What does the Governing Body do?
The Governing Body has three roles which are:
- To be strategic, taking a long-term view of the academy's values and objectives
- To act as a critical friend, challenging and supporting the academy to improve
- To be accountable, to the authorities, to the local community and to parents and learners, for the standards and outcomes achieved by the academy
To be strategic, governors need to:
- Ensure that the academy has clear aims and values which are supported by the whole academy community
- Ensure that these are evident in the day to day operation of the academy
- Focus on raising standards of achievement, establishing high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning, so that pupils achieve to their potential
- Decide with the head, staff, learners and parents the direction of the academy through the academy's development planning process
- Ensure that the resources the academy receives are directed to the academy's priorities as determined in the academy's development plan
- Help to set and keep under review the policies which provide a broad framework within which the head teacher and staff should run the academy
- Ensure that there are systems in place to check that progress is being made towards targets and that evidence is gathered
- Use that evidence to review overall progress against targets, to see whether policies and practice are effective, and to check on their academy's achievements and progress over time and in
- Comparison with similar academy's
- Take advice on all of this from the head before making their own decisions
- Play a key role in the academy's improvement planning process
Governors should be involved in the review of the annual academy plan as well as longer term plans (for example, the three-year financial plan), and in the drafting of the priorities for the coming year to reflect the longer-term strategic vision of the governing body.
Detailed plans are normally drawn up by the headteacher and staff but committees of the governing body can draw up detailed plans for their area, for example premises development. Through this process the governing body can be clear about the direction of the academy, the allocation of resources and the monitoring processes that will help ensure that plans are implemented and effective.
Critical Friend Role
In this role, the governing body:
- Recognises and celebrates the achievements of the academy
- Knows where the academy is not achieving as well as it could
- Provides support and encouragement when strategies to bring about improvement are being explored
- Strikes an appropriate balance between support and challenge
- The role involves monitoring and evaluating how the academy is progressing. Governors need to build a trusting relationship with the headteacher and staff in order to achieve this
It is not the role of governors to make judgements about individual teachers, but governors will need to make judgments about the quality of learning. Governors thus need to ensure that monitoring of teaching and learning takes place and the necessary actions are taken to develop and support teaching and learning to deliver the desired outcomes.
To be accountable, governors:
- Will promote high standards of educational achievement
- Will discuss, question and refine proposals, but will respect the professional roles of the head teacher and other staff, and their responsibilities for the management of the academy
- Will account for the academy's overall performance and will explain the decisions and actions of the governing body and/or of the school to anyone who has a legitimate interest
- Will account to the whole academy community for the performance of the academy
The Academy Profile, which is posted on the internet, enables parents and others to know how the academy is performing. The governors are required by law and by regulation to ensure that the academy prospectus is up to date and available to all.