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The roles of a governor. David Marriott David Marriott Limited. After this session. Find this presentation and associated documents and links at Search under Events. The purpose of the governing body.

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the roles of a governor
The roles of a governor

David Marriott

David Marriott Limited

after this session
After this session
  • Find this presentation and associated documents and links at
  • Search under Events
the purpose of the governing body
The purpose of the governing body
  • To make sure the school provides the best possible education for all its pupils
a corporate body
A corporate body
  • Individual governors have no power or right to act on behalf of the GB, except where the whole governing body has delegated a specific function to that individual
  • Governors should act at all times with honesty and integrity and be ready to explain their actions and decisions to staff, pupils, parents and anyone with a legitimate interest in the school
  • Decisions demand collective responsibility: the majority view must be supported publicly – otherwise, resign
7 principles of public life
7 principles of public life
  • Openness: 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.
  • Honesty: holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Leadership: holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
  • Selflessness: 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.
  • Integrity: holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity: 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.
  • Accountability: 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.
how do heads and governors share the load

ensure school runs effectively, providing best possible education

challenge and support school to do better

take strategic view, set up policies, plans and targets

monitor and evaluate results

delegate enough power to head to run school effectively

accountable to parents and LA for how school is run

appoint head and deputy


organises, manages and controls the school day-to-day, inc all staff

expects GB to challenge and support school to do better

discusses main aspects of school life with GB

accountable to GB for how school is led and managed and its performance

How do heads and governors share the load?
the chair s role
The chair’s role
  • Managing the work and effectiveness of the GB, inc succession planning
  • Ensuring and providing accountability
  • The strategic role
  • Managing relationships with the head, staff, governors, parents, community
the governor s role
The governor’s role
  • They want you to “do something about it”
  • What do you do next?
  • One morning in the school playground a small group of parents approaches you and asks you to sort out a problem for them
  • Their children’s teacher has gone on maternity leave, replaced by a newly qualified teacher
  • They feel that the new teacher isn’t doing as good a job as her predecessor
managing the workload
Managing the workload
  • Scheme of Delegation
  • skills audit and deployment
  • committees and task groups
  • specialist governors
  • associate members
  • Standing Orders
  • Code of Conduct
  • Online participation: guidance for school governors
  • Guide to the Law
3 key roles
3 key roles
  • Provide a strategic view
  • Act as a critical friend
  • Provide accountability
strategic view
Strategic view
  • Decide what you want the school to be like in the future – vision
  • Set suitable aims and objectives
  • Agree priorities, policies and targets
  • Strategic and development plans
  • Evaluate progress towards the vision
food for thought
Food for thought…
  • Top layer: looking into the future: long term
  • Middle layer: strategic plan: medium term
  • Bottom layer: the school improvement plan: short term
education trends
Education trends
  • less money
  • decentralisation of education, curriculum and testing; revision of the National Curriculum
  • increasingly diverse range of schools with significant autonomy - Academies and Free Schools; two tier system?
  • new forms of school leadership and organisation (including federations, chains of schools, all-through schools)
  • parental choice and influence
  • accountability to a range of bodies and groups
  • performance management and professional development
  • recruitment and retention issues, alternative staffing patterns, shortage of school leaders, alternative leadership models
  • the impact of technology – social networking; mobile phones; cloud computing
  • lighter touch Ofsted inspections






critical friend
Critical friend


  • Constructive advice
  • Sounding board
  • Second opinion
  • Help where needed


  • Ask the right questions, of the right person, for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right way
  • Improve proposals
  • Seek best solution for all
where does your governing body sit
Where does your governing body sit?

High support

Partners or critical friends

Supporters Club

‘We’re here to support the head’.

‘We share everything –good or bad’.

Low challenge

High challenge



‘We keep a very close eye on the staff!’.

‘We leave it to the professionals’.

