Everything you ever wanted to know about becoming a Governor!
We are all very proud of the social and educational standards in our school. As a Governor, you would be expected to take an active role in the further development of the school. There are no specific skills or experience required, just enthusiasm and a desire to make a difference. Skills that you may take for granted in your life at home or work can be immensely valuable to us. The amount of effort and commitment required is down to you. There is a statutory minimum amount of commitment (three meetings of the full Governing Body per year, and also to attend committees that you are part of). Nationally, Governors typically contribute between 10 and 15 hours per month of time to their duties. There is an induction training course that we would ask you to undertake in order to help you to develop your knowledge and skills. We have also put in place an ongoing training program available to all Governors that covers all the key areas of Governor responsibility.
Governing Bodies of Schools
All schools have a governing body whose job it is to work with the headteacher, the local education authority and the community, to ensure that the pupils receive the best possible education at that establishment.
Governing bodies vary in size from 10 - 21 or more depending on the number of pupils in the school and the type of school, but they all have the same requirement - to work together with the headteacher in agreeing the aims and conduct of the school, ensuring that the pupils have a full entitlement to the agreed curriculum and managing the school within its allocated budget.
There are regulations within which the governing body must work. These are laid down by central government (Education Acts and Regulations) and the local authority (Instruments of Government and Schemes of Financial Management).
Principles of Working as a Governor and as a Governing Body
Governors, once appointed, are holders of public office, and should be prepared to work to the same principles as any paid public official. This is true both as an individual and as a whole governing body.
Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligations to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take, They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands this.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interest relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
(The Seven Principles of Public Life from the Second Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life - The Nolan Committee CM3270 - 1 May 1996 )
Responsibilities of school governors
Governors are appointed and elected to provide:
Governing bodies are the strategic planners of schools
In order to do this a governing body
Decisions of the governing body are made in formal meetings, either with the full governing body, or in committees if their terms of reference allow.
All governing bodies have committees which
The number of committees depends on the governing body and its needs.
All governors, once appointed, share the responsibilities and work as a team
· Individuals are part of the corporate governing body
There are no formal qualifications required to become a school governor however all governors need to be able to offer the following skills and qualities
There are certain disqualifications from being a school governor and all applicants for appointment or election must sign a declaration stating that they are not disqualified. In addition all governors have to sign a declaration of interests at the beginning of each school year.
Membership of the governing body at Worthington School
All governors are appointed or elected for a four year term. There is no restriction on the number of times a governor may re-stand for appointment or election.
The Worthington School Governing Body constitution became effective on 3rd July 2006. Under this constitution there are four parent governors, two Local Authority governors, two staff governors, and two community governors.
Governing body meetings
The Full Governing Body usually meets at least three times a year (once in each of the spring, summer and autumn terms). However additional meetings may be called if considered necessary. The Chair and Vice Chair are elected by the governors at the first meeting of each academic year or as required.
Regular meeting dates for the full governing body and the sub-committees are generally set for each academic year before the start of that year. Minutes for these meetings are taken by the Clerk to the governors (at full governing body meetings) or a nominated scribe (at committee meetings).
Governors should expect to spend at least 20 hours a term attending meetings, reading papers, visiting school, attending training courses and writing reports.
All governors are expected to:
Vacancies for Staff governors are announced to all staff by the headteacher. Vacancies for Parent governors are announced to parents via a letter from the chair, which is sent home with each child. Vacancies for Local Authoritiy governors are dealt with by the local authority. Vacancies for Community Governors are announced as widely and comprehensively as possible by the chair and/or Link Governor.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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