What do your school governors do?
Langton School Governors are part of the largest volunteer force in the country. Our function is to make a positive contribution to the children’s education and raise standards in our school.
Our blend of parent, co-opted, local authority and staff governors, as defined in the constitution of the governing body, allows us to achieve a broad representation as well as a range of skills and experience.
Individual governors also undertake specific responsibilities on behalf of the governing body. These include Health and Safety, Child Protection and responsibility for specific areas of the curriculum. These governors work with the relevant members of staff to monitor progress and ensure the children are happy, safe and making satisfactory progress. However, governors do not act independently and any decisions taken are the joint responsibility of the whole governing body.
Full governing body meetings are held each half term. In addition, we have two committees to deal with the more detailed aspects of our work. At present, these are the Finance and Resources committee and the School Performance committee, with all governors being members of both.
The Role of Governors
Our aim is to create a learning environment where pupils and staff work in a safe and enjoyable environment that enables each of them to maximise their potential. The Government and Ofsted have high expectations of our ability to hold the Head Teacher to account, drive forward improvement and make sure the school is successful.
To achieve this we:
- set and prioritise the school's aims and objectives - these define what 'success' is for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives - these create a framework for success
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives - these enable progress to be measured
- agree budgets - to ensure expenditure is directed towards achievement
- monitor and evaluate progress towards achievement
The role is, therefore, strategic rather than being about the running or managing the school on a day to day basis; that is the job of the Head Teacher and other paid staff.
The governing body appoints the Head Teacher and works with her/him to make the tough decisions about balancing resources and be a source of challenge and support to the Head Teacher (a critical friend).
Finance & Resources Committee
This committee agrees and monitors the school budget each year, with support from our NYCC Schools Financial Advisor. The committee also monitors the condition of the School premises, reviews Health and Safety audits and ensures corrective actions are undertaken. In addition, the committee is responsible for marketing the school in the local community, to raise awareness of the School’s values and successes.
School Performance Committee
The role of the School Performance Committee monitors all aspects of the children’s learning including: academic progress; spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; additional learning opportunities; discipline and attendance. The committee agrees priorities for the School Development Plan, taking account of Ofsted recommendations, and liaises with the Finance and Resources Committee to agree the school’s class structure.
What is the governors’ commitment?
In addition to preparing for and attending the meetings of the committees and Governing Body, all the governors do additional work. This can include Link Governor roles, participation in staff recruitment and attendance at external courses and meetings with other governors. The workload varies depending on the time each person has available and the circumstances at a particular time.
Link Governor Roles and Responsibilities
Link governors are appointed to take the lead on an area of their governing board’s responsibilities or to help monitor a specific improvement priority. Link roles do not remove the board’s collective responsibility. As such, the governing board should ensure that the area assigned is covered on the agenda of full governing board and committee meetings as appropriate, so that all members of the governing board remain informed of the key issues, strategy outcomes and areas for development.
In broad terms, the role of the link governor is to:
- build productive working relationships with relevant staff while having due regard to their work-life balance
- ensure necessary policies and procedures are in place and monitor and evaluate them
- arrange focused visits to the school(s), (normally a maximum of one visit each term), based on strategic priorities and following an agreed visits protocol
- report back to the governing board following monitoring visits or discussions with staff
- be well informed and prepared ahead of meetings with staff or the board by reading relevant information, such as policies and data
- keep the governing board fully informed about issues and actions in the assigned area
- participate in relevant personal development to improve skills and knowledge