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The Role of Governors

Schools governors work to plan the strategic direction of the school, oversee budgets, and support and challenge the headteacher. As part of the governing board, governors play a vital role in helping schools run efficiently and effectively to give children the best education possible. Schools with strong governing boards are better equipped to make important decisions that affect the education they provide for their pupils.


What do school governors do?

School governors have three core functions:

· Planning the strategic of the school

· Overseeing the financial performance of the school and ensuring money is well spent

· Holding the headteacher or school leadership to account

The law states, "The Governing Body shall conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school." Education Act 2002. 

The governor role is strategic rather than operational. Governors don’t get involved with the day to day running of a school, instead supporting and challenging the leadership team to drive school improvement As a school governor, you’ll attend full board meetings every term, where you’ll hear updates from the headteacher and discuss any strategic priorities.


Why is it important that schools have a strong governing board?

Headteachers are experts at what they do, but they don’t always have experience in other key areas like HR, law, or finance. Governors with a background in different areas can support their school in numerous ways, from helping hire a new headteacher, joining disciplinary panels, assessing the premises, and finding new suppliers. The headteacher focuses on the operational side of running a school, and governors are there to support with the strategic decisions. A strong board means that strategic decisions can be properly considered, leading to improved outcomes both financially and for children’s education. It’s important that boards are diverse so that there isn’t a danger of group-think and that decisions are made robustly with input from people with a variety of lived experiences – as well as varied skills. It’s also vital that children see people of all backgrounds in board-level positions. Diverse boards help ensure effective governance, which leads to improved educational outcomes for children.


Principles of Governance

Individually governors have no special power, responsibility, duty or rights unless specifically delegated by the Governing Body, e.g. governors have no automatic right to speak on behalf of the school or special rights of access to the school or staff.

Collectively the Governing Body is responsible for the school's performance and governors are accountable to the local authority for how the school is run and for many legal duties described in 'The Guide to the Law for School Governors'.

The Headteacher is responsible for the organisation and management of the school to implement the strategy established by the governing body and is accountable to the governing body for the schools performance.

Governors have equal status and rights and decisions are made by majority vote and then must be accepted by all, the quorum is 50%; voting and discussions are confidential.

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