Main Roles of the Governing Body
The purpose of the governing body is to help the school provide the best possible education for its learners. Its main roles are:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Governing bodies are the key strategic decision-making body of every school. It is their role to set the school’s strategic framework and ensure all statutory duties are met. The governing body should ensure that the school has a medium to long-term vision for its future – which it may be helpful to articulate in a specific written vision statement. The governing body should also ensure that there is a robust strategy in place for achieving its vision. This strategy should address the fundamental questions of where we are now, where do we want to be, and how are we going to get there.
Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance of the staff;
Governing bodies should work to support and strengthen the leadership of the headteacher, and hold them to account for the day-to-day running of the school, including the performance management of teachers. Governing bodies should play a strategic role, and avoid routine involvement in operational matters. It should focus strongly on holding the headteacher to account for exercising his/her professional judgement in these matters and all of their other duties. Effective governing bodies hold their headteacher and other senior school leaders to account for improving school performance by asking the right questions.
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making its money well spent;
Governing bodies are responsible for making sure their school’s money is well spent. They should do this by making sure they have at least one governor with specific skills and experience in financial matters, and by asking questions such as:
- Are we allocating our resources in line with our strategic priorities?
- Are we making full use of all our assets and efficient use of all our financial resources?
- Are other schools buying things cheaper or getting better results with less spending per pupil?
- How can we get better value for money from our budget?