Governance at Herne Bay Junior School
A Welcome from the Governors
Welcome back from the Easter holidays, I hope everyone has had a good break and the children are refreshed and looking forward to the summer term. This is always a busy period in the school year and I’m sure the children are ready to enjoy the many activities that the warmer weather allows.
This year has seen some changes to the governing body and I would like to take this opportunity to update you on that. Many of you will know that our Chair of Governors, Stuart Bore, resigned earlier this year due to work commitments. Stuart was a governor at this school for many years and gave a great deal of his time and energy to helping the school thrive. His contribution over the years has been enormously valued and we wish him well in the future.
At the time of Stuart’s resignation, I was vice chair of the governing body and have now taken on the role of chair for the coming year. I have a background in education policy and inspection and was co-opted onto the governing body just over two years ago, with particular oversight of special educational needs. David Wilkinson, a parent governor for the last four years, has now taken on the role of vice chair. David has a very strong knowledge of the school and will continue to keenly monitor its performance. Finally, I’d like to introduce our most recently appointed member of the governing body, Jenny Bailey. Jenny has an education background and also has a grandchild at Herne Bay Juniors, giving her good insight into the day to day running of the school. Jenny has now taken on the role of monitoring how well the school carries out its duties regarding children with special needs and disabilities.
While the chair and vice chair are responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the governing body, all members of this governing body share the responsibility for ensuring children receive the best possible education at Herne Bay Junior School. With the exception of the headteacher, the role of governor is entirely voluntary and demands both time and commitment. In return, governors have the chance to make a real difference. As chair, I would like to thank all our governors for their continued hard work and dedication.
Finally, I would like to encourage others to think about taking on a role in the school’s governance. We are a small group currently and there are a number of vacancies on the governing body. Mrs Nation and I would be very happy to meet informally to chat with anyone who might be interested in becoming a governor. If you wish to speak to me about this or any other matter, please make arrangements through the school office manager and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Chair of Governors, Herne Bay Junior School
Tell the Governors what your think
The Governors would love to know what you think of Herne Bay Junior School. Please take 2 minutes to complete this short survey. All responses are anonymous and will be used to make our school even better.
The Role of the Governing Body
While the day-to-day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and the Leadership team, we work closely with them on a variety of strategic matters relating to policy, direction and performance.
Every school in the country has a Governing Body. This is a group of people representing the interests of parents, staff, the local authority and the wider community who volunteer their time to work with the school to:
- provide strategic direction for the school
- set policies and procedures
- set and manage the school budget
- recruit and appoint new staff
- share ideas for development and evaluate the school’s work
- set development targets and monitor progress
- deal with serious complaints
The Governing body’s role is to provide support and act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school and to the Headteacher in moving the school forward, ensuring its success. The Governing Body of a school is accountable for its performance, its finances and the safety and well-being of pupils and staff. All of this is done by governors on a voluntary basis, many of whom do not have a background in education. Governors bring a wide range of experience to the school, including business and finance, parenting experience, further and higher education and administrative expertise.
Above all that they bring energy, commitment, enthusiasm and ideas to share with senior staff in shaping the future of the school.
The roles and responsibilities of governing bodies are clear in law and there is a defined distinction between the responsibilities and powers of the Headteacher and those of the governors.
The Governing Body should take an overview of school development, supporting and challenging the Headteacher and senior staff. The Headteacher is also responsible for forward planning but has a paid responsibility for this and for running the school.
The Governors and their roles
|Date||J Smith||J Rye||F Nation||R Newman||J Warden||D Wilkinson||J Bailey||C Thomas|
How to become a school governor
The governing body is a voluntary group made up of people dedicated to the improvement of education at Herne Bay Junior School. If you feel you may be interested in getting involved, read on to find out how.
Who can become a school governor?
Any parent of a pupil at Herne Bay Junior School can become a Parent Governor. You need to be 18 or over, a legal resident of the UK and not disqualified under the School Governance Constitution (England) Regulations 2003.
Members of the local community can also become co-opted governors if they hold certain skills.
Why become a school governor?
Governors perform the most important voluntary role in education and a full and diverse governing body can be an enormous strength to the school. Volunteering as a governor is a great way to contribute to your local community, meet new people and improve the lives of local children. You will develop transferable skills and learn more about the education system whilst putting existing skills and experience to good use.
How much time do I need to commit?
There are six Full Governing Body Meetings a year which last approximately 2-3 hours. Governors work in pairs or small teams, each taking responsibility for an aspect of the School Improvement Plan, then feeding back the outcomes from monitoring or group meetings to the Full Governing Body. All meetings are held in school in the evening from 7pm onwards. We ask governors to spend some time in school in order to undertake monitoring and familiarise themselves with the running of the school. The minimum expectation is three days a year (most employers allow time off for governor-related duties) although governors can spend more time in school if they wish.
There is also a commitment to attend relevant governor training which normally takes place in the evening. The minimum requirement is at least one training session per year.
How do I apply to become a governor?
If you are not already familiar with the school, then the first step would be to contact the school office and make an appointment to see Mrs Nation, the Headteacher and have a tour of the school. Tel: 01227 374608
Please send a letter of application to The Chair of Governors, Mr. Stuart Bore, Herne Bay Junior School, Kings Road, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 5DA. Please include a paragraph explaining why you would be suitable for the role as governor, as this information would be useful to other governors and, in the event of a parent governor election, to the parents of the children in the school.
Useful links for governors
FFT Governor Dashboard: www.fft.org.uk
The new FFT Governor Dashboard is a great ‘support and challenge’ tool for Governors, allowing schools to quickly understand key strengths and weaknesses and make more informed decisions. The dashboard has been produced in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and the National Governors’ Association
National Governor's Association: www.nga.org.uk
Provides support and information to governors, including a useful range of publications and a help-line.
Department for Education: www.gov.uk/dfe
The government department responsible for drawing up and implementing policy at a national level.
The non-ministerial government department responsible for monitoring standards in all maintain schools and Local Authorities in England. School inspections can be found on the website and there is a section on publications.
GEL - Governor's on-line training: www.gelregistration.co.uk
The training on GEL supplements conventional face to face training rather than replacing it. It provides an opportunity for governors to access training more easily from their own homes, offices and schools and promote discussion about a range of topics in governors' meetings.
Modern Governor: www.moderngovernor.com
Modern Governor has been designed to help School Governors develop their knowledge and skills through e-learning and is being used by thousands of both newly appointed and established School Governors nationwide. The e-learning is interactive and engaging, using scenario based material to make the subjects come alive.
Policies and documents
Copies of governing body minutes are available upon request. Please contact the school office.