Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three main roles of the governing body?

1. STRATEGIC ROLE

The School Governors Guide to the Law and regulations describe the respective roles and responsibilities of governing bodies and headteachers.

Governors carry out their strategic role by deciding on what they want the school to achieve and providing a strategic framework to get there. This involves:

  1. setting the aims and objectives for the school;
  2. agreeing policies, targets and priorities for achieving these objectives;
  3. monitoring and evaluating to see whether (1) and (2) are being achieved.

Governors should always take advice on all of this from the headteacher before making decisions.

Governing bodies should not interfere in the day to day running of the school – this is the responsibility of the headteacher.

Click here for Fact File 01/12 – The Strategic Role for further information

2. THE CRITICAL FRIEND

School governing bodies play a key role in improving standards within schools. They have a duty to promote the highest standards of educational achievement and must establish the strategic framework for the school, and regularly review the progress made. In order to do this effectively, school governing bodies need to be well informed and must demonstrate a rigorous analysis of school performance. It is important that the governing body monitors and evaluates progress. To undertake this successfully they need to act as the headteacher’s critical friend.

Governing bodies should ask challenging and searching questions and they should consider answers given and facts provided impartially. Schools are less likely to be judged effective if the governing body does not provide rigorous challenge and high levels of support. Remember that when a school inspection takes place the inspectors will be evaluating ‘how well governors are informed about the performance of the school’ and ‘how well governors hold the school to account for the standards and quality it achieves.’

Click here for Fact File 01/09 – The Critical Friend for further information

Click here for Governor Guide on The Use of Performance Data for further information

3. THE ACCOUNTABLE ROLE

Whilst the headteacher and staff of your school are accountable to the governing body for the performance of the school, the governing body must be prepared to explain its decision and actions to anyone who has a legitimate interest. This could include staff, parents, pupils, the local community, the LA, Welsh Government.

Click here for Part 1 of the handbook for further information