The headteacher of the school is responsible for day-to-day leadership of the school. The role of the Governing Body is to provide strategic management, ask challenging questions and to act as a "critical friend", in partnership with and supporting the work of the headteacher and other staff.
Governors are at the heart of how a school operates. How they do their job affects the interests of pupils, staff morale and how the school is seen by parents and others in the community.
Governors are people who have an interest in the role of schools in society and wish to make a positive contribution to their communities. They have enquiring minds and contribute to the effective running of the school and the educational achievements of its pupils.
The Governing Body is given their powers and duties as an incorporated body. The Statutory responsibilities of the Governing Body are detailed in Section 21 of the Education Act 2002. Governors do not incur any personal liability in respect of any actions or decisions taken in good faith.
The Governing Body's Statutory primary role is to help raise standards of achievement.
Standards: promoting high standards of achievement for all children and being accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community.
Targets: setting annual targets for the school's performance and for the headteacher (and ensuring that the headteacher sets targets for other staff).
Strategic Input: planning the school's future strategic direction.
Monitoring & Evaluation: ensuring systems for monitoring and evaluating progress towards achieving targets and others in the school improvement plan are in place. To receive, monitor and evaluate information about the quality of teaching in the school including lesson observations.
Curriculum: making sure the national curriculum is taught, receiving reports, monitoring progress and making sure the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special needs.
Policies: supporting the development of policies, which guide the work of the school.
Finance: deciding how to spend the budget allocated to the school and approving and managing the school's budget.
Staffing: deciding the number of staff, the pay policy and making decisions on staff pay.
Appointments: appointing the Head and Deputy Head Teacher.
Discipline: reviewing pupil exclusions and dealing with any cases of staff dismissal; agreeing procedures for staff conduct and discipline.
Inspection: drawing up an action plan after the school is inspected.
Celebrating: celebrating the staff and pupil achievements.
Spiritual, Social & Moral: deciding how the school can encourage pupil's spiritual, moral and social development.
Governors contribute to the annual school strategy review which culminates in a School Improvement Plan ("SIP") that details the strategic priorities for the school over a 1-3 year time horizon. Monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of the SIP priorities therefore forms a core part of the regular business of the Governing Body.
Schools have a delegated budget from the Government to cover salaries, running costs, maintenance and equipment; the Governing Body is responsible for managing this budget. They can decide how many and what types of staff to employ, which equipment to upgrade or replace and what the priorities are for implementing new strategies and initiatives.
Governors and Clerks are offered free training and support either by the local authority, by central Government or by other organisations.