Governors of Parwich Primary School
|Name||Governor Type||Start Date||End Date||Business Interest Declared 2016/17|
|Gill Harrison (Chair)||LA||11.09.2014||10.09.2018||Volunteer Trustee/Treasurer of Parwich Memorial Hall|
|Jennifer Barker (Vice)||Parent||19.02.2018||18.02.2022||None|
|Fiona Tomblin||Head Teacher||13.04.2015||None|
|Jenny Warner||Clerk to the Governors||Started October 2007||None|
Associate Governors do not get a vote during Governing Body meetings but may be given voting rights during work with a committee with prior approval from the full governing body.
Governors fill in and sign a Declaration of Interest Form each September which is kept on file by the Clerk to Governors. There was one recorded declaration of interest in September 2015. Governors are asked at each meeting if they have a declaration of interest and this is recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
How does a Governing Body work?
A Governing Body:
- works closely with the Headteacher;
- makes decisions collectively as a team;
- often delegates decision making to committees or to individuals, for example, to the Headteacher; or chairperson; and
- conducts most of its business through meetings, making use of relevant papers and guidance, and advice from the Headteacher.
A good Governing Body is vital to a school’s success.
- Governors make key decisions, like appointing the Headteacher and other members of staff, and through involvement with strategic direction.
- Governors’ decisions directly affect the education and well-being of children.
- Governor’s work can really make a difference in improving standards throughout a school.
The Main Roles of the Governing Body
There are 3 key roles for a Governing Body:
To provide Strategic Direction
- Agreeing the aims and values of the school.
- Ensuring and agreeing curriculum and whole-school policies.
- Setting budgets and approving school priorities.
- Making sure that the school adheres to its policies, budgets and plans.
- Responding to Ofsted inspections.
- Keeping informed about the quality and standards of education in the school, including pupil achievement and progress.
- Taking direct responsibility for the recruitment of staff and for some disciplinary matters, while recognising the Headteacher’s responsibility for day-to-day management of the school.
- Contributing to the admissions policy and appeals system.
To act as Critical Friend
- Supporting and advising the Headteacher.
- Providing practical help and skill to the head and staff.
To ensure Accountability
- Making sure that parents are kept informed about what is happening in the school. (school newsletters and website)
- Taking views of all stakeholders into account.
- Ensure a strategic and systematic approach to promoting high standards of educational achievement and help to set targets for improvement.
- Ensure that the curriculum is broad and balanced and that the National Curriculum and its assessment procedures are carried out.
- Consider formal complaints about the curriculum.
- Report on assessments and test results and send assessment results to appropriate bodies.
- Decide, in broad strategic terms, how the school should be run and ensure that statutory policies are produced e.g. whether to provide sex education; developing/publishing a policy for religious education and collective worship; adapting LA curriculum policies to match school aims.
- Ensure political balance in presentation of curriculum.
- Hear appeals against head’s decision to lift or change National Curriculum requirements for a child.
- Support in determining how to spend the budget allocated to the school.
- Monitor spending, receiving statements from the LA. [which must be available for inspection]
- Respond to consultation on any changes to the LMS [Local Management of Schools] scheme.
- Draw up Financial Policies [Procedures, Regulations & Roles and Responsibilities] following the Derbyshire Scheme for Financing Schools.
- Draw up a charging policy where the school may charge for optional extra-curricular activities but may not charge for any curricular activities. [except musical instrument tuition]. The school may invite voluntary contributions towards any aspects of the school’s work.
- Decide on staffing levels.
- Agree all staffing procedures, including disciplinary rules, keeping to relevant parts of employment law.
- Appoint, suspend and dismiss staff.
- Make a range of decisions on pay for teaching staff.
- Review the pay of Headteacher annually.
- Ensure that the school keeps to the Performance Management Policy.
- Ensure Health and Safety.
- Ensure good maintenance of all school property and resources.
- Control the use of the premises outside the school day, including use by the community.
- Follow any reasonable directions from the LA.
- Determine general principles of discipline policy.
- Agree procedures for staff conduct and discipline.
- Hear staff grievances.
- May direct the head to re-instate excluded pupils.
- Must keep admissions and attendance register, reporting to the LA.
- Must give LA and Secretary of state for Education, any information requested.
- Must maintain pupils’ educational records.
- Determine admission arrangements, in consultation with the LA.
- Must tell parents, LA and others about the inspection.
- Must give relevant information to the Registered Inspector.
- Must send summary of inspection to parents.
- Must draw up an action plan and publish it to parents.
- The Governing Body must be consulted before any major changes are made by the school.
All Governors have some general responsibilities
All Governors should:
- Support the aims of the school.
- Work co-operatively with other Governors in the best interest of the school.
- Attend the meetings of the Governing Body and its Committees (where appropriate).
- Participate in training.
- Promote the interest of the school in the wider community.
