The Role of Governors
All state maintained primary, secondary and special schools, are accountable to their governing bodies, which in turn are accountable to parents and the community. Parent and staff representatives are elected to the governing body and the local authority appoints governors to the governing body.
In addition the governing body can appoint its own community governors,and it is traditionally these posts which the governing body uses to cover skills gaps, hence these posts often being offered to governors from the business community. Increasingly, local authority appointment panels also look to the skills set of their appointees.
Governing bodies make decisions which are in the best interests of the children and young people. Keeping the decision making as close as possible to those that are affected by the decisions makes for sound and efficient leadership and governance.
Toynbee Governors' Vision
The governors' vision for the school is to be the secondary school of choice in the local community through the delivery of an educational experience which balances 'Personal Best' academic progress and achievement with excellent support and holistic development for all pupils. To further build on the strengths of the school by having high expectation of ourselves and of all who work and learning in the school. These high expectations will then continue to provide and exceptional environment to promote a life-long passion for learning and discovery.
Toynbee Governors' Mission
To support and challenge the school on its mission which it articulates as being an inclusive school; a school that is for everyone. This mission means that the school caters for all levels of academic ability; provides a rich curriculum which enables all pupils to reach their full potential; offers individuals opportunities to identify strengths in order to develop their full range of skills and adopt high standards of behaviour. The governors' mission and the school's mission are inextricably linked and aim for all learners to succeed in their personal goals and be well prepared for adult life as integrated members of society.
The Role of the Governing Body
The governing body is responsible for the conduct of its school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school. It is the school’s accountable body and as such:
provides a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework. It appoints and performance manages the headteacher, agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structures.
monitors and evaluates the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets, and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy.
signs off the self evaluation process and responds to school improvement service and Ofsted reports as necessary. In addition, it holds the headteacher to account for the performance of the school and ensures that parents are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate, with information to the community being made available as required.
In order to do this, governors need to gain knowledge of how their school operates through training, by attending meetings, and by getting to know their school community, for example through a small number of visits to the school during the school day.
Governors need to work together as a team, under the leadership of the Chair of the governing body. Governing bodies are required to meet formally a minimum of three times a year. At Toynbee we meet five times a year as a Full Board and in addition we have three sub committees who also meet six times a year:
Finance & Staffing
Learning & Teaching
Pupil Welfare & Discipline
We also have special link governors who carry out specific roles in the school:-
Special Educational Needs - this includes Visual Impairment and Gifted & Talented
Health & Safety
Newly Qualified Teachers
Gifted & Talented
Governors also carry out monitoring visits alongside SLT observing lessons and interviewing panels of pupils and take part in special focus days when a group of governors come into school to carry out interviews with staff and children on ‘Safeguarding’ and ‘Inclusion.’
Governors also support the school at specific events such Open Evening & Year 6 Induction evening so that parents can ask questions and meet governor representatives.
Skills and Training
Governors do not need specific skills, but many of the tasks they are required to undertake can benefit from general business knowledge such as understanding management systems, budget planning and HR functions.
Our governors keep their training up to date by regularly attending Local authority courses and they also attend an annual governor training event which has a specific focus such as ‘Ofsted’ or ‘Child Protection’ or ‘Data Analysis.’