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Governing Body Roles & Responsibilities

Each governing body will agree how often to meet and when and where meetings are held. However, each governing body must hold at least three meetings per school year.

Governing body meetings are not open to the public by right. It is for the governing body to decide each year whether anyone who is not a governor, other than the head or clerk, may attend meetings. Visitors should be asked to withdraw if confidential (Part 2) items are to be discussed.

Copies of the agenda, the approved minutes and papers for each meeting must be made available at the school for anyone to read. The only exception is for Part 2 items, which the governing body has decided should remain confidential.

Individual governors only have power if the governing body has delegated it specifically to them. Decisions should only be taken by a committee, or by an individual with delegated power, or at a governors' meeting. However, there may be times when a decision is so urgent that there is no time to call a meeting. If a delay would seriously harm a person or the school, the chairman or vice-chairman has the power to take a decision on behalf of the governing body. If neither is available, the headteacher can act as necessary and must seek the governing body's retrospective approval as soon as possible. Any such decision must be reported back to the next full meeting of the governors.

The following duties and powers are given to governing bodies.

  • Deciding (with the headteacher and the Local Authority if appropriate) the aims and policies of the school, and how standards of education can be improved.
  • Deciding the conduct of the school and how it should be run generally.
  • Helping to draw up (with the headteacher and staff) the school development plan / school improvement plan.
  • Deciding how to spend the school's budget.
  • Making sure the National Curriculum and religious education is taught.
  • Making sure that all children with special educational needs and looked after children are provided for.
  • Selecting the headteacher.
  • Appointing, promoting, supporting and disciplining other staff in consultation with the headteacher.
  • Acting as link between the local community and the school.
  • Drawing up an action plan after an OfSTED inspection and monitoring how the plan is put into practice.
  • Ensuring that pupils are entered at the appropriate time for public examinations.
  • Controlling the use of school premises outside of school hours.