- Have an equal right to participate and to state their views whilst respecting the views of others.
- Be loyal to the decisions made by the Governing Body.
- Respect the confidentiality of all discussions.
- Not disclose what individual Governors have said or how they have voted in Governors meetings.
- Withdraw from meetings where they have any direct personal interest in the business being discussed.
- Have regard to the broader responsibilities as a Governor of a public institution, in regard to public accountability for the actions and performance of the Governing Body.
- Are elected by parents on the school roll at the time of the election. Parent governors do not have to stand down if their child leaves the school during the period they serve, though they may do so if they wish.
- A person is not able to be a parent governor if an Elected Member of the LA or work more than 500 hours a year at the school.
- Parent Governors are representatives, not “delegates” and do not have to vote as instructed by parents. On the other hand, being elected means they have representative role. They should use every opportunity to find out parents’ views and report back to the Governing Body.
- They should also report back to parents, as best they can, about decisions made by the Governing Body.
- A Parent Governor should try to get parents with a query or concern to go directly to the teacher or head, as individual parents concerns should not be brought up at Governors’ meetings, unless they reveal an issue that may need a policy or procedural discussion.
- Teacher Governors are elected by their peers and this gives them a representative role. Like Parent Governors, however, they are not “delegates” and do not have to vote as instructed by other staff, but they should use every opportunity to find out other staffs’ views and report back to staff, about decisions made by the Governing Body.
- The Headteacher is a staff governor ex-officio, unless he or she resigns. If there are only two staff governors, one will be the Headteacher and the other a teacher.
- Upon ceasing to work at the school, staff governors are disqualified from holding this post.
- Although there are no general restrictions on staff Governors being on staff selection panels, or committees, they cannot be involved in discussion about pay or performance management of individual members of staff.
- No one employed in the school can hold office as Chair or Vice Chair.
- The Education Committee of the LA appoints the Authority Governor, to “represent” broad LA policies. In the past, many Authority Governors were members of the ruling political party, but a shortage of Authority Governors has resulted in a relaxation of this requirement. Authority Governors nominations have to be endorsed by a County Councillor.
- Although the Authority Governor should maintain a broader view of local needs, if the Authority Governor considers the school’s interests override general considerations, they can choose not to vote on the “party line”.
- Authority Governors are only disqualified from appointment as a governor if they are eligible to be a staff governor of the school.
- The Authority Governor should withdraw from any discussions where there is any conflict between the LA and the school e.g. if the LA is considering some re-organisation of its’ schools
Types of School
Although Governance is broadly similar in all schools, there are some subtle differences depending on the type of school.
In 1999 the Government restructured maintained schools i.e. those maintained by taxpayers (not private). There are 4 categories: –
- Voluntary Aided
- Voluntary Controlled
Parwich is a Community School
Information about other schools is available from the Governors help line at the LA.
Governors Help Line
The LA has a designated telephone help line, which is available to all school Governors requiring any hep or information. Trained staff will offer support and advice and can be contacted on 08000 722181.
The Department of Education have produced a handbook which provides information about the role and legal duties of governing bodies in maintained schools and academies, it can be found at the following web address:
Governors’ visits to Parwich School
This guidance is to assist governors and staff on the conduct of governor’s visits to school.
In the autumn term a schedule of governor’s visits is drawn up for the year and recorded in the year planner. The governors will visit school in rotation, approximately one per half term, for a half or full day.
The purpose of the visit is to familiarise and observe. The governors do not have an inspectorial role.
Before the visit
- The governor should arrange a suitable date with the Headteacher and any other staff concerned.
- It is suggested that the first time a governor visits they seek merely to familiarise themselves with the school. However, on subsequent visits they may wish to focus on a particular aspect e.g. in relation to their responsibilities or an issue in the school development plan. This should be agreed with the governing body and staff in advance.
- There may be some papers that the visiting governor could read beforehand
The visit itself
- On arrival the visiting governor will need to spend some time with the class teacher discussing how introductions to the children will be made, the context of the lesson, any particularly interesting facets of the lesson and perhaps which children it might be more interesting or helpful to observe.
- Agree beforehand with the teacher the objectives of the visit in line with the School Improvement Plan (SIP) and the Governing Body for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation.
- Governors should avoid jumping to conclusions and appreciate that they are only seeing a snapshot of school life.
After the visit
- It is essential to discuss what is observed with the teacher at the end of the visit or as soon as possible after it. This gives an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what is seen.
- Ask questions. Ask about the way children were learning. Did the children behave differently because they had a visitor?
- Be positive in any comments. Being negative rarely improves relationships and confidence.
- Talk over any observations with the Headteacher to gain a whole school perspective.
Reporting back to the governing body
- Reporting will take place at the governors meeting following the visit.
- If it is agreed that the governor is to make a written report, this should be discussed with the class teacher and Headteacher and circulated to the governors in advance.