All maintained schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, and to ask questions.
Fielding's Governing Body is rightly proud of the achievements of the school. However, it’s drive is clear: for the school to become increasingly outstanding in more and more areas of its work, giving local children the best possible start in life.
The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Head teacher, staff and the Local Authority. Whilst the Head teacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.
Membership of the Governing Body includes parents, teaching staff and representatives from the local community and the Local Authority.
The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts. In the main, these responsibilities relate to:
Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Behaviour, Curriculum and Performance Management.
Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others, through a Governing Body meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of committee-meetings dealing with more specific issues. Two committees of governors usually meet twice each term:
A number of governors also have responsibilities for specific areas within the school. The Terms of Reference outline the specific responsibilities of the full governing body and its committees.
The National Governance Association (NGA) has published a list of skills required for school governance. An individual governor is not expected to have all the skills listed in the audit, but they should be covered across the governing body:
Governors have a legal duty to act in the best interests of their schools. Where there are personal or financial interests, which may conflict with this duty, they must identify, prevent and record the conflict. Generally, governors must not be involved in discussions or vote on matters to which their conflict relates.
At Fielding, governors sign and/or review a register of interests at the start of every meeting. From September 2015, governors also declare personal or other interests which might be a potential source of conflict: