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The Role of the Governing Body

The role of the governing board is essential to the effectiveness of a school.  Time and time again the Office for standards in education (Ofsted) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management, which includes that of the governing board. 

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools.  The role of the governing board supports the headteacher and staff by positively promoting the work of the school, celebrating its achievements and working to ensure the best outcomes for pupils.

In the Governance Handbook it states that all boards, no matter what type of schools or how many schools they govern, have three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

Each individual governor and any associate member(s) form the governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body.  This means that individual governors and associate members do not act independently of the rest of the governing board.  All decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.  As long as LA maintained school governors and associate members act within the law, governors are protected from financial liability for the decisions they take.