Every maintained school in the UK is run by a board of governors. The governors are either elected by parents of children who attend the school, are appointed by the local education authority (in our case, Haringey Council) or invited to join (co-opted) by other governors. Governors are involved in every aspect of school life, from playtime to OFSTED inspections, and usually take on specific roles according to their experience and interests.
- promote high standards for the children’s education
- set targets for pupils’ achievement
- take general responsibility for the conduct of the school
- manage the school’s budget, including deciding how many staff will work there and their pay
- make sure that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, and in particular that the National Curriculum and Religious Education are taught
- report on pupils’ achievement in National Curriculum assessments and examination results
- participate in the appointment of senior staff (including appointing the headteacher) and regulate staff conduct
- draw up an action plan after an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)
How does the governing body work?
The Rokesly Infant and Nursery School governors work closely with the Headteacher Grant Bright and school leadership team. We make decisions at full governors’ meetings, in committees or by supporting plans made by the headteacher when this is appropriate. Most of our business is conducted through meetings and we receive guidance from Haringey Council and the Department for Education. We also collaborate closely with the governors of the Junior school and some governors sit on the boards of both schools.
What are the different kinds of governors?
To support the best balance of skills and interests among the governors, each governing body is made up of:
- parent governors who are elected by other parents with children at the school
- a local authority governor nominated by Haringey Council and appointed by the board
- the headteacher
- a staff governor elected by other teaching and non-teaching staff
- co-opted governors appointed by the board for their specific skillsets
Can I be a governor?
If you feel that you have skills, experience and enthusiasm for being a governor, please talk to one of the current governors so that we can consider co-opting you on to the board or talk to you about running the next time there is an election.
Role of Governors
The purpose of the governing body is to help the school provide the best possible education for its pupils. We play a strategic role, concentrating on the underlying principles of how the school is run. Day-to-day management issues remain the responsibility of the Headteacher and school staff.Governors have a considerable number of statutory responsibilities to fulfil, for instance:
- Approval of the school budget
- Performance management of the headteacher
- Delivery of the National Curriculum
- Reviewing pupil exclusions
- Approving arrangements for school trips as well as other health and safety issues
- Generally monitor and evaluate progress in school development and achievements
We also play an important role in accountability. Not only is the headteacher accountable to the governing body, but the governing body is accountable to parents, the LA and ultimately to the Department for Education (DfE). Perhaps one of the best phrases used to summarise the role of the governing body is that of ‘critical friend’.
Much of the content of the governors’ work is set by DfE. By law, governors are expected to:
- Set the strategic framework
- Monitor and evaluate progress towards the school’s priorities and targets
- Support the head and staff to raise standards and challenge where necessary
- Account to all stakeholders for the school’s overall performance and the decisions they have made.
The Headteacher’s role is to:
- Be responsible for the organisation, management and control of the school
- Formulate aims and objectives, policies and targets for the governing body to consider adopting
- Advise on and implement the governing body’s strategic framework
- Provide governors with the information they need to help the school raise its standards
- Report on progress
- Parents and School Partnership
Structure of governors
The Rokesly Infant and Nursery School governors work collaboratively with the Junior School governors and attend each other’s meetings. Much of the work of the governing body is carried out by the following committees:
- Resources (combined Finance and Personnel) – each school has its own resources committee
- Premises – a joint committee between the Junior and Infant governors
- Curriculum – each school has its own curriculum committee
The committees each take responsibility for different elements of running the school including setting the budget, reviewing staffing arrangements, reviewing both curriculum-based and whole-school policies such as the behaviour policy. The governors also ensure that the school implements the changes that the government and the local authority have authorised. Each committee meets at least once a term and there is a full governors meeting each term. The meetings are divided into two parts with parents and others allowed for the first part of the meeting that is not confidential. The Infants and Junior governors meet twice a year.