It is difficult to summarise in a few paragraphs the role and responsibilities of the Purwell School Governing Body, not least because any summary runs the risk of missing out some important aspect of the governors’ role. The things we must ensure happen are many and varied and are described in immense detail in government legislation, guidelines and instructions.
In essence, the Governors are responsible for ensuring the school is operating effectively and in line with legislative and educational requirements. Much of the detailed work is devolved to the Resources Committee or the School Improvement Committee.
The Governors, with advice and input from the Headteacher, set aims and objectives for the school, define a wide range of policies such as Health and Safety, Behaviour, and Safeguarding and review the progress of the school over time. The Senior Leadership Team gets on with managing the school, whilst the Governors are expected to act at a mainly strategic level.
All Governors attend the regular Full Governing Body meeting which takes place once every half-term. We review the Headteacher’s report and several policies at each meeting to ensure they remain relevant and up to date. The Full Governing Body also receives updates from the committees and formally reviews the budget.
Supporting the Full Governing Body are two committees which meet once a term and focus on specific areas. The Resources Committee looks at the school’s budget and facilities and the School Improvement Committee reviews the performance of the school, whilst exploring further opportunities for improvement. We also work alongside Hertfordshire County Council and there are several additional resources that we tap into to help us fulfil our role:
- JARV (Joint Annual Review Visit) – How do they say we are doing?
- SEF (Self Evaluation Form) – How do we think we are doing?
- SIP (School Improvement Plan) – What are we going to do about it?
- SFVS (School Financial Values Standards) – How much does it cost and do we get good value for money?
As well as the formal legal role, the Governors also support the Headteacher and the staff by acting as a critical friend. We each take the lead on specific subject areas and visit the school to meet with the lead teacher to discuss plans and progress. We also have the opportunity to see the teaching in action. This helps us to better understand the work that teachers do and develop connections with the staff. We also support the school in a more general sense, by helping to ensure the school has the resources and facilities to be run smoothly and effectively.
Understanding the concerns and interests of parents and carers is important to us, so do please take the opportunity to respond to requests from the school for your view, such as in the regular Parents’ Survey.