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Riverhead Infants' School

Nurturing Inquiring Minds

Role of the Governing Body

Role of the Governing Body

The head teacher of the school is responsible for day-to-day leadership of the school: the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the educational performance of the school.


Governors are at the heart of how a school operates. The role of the Governing Body is to oversee the management side of a school through providing strategic leadership and direction. To ask challenging questions and to act as a "critical friend", working in partnership with and supporting senior leaders and teachers to provide excellent education for children. They consider issues such as setting the school vision, mitigating financial risk and scrutinising educational outcomes.  Along with the head teacher, the governing body sets the school’s aims and objectives to develop and improve the school.


Governors are volunteers who have an interest in the role of schools in society and who wish to make a positive contribution to the running of the school and the education achievement of all children. They come from different backgrounds and bring a wide range of skills and expertise from their professional lives to the board.

All maintained school must have a governing 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 has three strategic core functions: 

• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; 


• Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff 


• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent. 


The main responsibilities to be managed by the Riverhead Infants’ School Governing Body are outlined below: 


School Development Plan: Governors contribute to the annual school strategy review which culminates in the School Development Plan (SDP).This details the key priorities, main measures it will take to raise standards, the resources dedicated to these and the key outcomes and targets it intends to achieve.


Monitoring the priorities on the SDP forms a core part of the regular business of the Governing Body.



Governing bodies have a strategic role in the financial management of schools.

Their key responsibilities include, setting financial priorities through the school development plan, 3 year financial plan and the annual budget.


They also decide on how the school’s delegated budget should be spent in accordance with the school improvement plan and statutory curriculum requirement.


Staffing: Governors agree the staffing structure of the school, the pay policy and making decisions on staff pay. 


School Policies: Governors support the development of policies, which guide the work of the school and governors.


Educational performance: Governors hold the Head Teacher to account for improving pupil and staff performance by asking the right questions based on information and school progress data during full governing body meetings.


Curriculum: Governors ensure the school teaches a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum, designed for all learners with a focus on the most disadvantaged and those with SEND or high needs.


British Values: Governors ensure the British Values are embedded within the curriculum, preparing pupils for life in modern Britain. 


Appointments:  A governing body panel appoints the Head and Deputy Head Teacher and reviews the performance the Head Teacher, including making decisions about pay.


Behaviour, discipline and exculsions: Governors establish a statement of behaviour principles on which the school can base a behaviour policy that is designed to promote good behaviour, discipline and avoid the need for exclusions.  


Safeguarding: Governors ensure that safeguarding policies, procedures and training school are in place, effective and comply with the law at all times.


Prevent Duty: Governors have ”due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” and to oversee the incorporation of the necessary procedures and practices outlined in the Prevent duty within the child protection policy. 


Health and Safety: Governors ensure that Health & Safety policy and regulations are followed and appropriately prioritised. 


Pupil and staff wellbeing: Governors promote physical and mental health along with emotional well-being.    


School Food: Governors ensure that the school is compliant with the school food standards.


Collective Worship: Governors ensure the school provides an act of broadly Christian collective worship and that the school provides teaching of religious education for all pupils in accordance with the agreed syllabus.


Inclusion and Equality: Governors ensure that the school abides by the Equality Act 2010 and does not discriminate against pupils, job applicants or staff on the basis of race, religion, gender, age disability or sexual orientation.  


Local Community: Governors engage and communicate with pupils, staff, parents and the school community through the school’s fortnightly newsletter, parent forums and by attending school events such as assemblies (Harvest) and school performances (Christmas and summer productions) and parent consultations.  


Training: Governors and Clerks are offered and expected to attend free training and support offered either by the local authority, by central Government or  other organisations. 


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