What do Governors do?
Governors are strategic leaders of schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools, such as Patcham Infant School, this is reflected in law. They carry out their duties under a legally constituted Instrument of Government and regulations stipulated by various Acts of Parliament. In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic function
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of its staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Governors are unpaid volunteers that play an important part in overseeing the running of the school in the interests of the community it serves but the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school is with the headteacher and staff. Individual governors have no authority whatsoever; such powers as they have are vested in the governing body as a whole and their decisions are recorded and made available for anyone to see. They give direction and focus, drawing on other stakeholder views to assist their work. Governors appoint the headteacher and assist with the appointment of the senior leadership team and then work with them, making decisions about:
- Standards - ensuring a strategic and systematic approach to promoting high standards of educational achievement
- Curriculum - ensuring this is broad and balanced and supporting the school in making sure pupils are enriched with a wider cultural experience
- Policies - deciding how, in broad strategic terms the school should be run
- Finance - determining how best to spend the budget allocated to the school
- Staffing - deciding the staff structure and pay policy
- Discipline - agreeing procedures for staff and pupil conduct and discipline
They also support the headteacher by providing a friendly forum within which to discuss ideas, problems and opportunities.