Low support

monitor and evaluate what
Monitor and evaluate What?
  • school performance data
  • policies, plans, improvement strategies
  • resources and the budget
  • the school (or learning) environment
  • our own performance as a governing body
ofsted what should schools evaluate
Ofsted - what should schools evaluate?
  • How well learners perform in terms of:
  • the overall standards they attain
  • the standards attained by different groups such as girls and boys, those from different ethnic groups, and those with different special needs
  • the progress made by different groups of learners over time
  • outcomes from learners’ personal development and well-being
sources of information
Sources of information
  • Subject leader report
  • Link governor report
  • School Improvement or Development Plan (and related progress reports)
  • School Profile
  • School Awards (eg Investors In People, Healthy Schools, Artsmark; Basic Skills)
  • Curriculum Committee minutes
  • Raw data and league tables
  • RAISEonline
  • Ofsted report
  • School Self-Evaluation information
  • Headteacher’s report
  • Pupil tracking data (anonymised)
questions about the data
Questions about the data
  • how do our results compare overall and by subject with those of previous years? (are they rising, holding steady, or falling? Have we met our targets?)
  • how do they compare with national standards?
  • how do they compare with similar schools?
  • how well do different groups of pupils progress? (key stages, year groups, gender, ethnicity, special educational needs, high attainers?)
  • how do different subjects compare with each other?
  • Being accountable for
  • School performance
  • GB’s actions
  • Taking account of
  • Performance data
  • Feedback from stakeholders
  • Self-evaluation
  • Giving an account
  • To parents and the community
  • To Ofsted
  • To Diocese
accountable for
Accountable for...
  • School performance
  • Taking account of:
  • SEF
  • RAISEonline
  • PM – headteacher performance management
  • Stakeholder feedback eg complaints and compliments
  • GB’s actions
  • Taking account of:
  • Minutes
  • GB self-evaluation eg Governor Mark
  • Training record
giving an account
Giving an account
  • To parents and the community
  • School profile
  • Reports?
  • Regular communication:
  • Newsletter
  • Website
  • Presence at school
  • To Ofsted
  • Ensuring the governing body provides effective challenge and support so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities are met
  • Fulfil statutory responsibilities
  • Shape the direction
  • Challenge and support leaders
inspecting governance
Inspecting governance
  • Ensuring the governing body provides effective challenge and support so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities are met
  • Fulfil statutory responsibilities
  • Shape the direction
  • Challenge and support leaders

The governing body has too little impact on the direction and work of the school.


The governing body does not challenge the school to address weaknesses and bring about improvement.


The governing body’s negligence in failing to meet its statutory requirements places the pupils’ achievement or well-being at risk.


Governors discharge their statutory responsibilities and ensure that pupils and staff are safe.

They are well organised, are visible in the school community, and support staff and pupils.

Most governors know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and understand the challenges it faces and are directly involved in setting appropriate priorities for improvement.

The governing body holds the school to account for tackling important weaknesses.

Governors engage often with parents and pupils and respond quickly to their views and any significant concerns they may have.


The governing body has the capacity to meet the school’s needs and is influential in determining the strategic direction of the school

Governors are rigorous in ensuring that pupils and staff are safe and discharge their statutory duties effectively

They are fully and systematically involved in evaluating the school

Their relationships with staff are constructive and they show determination in challenging and supporting the school in tackling weaknesses and so bringing about necessary improvements

Governors have clear systems for seeking the views of parents and pupils and mechanisms for acting on these


Governors make a highly significant contribution to the work and direction of the school

They have high levels of insight, are extremely well organised and thorough in their approach

They are vigorous in ensuring that all pupils and staff are safe. In discharging their statutory responsibilities, they have highly robust systems for evaluating the effectiveness of their implementation, keeping the work of the school under review and acting upon their findings

Governors are innovative, flexible and adapt to new ideas quickly, supporting the work of the staff in improving outcomes for all pupils

They are confident in providing high levels of professional challenge to hold the school to account

Governors engage very effectively with parents, pupils and the staff as a whole and are well informed about users’ views of the school

They use these views to inform strategic priorities for development


Working with a partner, decide what grade you would be given if inspected tomorrow

If it’s hard to decide between two grades, what stops you giving yourself the higher grade?