The Role of the School Governor at Anglo
Government publications, and almost all the training available, describe the role of the school governor as being that of ‘critical friend’. A critical friend offers support, constructive advice, a sounding board for ideas, a second opinion on proposals, and help where needed. But a critical friend may also challenge, ask questions, seek information, improve proposals, and so seek to arrive at the best solution.
According to Ofsted, the government body responsible for inspecting schools, the main roles of the governing body are to:
- Provide a strategic direction for the work and improvement of the school
- Support, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the school
- Hold the school to account for the standards achieved and the quality of education
As Ofsted says, the role of governing bodies is a strategic one; school governors do not become involved in day-to-day management issues. The Headteachers, who in our school are members of the governing body, are responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school; and for advising on and implementing the governing body’s strategic framework. In particular, the Headteachers formulate aims and objectives, policies and targets for the governing body to consider adopting; and must report to the governing body on progress at least once every school year.
Governors are responsible for setting up a strategic framework for the school, which means setting the school’s aims and objectives, agreeing policies, targets and priorities, and monitoring and reviewing aims, objectives, and whether the policies, targets, and priorities are being followed and achieved. The governing body takes advice on all this from the Headteachers before making its own decisions. We are particularly anxious in our school to ensure that our governing body considers education in the widest sense, which includes but is not limited to academic education. We are all committed to the school’s international ethos.
The governing body’s responsibilities include:
- Responsibility for the conduct of the school
- Setting targets in standards and achievement
- Ensuring that the school has a curriculum policy
- Ensuring policies relating to the school’s operation are prepared and are reviewed regularly
- Providing information for parents
- Financial management
- Personnel matters including senior staff appointments
- Management and maintenance of buildings
- Pupil discipline and behaviour
- Monitoring and evaluating the activities of the school
- Drawing up a plan after an inspection by OFSTED and overseeing its implementation
We meet at least three times a year as a full governing body; usually there are about five full meetings in the school year. In addition governors are members of two committees; most committees meet at least three times a year. Governors are also invited into school from time to time for individual visits (an important part of the monitoring process), for governor training sessions, or for special events like open day, concerts, or festivals.