What does the Governing Body Do?
The Governing Body is responsible for all aspects of the school, and is accountable to parents, funders and the wider community. It appoints the head teacher and other staff. It ensures that the school maintains and strives to improve educational standards, and manages its finances and resources correctly.
Governors also try to be a ‘Critical Friend’ to the head teacher and the school as a whole, offering support, constructive advice, a sounding board for ideas, a second opinion on proposals and help where needed. They also challenge decisions, ask questions, seek information and develop proposals in an attempt to help the school reach the best solution.
Governors do not get involved in the day-to-day running of the school. This is the job of the head teacher who leads the staff team. However, in the background, Governors are looking ahead:
- agreeing policies and priorities
- promoting effective ways of teaching and learning
- ensuring that the national curriculum is taught
- encouraging pupil's spiritual, moral and social development
- making sure that the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special needs
- the setting of challenging but achievable pupil targets with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement
- to promote continuous improvement of the performance of the school
- managing the school’s budget and resources, including premises and staffing
- setting objectives through the ‘School Development Plan’ and monitoring whether or not these are achieved
What happens at Governing Body meetings?
The full Governing Body normally meets once each half school term. The Agenda and Minutes of Governing Body meetings are available from the school Secretary’s office.
At the meetings the Governing Body discuss, among other things:-
- The head teacher’s termly report (includes school targets and achievements)
- Reports from the Curriculum and Resources committees
- The school budget and finance
- Governor training and development needs
How else do Governors get Involved?
As well as fulfilling our statutory obligations, we work alongside staff to create policies and monitor progress. We attend school functions and open days and regularly visit the school. We drive the School Development Plan which is shaped by many aspects, including the school's own self evaluation, external evaluation such as OFSTED and the School Improvement Partner, parental concerns and government initiatives. Governors attend workshops and seminars to ensure they and the school are informed of latest policies and practice and Governors attend training to build their own skills.
Types of Governor
Park Mead School is a Foundation Primary School and includes the following types of Governors. Each governor is appointed for a period of four years but may subsequently be eligible for re-appointment or re-election. All governors, with the exception of the head teacher, are volunteers.
Parent Governors (3) - Parents, including carers, of pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as governors. Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body may appoint parents.
Staff Governors (1) - The head teacher is a staff governor by virtue of their office. Other staff, both teaching and support, may become governors so long as they are paid (volunteers do not qualify). Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Any election which is contested must be held by ballot.
Local Authority Governors (1) - Local authorities are encouraged to appoint high calibre governors to schools that need most support and to appoint candidates irrespective of any political affiliation or preferences. Authorities may appoint minor authority representatives, e.g. district and parish councillors, as local authority governors.
Co-opted Governors (6) - Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. They can be individuals who either live or work in the community served by the school or are committed to the good governance and success of the school even though they do not work or live close to it. The definition of co-opted governor is wide. People from a business or professional background and minor authority representatives can be appointed as co-opted governors.
Partnership Governors (3) - Park Mead Primary School does not have a foundation or equivalent body, therefore instead of foundation governors the school has partnership governors appointed by the governing body after a nomination process.
Becoming a Governor
If you are at least 18, are enthusiastic and care about children's education, you could be a governor. Further information can be found at "Becoming a school governor" on Directgov. If you would like to find out more about possible governor vacancies please contact your chair of governors through the school or talk to someone who is a governor.
Park Mead Primary School, Park Drive, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 7HB