What does the governing body (or ‘GB’) do?
The Governing Body is responsible for making sure that the school performs effectively. It does not ‘run’ the school – this is clearly the job of our headteacher – but it is responsible for making sure that it is run as best as it possibly can.
How does it do this?
It does this by working closely with the head-teacher and other key stakeholders such as parents and staff, the local Church and community, and Ofsted. It meets regularly and makes decisions collectively as a team. Our GB delegates much of its work to committees, who review areas in much greater detail and then make recommendations to the GB. Throughout, it makes use of relevant guidance, papers, observations and input from stakeholders and, most importantly, on the professional guidance of the headteacher and the school’s senior management team.
Our responsibilities may appear onerous and complicated (they are!), but, by approaching them in a structured and appropriate way, your GB is confident of success. In particular, we like to describe our role as being on three different levels:
- A ‘strategic level’ role (e.g. understanding the aims and values of the school, agreeing the school’s annual targets and plan)
- A ‘critical friend’ role (i.e. monitoring and evaluating the progress of the school, building a trustful relationship with the headteacher and staff)
- An ‘accountability’ role (i.e. being prepared to account for the school’s performance, and explaining decisions / actions to anyone who has a legitimate interest)
What Committees do we have in place at St Dunstan’s?
We have three committees. These are:
- The Standards and Curriculum Committee: this has oversight in respect of educational standards, the delivery of the curriculum, discipline and behaviour
- The Finance and Resources: this has oversight in respect of financial management, personnel and premises management
- The Pay Committee: this agrees all pay matters relating to staff, to decide performance matters relating to staff, to recommend the whole school pay policy for adoption by the Governing Body on an annual basis, and to monitor the implementation of the approved pay policy.
In addition, the GB appoints a panel in order to objectively consider any complaints which may be made to the school (Complaints Panel). There is a further panel to assesses the performance of the headteacher (Performance Review Panel).
How are governors appointed at St Dunstan’s?
There are a maximum of 14 governors in your Governing Body.
At any point in time, the appointments can be as follows:
- Appointed by the Diocese (‘foundation governors’): the inclusion of foundation governors on the GB of a voluntary-aided school such as St Dunstan’s is one of our distinguishing characteristics - it represents the historic link with the original establishment of the school and our distinctive Catholic ethos.
- Appointed by the school’s parent community: 3 'parent governors' can be appointed by the Parent community at St Dunstan’s.
- Appointed by the Local Education Authority (LEA): 1 'LA governor'.
- Appointed by the school: St Dunstan’s can have 2 'staff governors', one of whom must be the headteacher.
From time to time, the GB will ‘co-opt’ (or appoint) a governor because it is made aware of a particular expertise or interest which is made available.