A school's governing body is there to provide oversight of the management and operation of the school. The governors help the school take a strategic view of its activities and bring experience and expertise from other walks of life into the school. This section will tell you who the governors are, how they are appointed and elected, what they do, what their legal duties are and how you can contact them or seek to get involved as a governor yourself.
What does the Governing Body do?
The Governing Body does not run the school. That is the job of the headteacher and the leadership team. Rather, the governors provide independent oversight of the school and how it is run. The school is required to report to the governors on various aspects of management and planning and, by acting as 'critical friends', the governors can give the school an invaluable sounding board.
Some aspects of the governors' role in the school are laid down by law. For example, the governors are required to approve the school budget, as well as the school's targets for attainment in SATs. Also, if the school decides to exclude a pupil permanently that decision has to be reviewed by an independent panel of governors.
Major strategic decisions of the school also have to be approved by the governors. Examples at YFPS have been the decisions to:
What sort of people are the governors?
The governors are all volunteers and the role is part-time. Most of them have full-time jobs elsewhere. One of the major benefits of the governing body is that the governors are all able to bring experience and expertise from vastly different walks of life to bear on their work with the school. This can help the school take a more creative and strategic approach to management, problem-solving and long-term strategic planning.
The current governing body includes governors with experience in education, policy analysis, human resources, diplomacy, health and safety, management, information technology, financial services and business systems.
According to a government publication, more people in the UK today come forward to be school governors than for any other volunteer activity.
How are the governors elected or appointed?
There are a number of different routes onto the Governing Body. At YFPS the governing body is made up of:
All governors (except the headteacher and deputy headteacher, whose positions are ex officio) serve a four-year term, at the end of which they may stand for re-election or re-appointment. There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve. When a parent governor’s term ends, an announcement is made about an election and all parents or carers of pupils at the school are eligible to stand.
The chair and vice-chair of Governors are elected by the full governing body at its first meeting of each school year. The current chair of governors is Darren Jones and the Vice-Chair is Robert Owens.
How is the work of the governors organised?
The full Governing Body meets three times in each academic year. Much of the 'leg-work' of the governors is carried out by its three committees. These are:
Minutes of the Full Governing Body are made available once they have been approved.
The effectiveness of leadership and management
Darren Jones (CG)
Marilyn Attril (CG)
Emma Whiteley (CG)
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment
Sally Charnley-Smith (CG)
Robert Owens (LAG)
Esther Archer (SG)
The personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils
Tracey Bowden (SG)
Esther Archer (SG)
Foundation and Key Stage 1
Michael Deady (PG)
Emma Cameron (PG)
Darren Gould (PG)
Key Stage 2
Emma Whiteley (CG)
Matt Passmore (PG)