Information for those interested in becoming a school Governor

INFORMATION FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN BEING A GOVERNOR

WHAT DOES BEING A GOVERNOR MEAN?

  • Being a member of an important team
  • Supporting teaching and learning
  • Being an honest friend to the school
  • Helping to solve problems
  • Upholding the Aims and Values of the school

All schools have a Board of Governors who are required to work together with the head teacher(s), Local Authority and Diocese (for church schools like ours) in agreeing the aims and conduct of the school in order to ensure that pupils receive the best possible education through full entitlement to the agreed curriculum and by managing the school within its allocated budget.

The governing body must work within the regulations set by central government (Education Acts and Regulations) and the local authority (Instruments of Governance and Schemes of Financial Management) There are no formal qualifications required to become a governor but the following skills & qualities are needed :

  • Time and commitment
  • Willingness to learn and listen
  • Ability to assimilate, make judgements, take decisions
  • Flexibility and ability to work as part of a team
  • Tact and understanding of confidentiality

There are certain disqualifications that prevent you from being a governor and therefore all applicants must sign a declaration stating that they are not disqualified.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNORS

Governors are responsible for how the school is performing. They support and challenge the head teacher(s) by gathering views, asking questions and deciding what is best for the pupils.

Governors are elected/appointed to provide:

  • Strong links between the school and the community it serves
  • Wide experience of the outside world
  • Independent view
  • Visible form of accountability for the head teacher(s) and staff
  • Team focussing on long term development and improvement
  • Accountability to the community for the use of resources and standards of teaching and learning
  • Support/challenge for the head teacher(s) and staff

Governors are strategic planners who provide a sense of direction by:

  • Employing others to carry out the work
  • Having Operational Managers (head teacher(s)) who are responsible for day to day management
  • Agreeing policies and practices which allows the head teacher(s) to carry out their responsibilities
  • Challenging/agreeing principle and targets for improvement
  • Acting as ‘critical friend’ of the school and head teacher(s)
  • Holding the school to account for its practice and conduct
  • Reviewing its own working practices

Decisions of the Board of Governors are made in formal meetings of the Full Board or in committees where their Terms of Reference allow.

All governing bodies have committees which:

  • Carry out tasks specifically given to them by the Board of Governors
  • Aid the work of the Board of Governors and report back to them
  • All governors share the responsibilities and work as a team
  • Individuals are part of the corporate Board of Governors & duties are carried out as part of the team (no governor has the power or right to act individually on behalf of the Board of Governors unless delegated to do so or if regulations specify this)
  • Governors are not legally liable as individuals

Financial Role of the Board of Governors and its Committees  Governors, supported by information & advice provided by the head teacher(s), decide the strategic direction of the school and have collective responsibility for financial decisions that are made in the context of how the school is run & are answerable to parents & the wider community. Responsibility for the implementation of financial decisions remains with the head teacher(s).

ROLE OF A GOVERNOR AT OUR SCHOOL

As a member of Flax Bourton Board of Governors we would ask that you attend all Full Board of Governors meetings and any committee meetings, of which you are a member, throughout the academic year.  Prior to all meetings you will receive an agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and any relevant papers.  We ask that you ensure that you have familiarised yourself with these before the meeting so that the maximum benefit to pupils can be achieved.

All governors are encouraged to establish a relationship with the school, through visits, attending events, helping in class on a regular basis.  Governors are actively encouraged to improve and develop their understanding by asking questions and taking part in any relevant training offered by North Somerset Governor Services and/or Diocese of Bath and Wells.

It is recognised that the work of a governor is voluntary and that the amount of time given will vary between members due to other commitments in their lives. The time you are able to give will be much appreciated.