The role of the governing body
The governing body exists to ensure high standards of achievement for all pupils in the school. We do this by:
• Helping to set the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction
• Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school to make sure our money is well spent
Governors work by:
contributing to discussions at governing body meetings which help to:
- determine the vision and ethos of the school
- set clear and ambitious strategic priorities and targets for the school
- ensure that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum and that the school encourages the pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development
- agree the school’s budget, including the expenditure of the pupil premium grant
- devise the school’s staffing structure and key policies
holding the senior leaders to account by monitoring and evaluating the school’s performance; this includes:
- scrutinizing the leadership’s own evaluation of the school’s performance and ensuring the conclusions are used to inform the priorities in the school development plan
- considering relevant data and feedback on all aspects of school performance, in particular pupil progress
- asking challenging questions of school leaders
The responsibility of a governor is to be strategic – to challenge, evaluate, monitor and support. It is essential that governors do not get involved in the day to day operation of the school, that is the role of the headteacher and staff. Governors and the school leadership are supported by a school improvement partner who is an expert in primary education and provides independent advice to continually assess the school's strengths and areas for development.
- appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders
- undertake the performance management of the headteacher
- set the headteacher’s pay and agree the pay recommendations for other staff
- hear staff grievances and disciplinary matters
- hear appeals about pupil exclusions
At Darell every governor is linked to a member of staff who has responsibility for a specific subject. Governors meet with their linked staff member two or three times a year to understand how their subject is taught, the main strengths and challenges, the use of teaching resources and integration of the subject in the wider curriculum.
Membership of the Governing Body
There are a maximum of 14 members, each of whom is appointed for a four-year term, after which time they may seek re-election.
Full members are drawn from four areas of the school community:
- Parents of current pupils – two members
- Staff – the headteacher and one other staff member
- Local Authority – one member appointed by the Local Authority
- Co-opted – nine members co-opted for the skills and experience they bring to the school
It is important to note that, although these members are representative of the school community, they are not intended to represent the views of the particular community from which they are drawn. Once elected or appointed, members should always act in what they consider to be the best interests of the school and bear in mind the seven principles of public life, which are:
Governors must also accept collective responsibility for all decisions taken, regardless of whether they personally voted for them and ensure that the details of discussions in meetings, including the votes of individual governors, remain confidential. This latter point is crucial for ensuring mutual trust, which is essential for effective school governance.
The current members of the governing body are:
Local Authority Governor :
Elected parent Governors :
Elected staff Governor :
Jenny Mikkelsen (Vice Chair)
Jane Spencer (Chair)
For more information about the governing body please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings of the governing body and committees
The full governing body meets twice a term. Parents and staff are welcome to approach the Chair to ask to attend these meetings as observers, except where confidential matters are to be discussed. Minutes of the full governing body meetings are posted on the website, once approved.
Much of the work of the governing body is done through committees, which also meet twice a term ahead of the main governing body meetings. Each governor sits on at least one of these committees which are:
The Welcome Committee – this deals with communication and engagement with all members of the school community and also monitors provision with regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice. The work of this committee has recently included commissioning the new website and devising and analysing the parent, staff and pupil questionnaires.
The Achievement and Curriculum Committee – this monitors standards and achievements of pupils in relation to their targets. It ensures that all pupils receive the full statutory curriculum, ensures that all safeguarding requirements are met and reviews the use of assessment tools.
The Resources Committee – this oversees the efficient and effective use of all the school’s resources, including staff, finance, premises and equipment. The work of this committee is critical in setting the annual school budget and staffing structure.
Working groups are set up from time to time to deal with particular issues as they arise, or to enable governors to scrutinize particular areas of the school more effectively. As agreed at the 12 September 2017 full governing body meeting, there are currently two such groups; one monitors the provision for, and progress of, pupils with SEN and/or disabilities at the school. Another group interrogates in great detail the use of the Pupil Premium Grant. Both working groups report into Achievement & Curriculum Committee.
Much of the work of governors will not be immediately apparent to parents, for example it is solely the responsibility of the governing body to recruit a new headteacher, which is probably the most important job governors ever have to do. Governors do everything from writing the job description and personal specification, to preparing and placing an advertisement in national media, producing a job pack for potential candidates, showing all candidates around the school, planning the interview days (panels, tasks, pupil involvement, presentation topic) and taking part in two full days of interviews.
Normally, any issues concerning a pupil or the school should, in the first instance, be addressed to a member of Darell staff or the Senior Leadership Team. However, should any issue be unresolved via this route or should an issue arise which you would prefer not to discuss with a member of staff, you may contact a governor at email@example.com. Messages may also be left for governors at the school office.