines, in their role as a Governor with a special responsibility or to show support and help to the staff.
Governors are expected to attend training to keep up to date with legislation changes and to learn more about their role. Training is provided at no cost to the Governor, except for getting to venues.
Governors are always welcome in the school to show support for special events such as Assemblies, Sports events, Curriculum events, Performances etc.
It is very rewarding to be a school Governor and to feel that you are making a difference to the lives of our young people. All you need is energy, time, enthusiasm and commitment to working as part of a team in the best interests of the school and a real desire to help provide our young people with the best possible education.