Governors – FAQs

A message from your governors

Welcome to our updated web page. Reaching out to parents, carers and the wider community is a really important part of our role and this website is an excellent way of doing it. We have thought carefully about the kind of questions we are asked about our role and have put together a list of them. Here you can see at a glance the broad outline of our working methods and responsibilities.

 

Our job is to help the school to be the best it can be. Our aim is to achieve this through a close partnership with everyone involved in the life of the school. At the heart of all our thoughts, plans and discussions are your children. We want them to be the best that they can be.

 

FAQs

 Why do we have governors?

An effective governing body is like a good satnav; it helps the headteacher judge exactly where the school is at any given moment, where it needs to go next, and the best way to get there. It will help spot hazards along the way, suggest alternatives and generally keep a good lookout all around and up ahead. But the headteacher is at the controls.

 

Who can be a governor?

Anyone who wants to help make sure our children always have a bright future. You do not need to have specialized knowledge – just common sense and commitment.

How are you appointed?

It depends. The ideal is to have a group with a real cross-section of backgrounds, interests, experience and ideas. To achieve this, the body has to be made up of different categories of governors including: Foundation (since we are a church school), Parents, Teachers, and people representing the Local Authority. We are either elected by our peers (e.g. parents, teachers) or appointed through recommendation.

 

What are your responsibilities?

Much of what we do is laid down by law and they are the usual things that you would expect:

keeping an eye on the budget, making sure the National Curriculum is followed, appointing staff etc. Above all our job is to focus on the big picture: we look at evidence, we monitor, we listen, we plan. Our voice represents the combined advice and support of the whole school community. And that is where our job stops; how our ‘big picture’ decisions are translated into the day-to-day running of the school is the responsibility of the headteacher and staff.

 

How often do you meet?

We all meet together six times a year – once in every half term. But the detail of our work is broken down into smaller committees and these meet much more often. This detailed work informs our recommendations for the major decisions which we refer to the main governing body meetings. According to our experience, interests and expertise we divide ourselves up between the smaller committees in order to share the work load. Each committee has a chair and a minute-taker.

Can I ask a governor, especially a parent governor, to help me with a problem?

This is always a tricky one. It is easy to see a parent governor as an accessible trouble-shooter who has some sort of clout with the head/governing body. Governing bodies are not set up like this; they are not a group of individual delegates arguing the case for members of their different interest groups. They are a combined unit; they take collective responsibility and decisions. Parent governors are elected by you and are present during discussions and decision-making at all levels of business. The very fact that they are taking part in this is how they represent you all. They are not there to talk about their own children, but all the children. If they had an individual concern about their own child, they would take their governing hat off, put on their parental one and make an appointment to see the head privately.  And that is what any governor would ask you to do about your own problem. They would be delighted to help you make the appointment if it seemed daunting. Governors like to keep communication channels open and effective.

How can we contact you?

We can be contacted through the school, either at an arranged event such as at parents’ evening last term or by contacting the school office. You can e-mail the Chair of governors on admin@haresfield.gloucs.sch.uk and mark the subject as for the chair of governors. You can see how we operate by looking at our policies and the minutes of our meetings which are available  in the school office.

Recent Committee actions

  • Benchmarking the school budget against similar schools to ensure we continue to get value for money.
  • Carrying out annual premises reviews and audits with relevant departments from the Local Authority
  • Conducting reviews of health and safety procedures

Curriculum

  • Receiving regular reports from the head regarding standards and curriculum.
  • Meeting the School Improvement Partner (Local Authority overview) to review the school‘s progress against the Ofsted targets
  • Approving the S&RE, behaviour and the child protection policy
  • Meeting with subject leaders to monitor the progress of Maths and English

Staffing

Responsibility for appointments and other staffing matters

 

 

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