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The Role of a Governor

St. Elphin’s (Fairfield) Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

“Together in faith, we learn, we care, we serve, we share”

What does a School Governor do?

A School Governor contributes to the work of the Governing Body as a whole in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school, through monitoring, challenging, encouraging and supporting.

The Governing Body is made up from a variety of different groups such as:

  • Foundation Governors, representing the Church (as our school is a Church School),
  • Parent Governors,
  • Local Authority Governors and
  • Staff Governors

The role of a School Governor – what a Governor does:

A Governor will be encouraged to offer contributions in Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings.  We hold 2 FGB meetings each term; one of which has a curriculum focus and the other, which has a resources focus including premises, finance, health and safety.  This is a total of 6 meetings across the school year and enables all governors to have a clear strategic overview of school focusing on:

  • Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction, ensuring that there are clear and ambitious targets set for the school;
  • Supporting, encouraging and championing the school; Governors ask challenging questions of School Leaders for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; they ensure that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum (i.e. being a ‘critical friend’);
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent; this includes the expenditure of Pupil Premium allocation; Governors also ensure there are sufficient staff, appropriately trained and working in a safe and secure building to fulfil expectations and do their jobs well.
  • Ensuring that Senior Leaders have arranged for the required audits to be carried out, have developed the required policies and procedures and that the school is operating effectively according to those policies through monitoring.
  • Acting as a Link Governor on a specific issue, making relevant enquiries of the relevant staff, and reporting to the governing body on the progress on the relevant school priority.
  • Listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders: pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers.
  • Shortlisting, interviewing and appointing teachers and the Head Teacher.

The role of Governor is largely a thinking, strategic and questioning role, not a doing role. The role of managing the school on a day to day basis belongs to the Head Teacher.

Therefore, a Governor won’t be expected to:

  • Write school policies;
  • Undertake audits of any sort, even if the Governor has the relevant professional experience;
  • Spend much time with the pupils of the school – (if Governors want to work directly with children, there are many other valuable voluntary roles within the school). However, getting to know the School, the staff, the children and their families is very important.
  • Fundraise – this is the role of the ‘Parent Teacher and Friends Association’;
  • Undertake classroom observations to make judgements on the quality of teaching – the Governing Body monitors the quality of teaching in the school by requiring data from the senior staff and from external sources;
  • Do the job of the school staff – if there is not enough capacity within the paid staff team to carry out the necessary tasks, the Governing Body need to consider and rectify this.

The current list of serving School Governors is available on the school website under ‘Governors’ and they can be contacted through the school in the usual ways.

All Governors are equal, have a variety of different backgrounds and experience and bring valuable skills and knowledge to the School.   

Please do let us know if you have any questions or if you yourself would like to consider becoming a School Governor, which is a very rewarding and fulfilling role. 

Governor Hubs

Members of the Governing Body belong to Governor Hubs which are responsible for supporting and monitoring developments within specific areas of the St Elphin's Curriculum including: curriculum subjects, resources and pastoral care and well-being. Please see attached document for further information.

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