Purpose of the Governing Board
The Governing board is a corporate body. This means it has a legal existence separate from that of its individual members. As long as governors have acted honestly, without ulterior motive, and reasonably, within the law and regulations, the governing board cannot be held to account as individuals for any liabilities incurred by the governing board.
Being a school governor is a voluntary position with board members, these days, now being considered as part of the school Leadership and Management team, subject to Ofsted Inspection. Whilst governance is strategic, management relates to operational functions. Governance has three core strategic functions:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of the staff.
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
(DfE Governance Handbook)
In practice, this means that governors are involved in decisions with respect to finance, resources and premises whilst analysing pupil performance data, including progress and attainment, as well as attendance, etc. All aspects of the role involve scrutiny, monitoring and evaluation.
Governors are expected to behave in accordance with the Seven Principles of Public Life, which comprise:
Selflessness – holders of public office should act 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 seek to 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.
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.
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.
All governors sign their agreement to Springmead’s Governor Code of Conduct, which includes the above principles. In addition, governors must obtain DBS clearance and references that confirm they are not a risk to children.
Constitution of Springmead’s Governing Board
The Instrument of Government for Springmead’s governing board states that membership can include: 2 parent governors, 1 local authority governor, 1 staff governor, 1 headteacher and 7 co-opted governors.
Parent governors are elected by the parent body, co-opted and local authority governors are appointed on the basis of their skills and experience, staff governors are elected while headteachers have an automatic right to membership due to their position.
Current membership includes:
Co-opted Governor Mrs Deborah Godbold (Chair)
Co-opted Governor Ms Roz Jones
Co-opted Governor Mr Stephen Bensley
Co-opted Governor Mrs Laura Downer
Co-opted Governor Reverend Hayley Young
Parent Governor Mr Howard Bunce
Parent Governor Professor Dirk Werling
Headteacher Karen Cayford
Staff Governor Mrs Sharon Church
Further details regarding Pecuniary Interests and Governor Interests (relating to Committees and Link roles) is available in the respective tables that follow.
Meetings and school attendance
Governors are encouraged to attend school activities and events as well as monitoring aspects of the school which relate to their particular responsibilities; for example, this might include Health & Safety Inspections, obtaining information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Behaviour Management or Finance.
We have two committees:
Standards and Achievement
Finance, Resources and Premises
Committee and full Governing Board meetings take place at Springmead School, with a 6.00 pm start. Only governors may attend these meetings. Our schedule of meetings for the academic year 2017-2018 is attached:
We maintain communication with each other between meetings, with the Chair and Clerk keeping Governors informed about matters between meetings on whatever matters need to be progressed.
The minutes of Governing Board meetings are available for Parents to view in school, once they have been approved at the next full Governing Board Meeting. This does not, however, include Confidential minutes where matters of sensitivity are discussed.
From September, we intend to have a regular governor slot in Newsletters, which will outline recent governor visits to the school. Governors may choose to participate in the school Twitter site. Parents and staff may also receive a letter from the Chair on a specific matter of importance. Other opportunities for meeting parents could be the Parents Forum or informal school events as well as speaking with parents in the playground.
Click here for more information.