Governance at Herne Bay Junior School
Welcome from Co-Chair of Governors.
As a parent of two former pupils, I have known for some time that Herne Bay Junior School is a special place. This knowledge is reaffirmed by the compliments received from the advisors, inspectors, parents of prospective pupils, and teachers from other schools who come to visit. All highlight the warmth and positive disposition of the children, of their keenness to learn, to share and to participate.
As co-chair of the governing body, I know that such compliments are hard won given the challenges that the School must overcome to sustain such a bright and productive environment. Like all schools, it works in an uncertain funding climate, must support an inclusive but challenging curriculum, and ensure that academic achievement does not overshadow mental and physical well-being. Parental input into how the School is run helps maintain balance and realism, and ensures that the needs of the children come before everything else. Our parent governors shape the values and ethos of the School, help build the path to higher pupil achievement, aspiration and resilience, and help the School to remain a core element of the Town’s lifeblood.
Parent governors need to be objective and critical, as well as creatively-minded and willing to commit one evening and a few hours during the day each term. We have two parent governor vacancies on our governing body, and I ask you to get in touch with me via the School office if you would like to know more about becoming a governor. You will find the governing body welcoming, inclusive and respectful. Please consider joining us.
With my thanks and best wishes,
Professor David Wilkinson
Co-Chair of Governors
Previous Messages from the Governors can be found on the Letters Page.
The Governors and their roles
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.
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 (FGB) 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, feeding back the outcomes from monitoring or group meetings to the Full Governing Body. All FGB meetings are held in school from 6pm onwards. We ask governors to spend some time in our 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, the first step is to contact the school office on Tel: 01227 374608, make an appointment to see Melody Kingman, the Headteacher and have a look round the school. You can also call the school office to arrange an informal chat with the Chair of Governors Prof. David Wilkinson.
If you would like to apply to become a Governor please send a letter of application to:
Prof. David Wilkinson, Chair of Governors,
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.
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.