Being a Governor
WHAT IS AN ACADEMY GOVERNOR?
Members of the Local Governing Body are volunteers who help to run the school, At Emmanuel Junior Academy they do this in partnership with our Trust DSAT (Click here for their website). Some Governors are elected (staff and parent governors) and others are appointed by DSAT.
School governors play a vital role in promoting high standards of educational achievement. They share a common belief that children should receive the best possible standard of education in all areas of their development. This is in the interests of current and future pupils.
Members of governing bodies include:
- School staff
- Parents of pupils
- Member of the Church as Foundation Governors
- Members of the public from all walks of life.
Governors are committed to serving the best interests of the school. As unpaid voluntary public servants, they help to sustain their school’s identity and provide a link with the local community. An effective governing body is a source of enormous strength to the school. School governance is the most important volunteering role in education.
Being a school governor is very rewarding.
Governors help to make sure that all our children have the very best opportunities available. Being a school Governor is an opportunity to put something back into your community, to make a difference.
WHAT DO WE DO HERE AT EMMANUEL?
In partnership with DSAT, we are responsible for the conduct of the school and have to ensure that the education provided, and the way in which the children, staff and parents are treated, are in accordance with the law and with the various regulations laid down by the authorities. But that does not mean we try to interfere with the day-to-day running of the school – our role is that of, as they say, a ‘critical friend’. So we ask for reports on how English, Maths and other subjects are being taught and how this is reflected in the children’s progress; we ensure that every subject is taught for at least the minimum required hours; we set aside funding in the budget for new projects (such as the new outdoor gym equipment) – but we are not teachers nor school inspectors and do not try to behave as such.
We meet for full Local Governing Body meetings at least four times during the year, and also sit on some committees, such as the Strategy Group, the Quality of Education Committee and Inclusion group and the Finance and Resource group – which meet as necessary, usually at least once a term. We also have a Safeguarding Governor who meets with the Head of School as the Designated Safeguarding lead each term.
You can request copies of the minutes of the meetings from the school office.
Here's what some governors have said about being a school governor:
‘I like being part of a team, feeling that I am helping the school to improve and make a difference for the children in the community.’
‘Sharing the valuable experience I have gained over the years to help make a school in my area a fantastic place to learn’
Our Governing Body was judged by OFSTED to be good in January 2018. This is what OFSTED said about us….
Governance of the school
- Governors make a positive contribution to the school’s leadership and management. They are focused on pupils achieving the best possible outcomes. Governors work in partnership with the headteacher to identify the main areas for improvement.
- Governors use their visits to school to supplement a wide range of information they receive from the headteacher.
- Few opportunities exist for governors to hear directly from leaders, other than the headteacher,at their meetings. Responses to governors’ questions do not always provide governors with sufficient detail about the impact of the school’s work.
- Governors ask challenging questions. They have encouraged development of the school’s approach to the teaching of reading and an external review of the use of the pupil premium. However, governors’ oversight of the primary PE and sport premium funding is not good enough.
- They have not checked the impact that the funding has on pupils’ learning and development, nor published this information on the school’s website.
Since this time we have worked hard to build on our strengths and also to improve the areas for development.
THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNING BODY
In all schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the Executive Headteacher (EHT) and Head of School (HOS) to account for the educational performance of the school and pupils: constantly looking to standards and quality of provision.
- In Partnership with DSAT,overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent:ensuring accountability
- Governors get involved in the following:
- Supporting the EHT and HOS how the budget should be spent in line with DSAT's Scheme of Delegation;
- Ensuring good value for money;
- Making sure the curriculum provides for and stretches all pupils;
- Making sure the school buildings are welcoming, safe and well used;
- Setting and monitoring the school’s values, aims and policies;
- Appointing staff and making sure the right development and reward arrangements are in place.
- Working with DSAT to appoint senior staff.
Our Instrument of Governance shows the make-up of our Governing Body to be:
- 5 Trust Board foundation governors
- 2 elected parent governors
- 1 elected staff governor
- 1 headteacher (ex-officio)
- 1 Vicar (ex-officio)* ex officio foundation governor” means a person who is a foundation governor by virtue of an office held by the person
TYPES OF GOVERNORS
All governing bodies have a core group of governors consisting of:-
Governors who are elected from the parent body:
- Are elected as representatives of the interests of parents of pupils currently attending the school.
- Can continue to serve as a governor until the end of their four year term of office, even if their child leaves the school during the period.
- May express their personal views at governing body meetings, however it is expected that these views would be representative of the interests of the parents at the school.
- Should keep “in tune” with the concerns and opinions of the majority of parents.
However, it is important that when decisions are made, individual governors exercise their best judgement when contributing to the decision of the governing body.
Trust Board Foundation Governors:
- Trust Board Governors are invited by other governors to join the governing body. They are appointed by the PCC in consultation with the existing governors of the school based upon the advice and recommendation of the existing Governors.
- Trust Board Foundation governors usually live or work in the community of the school area and are committed to the good government and success of the school.
- Community members bring their own experience or skills to the governing body and can act as a link with the community in which the school serves. They are often selected for the skills that they are able to bring so that is a balance of skills to support the three key responsibilities outlined above; finance, health and safety experience, community or church working etc
- Staff governors are elected from among the staff (all staff employed at the school)
- Staff governors may give the views of the staff to the governing body, they are also free to give their own personal views and exercise their best judgement when contributing to the decisions of the governing body.
There is also the Chair of Governors, the vicar, the Headteacher and the Clerk to the Governing Body.
In addition to the Governor roles, four further individuals help to make up the Governing Body.
- The Chair of Governors provides leadership and direction to the Governing body and provides a vital link between the Headteacher, Governors and the local community. The Chair of Governors and the Vice Chair are appointed through nomination and election by the Governing Body at the beginning of the school year.
- The Headteacher sits on the Governing Body and provides regular updates and details of all aspects of school life and links with the local community. The Headteacher provides regular reports to the Governing Body and updates on all developments.
- The Clerk to the Governing body fulfils a key role as both the minute taker and advisor on all matters relating to governance and assists the Chairperson in developing the agendas for the particular meetings.The Clerk is often a bought in service from either an LA Governor Services or through a Private arrangement/Provider.
HOW TO BECOME A GOVERNOR
There are two parent governors at Emmanuel Junior Academy, and when a vacancy arises all parents are notified and given the opportunity to volunteer. Elections are held if more than one person is interested for each vacancy. We have a great relationship with parents and this shows – there are always people who are prepared to give their time to join us on the governing body.
You don’t need many special skills to become a governor, apart from a wish to help the school, but if you do have any particular talents that you think might be useful then please let us know.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
All the minutes of the Governing Body meetings are held in the school office. Copies of non-confidential minutes can be requested from Reception. The website is a good way of keeping up to date with all aspects of school life. If you have a concern or a point of view to share, please come and speak to us.
There are lots of ways of sharing your views with us. As many of our governors are also parents of children at school, we can often be found around at the beginning and end of the school day. We will also be arranging specific opportunities and times throughout the school year to hear from you and keep in touch.
Alternatively, you can always leave us a note at the school office or drop us an e-mail to the above address and we will get in touch with you.