THE THREE CORE FUNCTIONS OF THE GOVERNING BODY:
- Ensuring Clarity of vision, ethos and strategic development
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
The overall purpose of a governing body is to help the school to provide the best possible education for pupils. This involves:
- Setting the schools vision and strategic aims, agreeing plans and policies and making creative use of available resources;
- Ensuring the school is accountable to the children, young people and parents it serves and to its local community and to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs.
- Monitoring and evaluating performance and acting as ‘critical friend’ to the Headteacher to support and challenge him in managing the school. Governing bodies should be providing a high degree of challenge combined with high levels of support in this role. In all that they do the governing body needs to focus on the strategic role and how they can support the school to raise standards. Monitoring and evaluating is a key aspect of governors’ strategic responsibilities and should be part of the school’s overall programme for self-evaluation. Self-evaluation is an essential requirement for contributing to school improvement.
Governors, along with the headteacher and senior school team, form the leadership team of the school. They have a crucial role in ensuring the school is successful in meeting the needs of all its pupils and achieving high standards.
They are under a legal duty to conduct their school with a view to promoting high educational standards (Education Act 2002) and to promote the well-being of pupils at the school, promote community cohesion, have regard to any relevant Children and Young People Plan and to have regard to the views espoused by parents/guardians of registered pupils.
Governors in a voluntary aided school are the employers of the staff, both teaching and support staff. Some staff may be employed through a service agreement with an outside body. Staff appointments are of particular importance since it is the staff who have the greatest influence on the ethos of the school.
Governors have a legal responsibility for the curriculum, subject to the statutory provision for the Curriculum. Governors will ensure that the whole of the curriculum of the school is rooted in an understanding of life in conformity with the teaching of the Gospel and the Catholic Church. The schools in the Archdiocese must follow the schemes for Religious Education authorised by the Christian Education Department.
Governors are responsible for drawing up and administering the admission criteria for entry to the school. They should seek the guidance of the Archdiocese when undertaking this task. The Archdiocese has a policy to provide a place in a Catholic school for all children baptised in the Catholic tradition.
Governors are responsible for drawing up an annual budget of expenditure for the school in accordance with the funding delegated by the Local Authority (LA) and ensuring these funds are properly used.
Governors are also responsible for the school property. They must ensure the premises are safe without risk to the health of staff, pupils and visitors. The condition of the building must be kept in a good state. They must also ensure that the school is adequately insured. Funding for this is received from the LA and the Archdiocese can arrange insurance cover with the Catholic Church Insurance Association.
Governing Bodies are required to meet a minimum of three times each year. However, Governors will be expected to give much more time than this, serving on committees and working parties, to deal with the full responsibilities of governing their school. Governors are expected to attend the full meetings and failure to do so on a regular basis may result in a Governor being removed from office.
Governors are encouraged to try to attend the training sessions arranged by the Archdiocese as well as the appropriate training provided by the LA.