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Working with governors - headteachers and senior teams

  • Gather the skills you need for your school on the governing body/ directors/ trustees, in particular for finance, and offer training to strengthen the understanding of how finance links to educational experience and pupil outcomes.
  • Herts for Learning provide a governors service for Hertforshire schools.
  • Work with a key governor/s out of the meeting cycle to promote deeper understanding and therefore a greater contribution from them.
  • Ensure the finance subcommittee has a clear meeting cycle and makes the appropriate links between the curriculum and learning. If the school has to reduce spend, both of these committees should have a comprehensive understanding of how reductions need to be made and the implications. When you make recommendations for a shift in expenditure, the governors will then be in a position to question you, understand your thinking and support you.

Carley Holliman, Headteacher and Liz Redman, School Business Manager - Brockswood Primary School - Discuss working together to ensure governors are able to discharge their duties and provide challenge and support for the school

  • Some governors will have experienced budget cuts, reduction of staff and the push for greater productivity in their work environments; you can make use of this experience to help you and the school.
  • Ensure the governors receive information in a way that is accessible and timely. You are obliged to ensure they have access to data that enables them to reach a view about how well the school is doing and, for the purposes of this toolkit, establish with you that the funding is spent in a way that supports pupil success and educational outcomes.
  • This enables the governors to monitor, challenge, contribute and support difficult or controversial decisions. Encourage challenge, as this makes having governors particularly worthwhile and can generate new thinking as well as clarifying what works well in a particular school.
  • For all concerned, establish the line between running the school operationally and the strategic overview, and use the time and expertise that governors offer to ensure the advice you receive has an impact.
  • Remember that the governors are holding you to account on behalf of the local community and the DfE for pupils’ achievements, experience, progress, educational outcomes and the ethos of the school, plus the way in which public money is spent to further these areas. The governors have statutory obligations and it is incumbent on the head, senior leadership team, business manager and other relevant post holders to ensure they are able to fulfil these duties.

James Roach, Headteacher and Sharon Carlyon, School Business Manager, Laurance Haines Primary School - Discuss working in partnership with governors

  • Ensure that discussions and meetings are recorded well. Some governing bodies have robust discussions, demonstrate challenge and hold the head to account, but do not have sufficiently detailed records to refer back to or to demonstrate their processes to external bodies such as Ofsted.
  • Please note: the DfE Governance hand book has been refreshed and demonstrates the direction of travel the DfE is currently promoting - www.gov.uk/government/publications/governance-handbook

> For governors

Contact

Herts for Learning
01438 843263