Brandles’ Governing Board.
Governors work with the Headteacher and senior leadership of the school to set the strategic direction for the school, agree how the budget should be spent and monitor and evaluate the school’s performance. Our work includes agreeing performance targets, ratifying school policies, approving staffing levels, the content of the curriculum and the school’s improvement plan.- SIP. We both challenge and support the Headteacher, using the range of expertise which the collective governing board brings to meetings. While the head is operationally responsible for the day to day running of the school, he is accountable to the governing board for the decisions he makes and the outcomes for pupils.
Following changes to the way Ofsted inspects schools, we are now considered integral to the leadership and management of the school and are inspected with the senior leaders. .The governing board’s committee structures, Code of Conduct and agreed processes are set at the annual business meeting, which agrees our plan of work,driven by the priorities in the SIP.
The Governance Handbook 2017 provides the legal parameters within which we operate.
Governors must be over 18, but anyone with the right skills to meet a vacancy on the board, and an interest in improving education opportunities for pupils, may volunteer. While we are all unpaid volunteers, it is important to realise that we sign up to spend time supporting the school, whether by attending meetings and events in school, attending training to develop personal skills, or just working from home to research and check information. Our Governing Board is drawn from the school and wider community and includes parents; school staff; representatives of the Local Education Authority and community governors. We also co-opt specialist support from Associate members. Realistically, this could be an average of 5 to 10 hours a month, but some months could be much busier than others.
Our Instrument of Governance- IOG- is the legal document which determines the number of members on our governing board. At Brandles there should be 10 full members.
- Two parent governors: (including carers) of registered pupils at the school. A “‘Parent” may be ‘any individual who has or has had parental responsibility for, or cares for, or has cared for, a child or young person under the age of 18’. It includes a person with whom the child lives, or who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, and must be someone involved in the full-time care of the child on a settled basis. However, in the event of there being no other applicant, if you are not a parent or carer of a child in school, but have a child elsewhere in education in Hertfordshire this will be acceptable.
- Parents are elected by vote, unless there are insufficient applications. In the case of only one applicant the governing board will notify parents before confirming an appointment.
- We have one staff governor elected by other staff.
- All paid teaching and support staff are eligible for staff governorship. Staff governors are elected by ballot by the school staff.
- The head is a member of the board
- We have one LA governor appointed by the Local Authority.
- The remaining five members, formerly community governors, now called Co-opted, are appointed by the Governing Body to represent community interests. Co-opted governors can be both people who live or work in the community served by the school, or others who do not work or live close to the school who share the goals of providing a positive education experience for the pupils of the school.
- Additionally, there are associate members who serve on one or more committees. The definition of Associate member covers those who are able to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise (for instance, Health and Safety, HR ). Associate members have limited voting rights according to the terms of their appointment. They do not have the same statutory obligations of full governors. This role might appeal to anyone not able to make a full commitment to governance.
- The Full Governing Board- FGB– meets twice in the Autumn term, once in the Spring term and once in the Summer term. The Finance and Personnel Committee meets once each term just before the FGB. Additionally, small working groups meet to approve: staff pay recommendations before they are put to the FGB; budget summaries and other performance or resources issues which then go to full meetings. These groups enable much more time to be spent interrogating the data and information provided, so that summary information can then be circulated to the whole governing board before the full meeting.
- Governors form panels which are required from time to time to hear complaints, grievance matters or in the rare case of extreme pupil indiscipline review decisions to exclude pupils. Membership of these panels requires governors to be further supported by other professionals and additional training.
- Annually, the headteacher’s own performance is evaluated by a panel of governors who, with the guidance of the School Improvement Partner, then agree with the head his performance targets for the following year.
- Governors also visit the school to observe assemblies, presentations, talk with pupils and link with curriculum staff.
Are you interested in becoming a governor? If so, please contact the Chair of Governors, Helen Jones, who will be happy to talk to you and discuss the work of governance in more detail.
Alternatively, you can speak to the head who will pass on your query to the Chair,
or call the school office to ask for a meeting to be organised.