The governors at St Faith’s come from a range of different backgrounds including the local authority, parents, staff and foundation governors (appointed jointly by the Parish Council Committee at St Anne’s Church and the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education – the SDBE) and provide their time to help the school on a voluntary basis. The purpose of the Governing Body is to work with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to help the school deliver the best possible education, by fulfilling the following objectives:
The Governing Body has important powers and duties but limited time and resources, so it focuses on where it can add most value – that is, in helping to decide the school’s strategy for improvement in order for pupils to learn most effectively and achieve the highest standards. The Governing Body should help to set and keep under review the broad framework within which the Headteacher and staff run the school. In all its work, the Governing Body should focus on the key issues of raising standards of achievement, establishing high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning.
The Governing Board provides the Headteacher and staff with support, advice and information, drawing on its members’ knowledge and experience. In these ways the Governing Board acts as a critical friend to the school.
‘Critical’ in the sense of its responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the school’s effectiveness, asking challenging questions, and pressing for improvement to ensure we deliver our objectives. A ‘friend’, because it exists to promote the interests of the school and its pupils.
The Governing Board is responsible for ensuring good quality education in the school. The Headteacher and staff, when requested, report to the Governing Board on the school’s performance. It is not the role of governors simply to rubber stamp every decision of the Headteacher.
The Governing Board has a right to discuss, question and refine proposals while respecting the professional roles of the Headteacher and other staff, and their responsibilities for the management of the school. In its turn the Governing Board answers for its actions above all to parents and the wider local community for the school’s overall performance. The Governing Board has to comply with regulations set out by the Department of Education and is required to appoint a chair and vice-chair. The Governing Board is also required to meet three times a year at Full Governing Board meetings that generally take place near the beginning of each term.
The responsibilities of the Governing Board include assisting in the setting of targets for pupil achievement, managing the school finances, making sure that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, appointing senior staff, admissions and reviewing staff pay and performance. Some of these functions are discussed at separate committee meetings of the Governing Board, with governors selecting which committee/s they participate in depending on the contribution they are able to make. Each committee has an agreed remit, a proforma agenda and recorded minutes.
Currently there are four separate committees at St Faith’s:
Teaching and Learning
Children, Families and Community
Each of these committees meets at least once a term, sometimes more frequently, has specific terms of reference and reports to all governors at the termly Full Governing Board meeting. The minutes from these committee meetings are public documents and can be viewed by request at the school office.
Rights Respecting School/Pupil Voice
Governors welcome feedback from the whole school community and we want you to tell us what you think about how we are doing. In addition, at St Faith’s we have Class Link Governors. Each class is linked to a particular governor, which proves to be an excellent way to improve our understanding of the daily life of the school and the particular needs of that cohort. Following a class visit, link governors report the results and findings of their visit to the next full Governing Board meeting.