What is a School Governor?
School governors are volunteers who help to run the school. Some are elected (staff and parent governors) and others are appointed either by the local authority or from the local community.
What do governors do?
School governors have a wide range of responsibilities, helping to raise standards of pupil achievement and planning the school’s future direction, always in consultation with the Headteacher and other staff. We are also accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community.
There are three core functions that support the roles above:
We are not expected to take detailed decisions about the day-to-day management of the school, we are not responsible for the ‘conduct’ of the school or the ‘running’ of the school, that is the job of the Headteacher.
Governors’ responsibilities include:
Helping to establish the aims and policies of the school and how standards of education can be constantly improved
Ensuring that a broad and balanced curriculum is delivered and that it meets statutory requirements, while promoting high standards and monitoring progress during the year
Appointing, challenging and supporting the Headteacher (being a ‘critical friend’)
Acting as a link between the local community and the school
Helping to set and manage the school budget
Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff
At St Nick’s we do this on several levels. We meet as a Full Governing Body about five times a year but also in four main committees, where certain aspects of the school are considered in more detail. At present our committees are:-
PPW (Pupil & Personnel Welfare) – dealing with welfare of pupils and staff. Includes SEN children, safeguarding, e-safety and staffing issues.
Individual governors are also linked with a particular area, such as Special Educational Needs, Safeguarding, a curriculum subject or a year group. All governors are encouraged to visit the school during the working day if they can, but we do not interfere in the day-to-day teaching or running of the school: we leave that to the professionals!
North Somerset provides training in all aspects of governors’ responsibilities and we take full advantage of that, in order to be as effective as possible.
At St Nick’s we have 15 governors, a lively and dedicated team who work hard for the school.
We have recently changed the way we govern the school in line with government guidelines, the new structure can be seen in the Instrument of Governance below.
From left to right – Sue Whitehead, Pat Garland, Nick Kell, Ron Van Der Holt, Sue Brown, Thelma Maslen, Jean Balcombe, Alison Elliott, Peter Treasure-Smith, Esther Frisby, John Barnett, Steve Lewis, Sue Warren-Cox, Caroline Van Marle.
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