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Presentation on theme: "1 YOUR GOVERNOR CONFERENCE 2014 Workshop Option 2 WHAT DOES OUTSTANDING GOVERNANCE LOOK LIKE?"— Presentation transcript:


2 2 SESSION OBJECTIVES  To consider the raised profile of governance and explore current expectations.  To identify the key characteristics of an outstanding governing body.  To explore ways of overcoming potential barriers that prevent governing bodies moving to outstanding.  To share ideas, concerns, best practice and proposals for the future.  To identify any additional support that the Local Authority or Association could consider providing to support governing bodies.

3 3 GOVERNORS’ HANDBOOK ‘The inspection framework is shining a light on the effectiveness and impact of governing bodies in raising standards of education.’ ‘…governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers in every school. They are also a key part of the overall system for school accountability. Governing bodies have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring every child receives the best possible education.’ ‘My ambition is that every school has a dynamic governing body. That means one that understands its responsibilities and is focused tightly on its core strategic functions. One that is no bigger than it needs to be with all governors actively contributing relevant skills and experience. One that operates efficiently and effectively through appropriate structures and procedures.’ Extracts from foreword by Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

4 4 QUOTES FROM RECENT DOCUMENTS  ‘As part of the Department for Education’s commitment to a more professional standard of school governance, governing bodies will be expected to act more like corporate boards….’ DfE press release January 2014  ‘Without strong and effective governance our schools simply won’t be as good as they can be’ Sir Michael Wilshaw

5 5 CORE FUNCTIONS OF A GOVERNING BODY  To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction  To hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils  To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

6 6 GREAT EXPECTATIONS Every governing body must be driven by the desire to ensure that every child receives the very best educational experience. Governors need to be aspirational.

7 7 8 ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IDENTIFIED BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR ASSOCIATION  The right people round the table  Understanding roles and responsibilities  Professional clerking  Good chairing  Good relationships based on trust  Knowing the school – the data, the staff, the parents, the children, the community  Committed to asking challenging questions  Confident to have courageous conversations in the interests of the children and young people

8 8 OFSTED EXPECTATIONS Ofsted are looking at the effectiveness of governance including how well governors: 1. Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 2. Contribute to the school’s self-evaluation and understand its strengths and weaknesses including the impact of their own work 3. Support and strengthen school leadership including by developing their own skills 4. Provide challenge and hold the headteacher and other senior leaders to account for improving the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement and pupils’ behaviour and safety, including by using the data dashboard, other progress data, examination outcomes and test results 5. Use performance management systems, including the performance management of the headteacher, to improve teaching, leadership and management 6. Ensure solvency and probity and that the financial resources made available to the school are managed effectively 7. Operate in such a way that statutory duties are met and priorities are approved 8. Engage with key stakeholders 9. Use the pupil premium and other resources to overcome barriers to learning, including reading, writing and mathematics Ofsted School Inspection Handbook, Jan 2014

9 9 CHARACTERISTICS OF STRONG GOVERNANCE Governors:  Understand their role and how it complements that of the headteacher;  Have a range of skills that bring something extra to the school;  Have technical knowledge – of education, data, statutory responsibilities and performance management;  Want to see and hear from middle and senior leaders about their work – and challenge them on it;  Have the skills and time to be a visible presence in the school;  Set challenging targets for performance at all levels including in achievement, teaching and senior management work;  Can form their own analysis of the school’s performance without relying on the headteacher;  Are ‘exceptionally well informed’ about their school Ofsted Advisory Group Report ‘Ofsted and improving governance’ October 2013

10 10 Common issues identified by Ofsted Governors who:  Are not ambitious about expectations  Lack a ‘critical friend’ approach  Are over-reliant on information from the headteacher  Do not systematically visit the school  Do not engage in school development planning  Have a limited role in monitoring and do not do so independently  Have only limited understanding of data and school quality Ofsted Advisory Group Report ‘Ofsted and Improving Governance’ October 2013

11 11 OUTSTANDING GOVERNING BODIES WILL:  Be influential in setting the strategic direction of the school in partnership with senior leaders.  Play a significant role in creating a shared vision.  Have very high expectations and demonstrate a relentless drive for improvement.  Evaluate and take responsibility for their own effectiveness.  Have a clear and accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.  Monitor the impact of interventions on pupil achievement.  Ensure financial probity, making sure resources available to the school are managed effectively.  Keep abreast of new initiatives and fulfil statutory responsibilities.  Actively engage with a wide range of key stakeholder groups.

12 12 POTENTIAL BARRIERS What factors might make it difficult for governing bodies to move to outstanding and how could these be overcome?


14 14 Further support required What additional support could the Local Authority or Association consider providing to support governing bodies who are striving to be outstanding?

15 15 FURTHER INFORMATION School governance: learning from the best May 2011 A report that looks at the principles and practices that contribute to outstanding governance


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