What do the Governors at St Mary’s do?

The Governors of St Mary’s support school leaders and the whole school community in living our mission to Pray, Learn, Love and Enjoy. Governors also hold the school leaders to account, to ensure the best possible outcomes for every child throughout their time at St Mary’s and in preparing pupils for the next stage of their educational journey.

Core Functions

Governors work together to carry out our core functions by:

1. Ensuring there is clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of St Mary’s and its pupils and the performance management of staff;

3. Overseeing the financial performance of St Mary’s and making sure its money is well spent; and

4. Ensuring the voices of stakeholders are heard.

 

Governors also ensure that the Board complies with legal and statutory requirements by seeking advice and guidance from our clerk.

 

Strategic Responsibilities

Governors work closely with our Headteacher and the senior leadership team. Our Headteacher is responsible for day-to-day management at St Mary’s whereas the role of the Governing Board is strategic. As such, Governors are responsible for:

  • determining the mission, values and long-term ambitious vision for the school

  • deciding the principles that guide school policies and approving key policies

  • working with senior leaders to develop a strategy for achieving the vision

  • ensuring that parents, pupils, staff and the wider community are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate

  • ensuring that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum such that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education and adult life

  • setting the school’s budget and ensuring it is managed effectively together with premises and other resources

  • agreeing the school’s staffing structure and keeping it under review to ensure it supports delivery of the strategy

  • ensuring robust risk management procedures are in place and that risk control measures are appropriate and effective

Monitoring and evaluating school performance

 

Governors monitor the priorities that have been set to ensure progress is being made by:

  • measuring the school’s impact and progress towards its strategic objectives

  • ensuring the required policies and procedures are in place and the school is operating effectively in line with these policies

  • evaluating relevant data and feedback provided by school leaders and external reporting on all aspects of school performance

  • asking challenging questions of our school leaders in order to hold them to account

  • holding the headteacher to account for standards, financial probity and compliance with agreed policies

  • visiting the school to monitor implementation of the strategy and reporting back to the board

  • ensuring that there are policies and procedures in place to deal with complaints effectively

 

Panels and committees

When required, Governors are expected to serve on panels or committees in order to:

  • appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders

  • appraise the headteacher and make pay recommendations

  • hear staff grievances and disciplinary matters

  • review decisions to exclude pupils

  • deal with formal complaints

Contribution to the Governing Board

St Mary’s Governors ensure that they are making a positive and meaningful contribution to the governing body by:

  1. attending meetings (a minimum of 3 full governing board meetings and a number of committee meetings each year), reading papers and preparing questions for our headteacher in advance

  2. establishing and maintaining professional relationships with our Headteacher, senior leaders and colleagues on the board

  3. getting to know the school, including visiting the school occasionally during school hours

  4. undertaking induction training and developing knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis

 

Every year Governors sign a Code of Conduct which details the behaviour and professional standards required in the role.

 

Governors’ work is divided between meetings of the Full Governing Board (FGB), attended by all governors, the Finance committee, Learning Team and Wellbeing Team (not all governors are members of the committee or Teams) and individual governor monitoring visits. The minutes of FGB meetings are available on request to the clerk to governors.

 

Please note however any questions about the day-to-day operation of the school, or any complaints, should first be directed to your child's class teacher, or the headteacher in line with our Complaints Policy.

 

If you would like more information about the work of the Governing Board or are interested in becoming a governor yourself, please contact our clerk to governors at: clerktogovernors@stmarysrc.e-sussex.sch.uk