The Role of Governors

  • The Role of Governors

    The Role of the Governing Body

    Governors are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in ensuring every child gets the best possible education. Governing bodies have a strong focus on three core strategic 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
    • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


    Setting Strategic Direction

    Governing bodies are the key strategic decision making body of every school. It is their role to set the schools strategic framework and to ensure all statutory duties are met.

    The governing body should ensure that the school has a medium and long-term vision for its future. The governing body should also ensure that there is a robust strategy in place for achieving its vision. This strategy should address the fundamental questions of where we are now, where do we want to be and how we are going to get there.

    The governing body should set and safeguard a school ethos of high expectations of everyone in the school community. This includes high expectations for the behaviour, progress and attainment of all pupils in the school and for the conduct and professionalism of both staff and governors.


    Holding the Head Teacher to Account

    Governing bodies should work to support and strengthen the leadership of the head teacher and hold them to account for the day to day running of the school, including the performance management of teachers. Governing bodies should play a strategic role and avoid routine involvement in operational matters. It should focus strongly on holding the head teacher to account for exercising her professional judgement in these matters and of all other duties.


    Effective governing bodies hold their head teacher and other senior leaders to account for improving school performance by asking the right questions. This might include asking:

    • Which groups of pupils are the highest and lowest performing and why?
    • How do you plan to address gaps between groups of children to ensure all groups are making good or rapid progress?
    • What is the quality of teaching across the school? How do you support teachers to improve their skills and knowledge so that standards continue to rise?
    • Is this a happy school with a positive learning culture? How do you know?

    It is through our standards committee meetings that we provide governors with a wide range of data and other evidence to enable them to fully explore and question how we are performing as a school.


    Overseeing the Financial Performance of the School

    Governing bodies are responsible for making sure their schools money is well spent. They should do this by making sure they have at least one governor with specific skills and experience of financial matters, and by asking questions such as:

    • Are we allocating our resources in line with our strategic priorities?
    • Are we making full use of all our assets and efficient use of all our financial resources?
    • How do we compare with similar schools?

    How can we get better value for money from our budget?