What is a Governing Body?
The Government requires that every maintained school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has a governing body. A range of stakeholders are part of our governing body – including the church, parents, local authority and staff. Governors are either elected or appointed, depending on their category.
Individual governors have no power or responsibility and may not act independently, it is only the full governing body that has legal duties and powers. However, all governors share in that corporate responsibility. The school’s direction is agreed by the governing body, Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, who work together to raise standards of achievement in the school and also make sure the school is meeting its targets. The Headteacher and Staff manage the school on a day-to-day basis.
The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.
The role of the governing body is a strategic one; its key functions are to:
- set the aims and objectives for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the Headteacher
Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors are responsible for the appointments of the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the Headteacher to make decisions about balancing resources.
School governors are volunteers who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. They do not have to have children at the school, or need to be education experts or have formal qualifications. Further information on the role of governors may be found at:
Governing Body Structure
The following is a list of the different types of Governor to be found at St Andrew’s, as laid down by our Instrument of Government. We currently have 12 governor positions and 1 vacancy, with 11 governors in post (correct at the time of writing on 25 September 2019). The Governing Body has decided to elect each category of governor for a period of four years, after which time a new election or nomination must take place.
The Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Governing Body are elected annually by governors at the first governors’ meeting of the school year. At the most recent governing body meeting held on Wednesday 9th September 2020, governors elected Dr Richard Quirk (Foundation Governor) to the position of Chair of Governors and Mr Duncan Crow (Local Authority Appointed) and Mr Mike Cordery (Foundation) to the positions of Joint Vice-Chairs of the Governing Body. Dr Quirk can be contacted via the school office or our Clerk to the Governing Body, Mrs Anita McGuinness at email@example.com.
The Full Governing Body currently meets twice every term (once every half-term). In addition, we have an Admissions Committee who meet annually to consider applications for school places and a Pay Committee who meet annually to consider the appraisal recommendations of all staff members. The Headteacher’s appraisal is carried out by the Headteacher Performance Management Panel.
Every year, all governors are required to review the Governors’ Code of Conduct and renew their commitment to it. Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate entity. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.
Categories of Governors
The Headteacher of the school is automatically a governor by virtue of their office and they have the right of attendance at all governing body meetings.
Staff Governor (1 position)
Staff Governors are elected by ballot by the teachers and other staff employed at school.
Local Authority Appointed (LA) Governor (1 position)
An LA governor is appointed by the Local Authority.
Parent Governors (2 positions)
Parent Governors are elected by ballot by the parents of children attending our school.
Foundation Governors (7 positions)
Foundation Governors are appointed by the Diocese Board of Education. They are selected because they demonstrate the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. A foundation governor has the additional role of ensuring the Christian Ethos and distinctiveness of the School is reflected in all aspects of the school’s life, according to the school’s trust deed. We also have one Foundation Ex Officio position which is occupied by the priest in charge of the parish in which the school is located.