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Governor Training The Role of the Chair 04/02/16.

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1 Governor Training The Role of the Chair 04/02/16

2 The Governing Body A corporate body GB legally responsible for the conduct of the school HT responsible for internal organisation, management & control of school GB generally operate at a strategic level Nominated roles & delegated powers to individuals & committees if GB so wish Decisions on delegation and committee membership should focus on skills

3 Core Functions of Governors Strategy & Scrutiny Conduct school with view to promoting high standards of educational achievement GB should focus on: Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos & strategic direction Holding HT to account for educational performance and performance management of staff Overseeing financial performance & ensuring money is well spent

4 The right people round the table Understanding role and responsibilities Good chairing Professional clerking Good relationships based on trust Knowing the school – data, children, parents, staff, community Asking challenging questions Confidence to have courageous conversations 8 elements of effective governance

5 Key Role of Chair Four main elements Leadership & development Effective functioning of governing body Effective working relationship with HT Focus on improvement: Strategic development Challenge Support

6 The Chair and Governors Team Leadership Skills development Building capacity Know the school Have a clear view of priorities for improvement Motivate and encourage all governors to participate and work towards common purpose

7 The Chair and Governors Team Effectiveness Governors know what they are trying to achieve Governors know what is expected of them Governors are kept well informed Governors agree arrangements for well managed meetings Governors reflect on how things are working Governors feel trusted and valued

8 Effective Meetings Some features: Clear agreed decision-making arrangements Trained and briefed clerk Good organisation in advance and during meetings Awareness of issues Communication & ensuring all views are heard Corporate decisions Clear records kept

9 Supporting Strategic Leadership Focus on things that contribute to school improvement Understand how the school improvement cycle works Consider the bigger picture Identify opportunities for governors to contribute to improvement Build effective partnerships between the GB and HT (&SLT) Plan an annual programme of work of the GB

10 Working with the Headteacher Aim to Foster an effective relationship based on trust, accountability and respect for each others roles Ensure GB provides strategic direction Ensure GB provides a sounding board for the HT Avoid making decisions outside meetings (unless urgent) Agree ground rules for working together – frequency of meetings & issues for discussion

11 Ensure other governors (particularly Vice Chairs and Chairs of Committees) have opportunity to sample the role Encourage governors to go on training Mentor other governors Indicate time frame for serving as chair (if re- elected!) and willingness to remain on GB for a while to support a new chair, if asked. Succession Planning

12 The Church School Dimension Strategic responsibilities of Church school governors Preserving & developing the religious character of the school Ensuring the school is led and managed in accordance with the Trust Deed Agreeing a shared vision and long term strategic plan for the school

13 Christian Distinctiveness of CE Schools Key elements Ethos and Christian approach Collective Worship Teaching RE Links to Church community and activities

14 Key Characteristics of CE Schools Sometimes expressed as: Effective Rooted Distinctive Inclusive

15 Ethos of CE Schools The ethos statement is in the Instrument of Government Refer to handout The four key characteristics can be identified in the ethos statement

16 “Strong leaders and governors routinely challenge low expectations and mediocre teaching. Good governance is crucial to tackling underperformance and supporting improvement. Governance that is weak does not challenge the school about its performance or press the school to increase its aspirations.” Ofsted

17 In failing schools Ofsted found: Governing bodies failed to challenge a well- established headteacher until it was too late. Low aspirations from a lack of understanding of how good other schools were. Schools that were unable to handle the transition to new leadership, either because governors have no plan or leadership lacked depth. Ofsted

18 Assess governance against the four key judgements Achievement Quality of teaching Behaviour and safety Leadership and management (single integrated judgement – Ofsted will comment on strengths & weaknesses in GB’s work and identify any key areas for improvement)

19 Ofsted Focus on how GB: Ensure school has a clear strategic direction Support and challenge school leaders and hold them to account for the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement, behaviour and safety Manage the finances, including use of pupil premium to overcome barriers to learning

20 Ofsted: Learning from the best GBs have greatest impact when they: Pose challenging questions & test new proposals rigorously on the basis of good evidence, including their own direct experience of how the school operates Receive good information from the HT so that they can ask the right questions Ensure the best staff are appointed & retained, & they support the HT in robust performance management Keep up to date with their own training and development

21 School Context Context Data dashboard? Size of school? Performance against floor standards? % pupils with SEND? % pupils eligible for pupil premium? Pupils from various groups? Changes to staff/governors? Budget situation?

22 Key Question for GB Ofsted expect GB to ask: What do we know about the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching at the school? (Ofsted believe this bears on the two central issues in the leadership of teaching: the assessment of pupil progress and performance management of staff. They view this as the best gauge of the GB’s relationship with the HT. Quality of teaching is the main factor in the quality of the school. The GB should know how good it is & where the strengths and weaknesses lie.)

23 Questions for Governors Sample questions Have we identified our priorities? How – what evidence supports these? Have we established a plan to address our priorities? How are we monitoring progress and impact? Have we identified the next steps we need to take?

24 Diocese Local Authority NLGs (National Leaders of Governance) National College’s (NCTL) Chairs of Governors Leadership Development Programme NGA DfE Governance Handbook (November 2015) Sources of Advice and Support

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