The Role of the Governing Body
Every school in the country has to have a Governing Body. This is a group of people representing the interests of parents (P), staff (S), the Local Authority (L) and the wider Community (C) who volunteer their time to work with the school, particularly the Headteacher, to:
The Governing Body’s role is to provide support and act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school and to the Headteacher in moving the school forward and ensuring its success. The Governing Body of a school is accountable for its performance, its finances and the safety and well-being of pupils and staff. All of the above is done by governors on a voluntary basis, some of whom may not have a background in or work in the education sector. Governors bring a wide range of experience to the school, including business and finance, parenting experience, further and higher education and administrative expertise. Above all, they bring energy, commitment, enthusiasm and ideas to share with senior staff in shaping the future of the school. The roles and responsibilities of governing bodies are clear in law and there is a clear distinction between the responsibilities and powers of the Headteacher and those of the governors. The Governing Body should take an overview of school development, and support and challenge the Headteacher and other senior staff. The Headteacher is responsible too for forward planning but has paid responsibility for this and the overall running of the school.
The role of a governor involves:
Governing Body Recruitment
When the Governing Body has vacancies for co-opted (appointed by the Governing Body and usually from the community or business), parent (elected by parents), LA (appointed by Manchester City Council) or staff (elected by staff) governors, we aim to appoint people who can:
Governors can only be elected or appointed to the Governing Body if they satisfy certain eligibility criteria and are not disqualified from the role for 1) general rounds, 2) grounds that apply to particular categories of governor and 3) ground that arise because of particular failings or actions on the part of the governor. The Eligibility Criteria (and reasons for disqualification) for governors can be found here. All school governors must have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.
Code of Conduct
We expect all of our governors to:
Governing Body Meetings
The main way in which governors contribute their time to the school is by attending Governing Body meetings throughout the school year. The full Governing Body meets at regular intervals throughout the year (usually 3-4 times per term, including full and committee meetings) to discuss the school’s performance, issues, policies, budget and the school’s plans for forward development. The Headteacher provides governors with reports about the school’s activities, successes and challenges. Our Governing Body meetings usually take place at the school (although online at the moment due to COVID-19) on Tuesdays between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Governing Body Committees
In addition to ‘full’ meetings which all governors attend, smaller groups of governors (usually half the governors) meet in two committees (‘Resources’ and ‘School Improvement’) up to three times each year (usually prior and reporting to a full governing body meeting) to discuss, in more detail, curriculum development, assessment, standards, attendance, extra-curricular activities, finance, staffing, safeguarding, and other aspects of the school’s work. These committees take a more detailed look at the school’s work so that full Governing Body meetings can provide more of a strategic view in the time available. Committees sometimes therefore make ‘recommendations’ to the full Governing Body and for full Governing Body approval, e.g. statutory policies and the annual budget. Governors usually work on only one committee and are asked to serve on that committee because of their special interest or simply to ensure their is balance of skills across the two committees. Some governors, including the Chair of Governors, might sit on both committees. Each committee has its own ‘chair’ who is not usually the Chair of Governors.
The SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE has oversight for and may review or consider at its meetings:
The RESOURCES COMMITTEE has oversight for and may review or consider at its meetings:
Governing Body Instrument of Government / Membership
The number and types of governors appointed to our governing body is determined by our Instrument of Government and is set in law. As of Summer 2015 and the Instrument of Government agreed by the City Solicitor at that time, the membership of the Governing Body shall be:
Governors are usually appointed for a period of four years. Governors will join the governing body at different times and each governor has a ‘term of office’ which determines when they must stop being a governor, unless, of course, they are re-elected (by parents or staff) or re-appointed by the Governing Body (Co-opted Governors) or Local Authority.
Current Governors (as of 19/10/2020)
Attendance at Governing Body Meetings
Governors are asked to attend all full governing body meetings (usually 5 per year) and the meetings of the committee to which they belong. The attendance record of governors at Governing Body meetings during the last academic year can be found here: