The Governing Body – Newfield Primary School
The role of the Governing Body is to support the school and ensure that it is effectively led and managed with the view of promoting high standards of educational achievement. The Governors act together and not as individuals.
Governors support, challenge and monitor the school's performance. We evaluate the effect of the school’s leadership and the management of the quality and standards of education and behaviour. This is done to support the well-being and personal development of the students at Newfield. We embrace the School Motto “Everyone Learning Together” and we keep the School vision at the core of our Governing Body decisions and actions.
The Governors meet at least twice a term, we are also invited to visit the school during the term to gain an overview on specific school themes e.g. Assessment, Numeracy etc.
Please see the link below for Information about the Governors at Newfield. The panel is made up of the Head who is a permanent member, staff, parent, local authority (LA) and co-opted governors. Each governor has specific delegated roles which include statutory responsibilities (for example, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Safeguarding). They are also members of committees. The areas that we discuss are: Curriculum, Finance, Staffing and all other governing matters. The Governors have oversight of these areas to ensure that the school meets all Government requirements.
Governors can be contacted via the school. Where an issue or difficulty may arise, please ensure that this is first communicated to the school through the class teacher / Head teacher. Please see the Complaints Policy on the Newfield Primary School website which outlines the School’s complaints process (See Key Information- Policies- Complaints Policy). The Complaints policy also sets out the Governors responsibilities.
The Clerk to the Governing Body is Nicki Parker. Amongst other duties, her role is to provide advice to the governing body on governance, constitutional and procedural matters and to produce effective administrative support. She also produces the minutes of our Governing Body meetings which can be obtained from the School upon request.
For more information about the role of the Governor, please see:
The Department for Educations Governors’ handbook:
Information from the National Governors Association:
Charter of the governing body of Newfield Primary School
Adopted March 2013
This Charter sets out the expectations on and commitment required from governors in order for the governing body to properly carry out its work within Newfield Primary School and the community.
B. The purpose of the governing body
The governing body is responsible for the conduct of the school and for promoting high standards. The governing body aims to ensure that children are attending a successful school which provides them with a good education, supports their well-being and specific needs, and helps them to reach their full potential.
The governing body of Newfield Primary School is a committed, collaborative, and well-informed body, passionate about both the mission of the school (progress, inclusion and entitlement), and also the values of Newfield Primary School, willing to challenge and support in equal measure.
C. Key functions of the governing body:
- Set the strategic direction of the school by:
- Setting the values, aims and objectives for the school;
- Agreeing the policy framework for achieving those aims and objectives;
- Setting targets for achieving the aims and objectives;
- Agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes approving the budget and agreeing the staffing structure.
- Challenge and support the school by having mechanisms in place to monitor, review and evaluate:
- The implementation and effectiveness of the policy framework;
- Progress towards targets;
- The implementation and effectiveness of the school improvement strategy;
- The budget and annual expenditure in line with the budget;
- The staffing structure;
- The performance management regime implemented from time to time.
- Ensure accountability by:
- Holding the headteacher to account for the performance of the school;
- Signing off the school’s own self-evaluation report;
- Responding to Ofsted reports when necessary;
- Ensuring staff, parents and pupils are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate;
- Making available information to the community.
D. The governing body and the headteacher
- The governing body appoints and performance manages the headteacher.
- The headteacher has the responsibility for the internal organisation, day to day management of the school and for implementation of the approved strategic framework and school improvement strategy, and delivery of the curriculum. Governors are not expected to be involved in the day to day management of the school.
- The aims and objectives of Newfield Primary School should be set by the governing body in consultation with the headteacher or the function can be delegated to the headteacher and the senior leadership team but the aims and objectives must be subsequently agreed with and monitored by the governing body.
- The governing body will delegate enough powers to the head teacher to allow him/her to perform his/her management duties. The headteacher must then report back to the governing body so that it feels confident that it is fulfilling its statutory duties. Acting as a ‘critical friend’, the governing body should offer support and constructive advice, but should not be deterred from questioning proposals and further information or evidence to enable them to make sound decisions.
- The headteacher will:
- Respect governors as volunteers who bring additional skills, experience and perspectives, and value their contribution;
- Work openly with the governing body and provide clear, concise and relevant information on which the governing body can base decisions;
- Promptly provide any reasonable information requested by the governing body;
- Ensure appropriate paperwork is available to governors with meeting agendas;
- Be approachable and accept governors’ role of ‘critical friend’;
- Enable all governors to be involved in the life of the school;
- Contribute to the induction, training and development of governors.
E. The role of a governor
Obligations of individual governors
In law the governing body is a corporate body, which means:
- The governing body as a whole is liable for decisions made but no individual governor is legally liable.
- No governor can act on her/his own without proper authority from the full governing body; and
- All governors carry equal responsibility for decisions made.
- The governing body can however delegate specific responsibilities to an individual governor for Child Protection, SEN, and Health and safety. However this individual must report back to the governing body and is not personally liable.
Individual governors are obliged to:
- Respect confidentiality and support decisions of the governing body as a whole;
- Act and take decisions that are in the interest of the school and not those of self, individuals or groups;
- Demonstrate their commitment by getting to know the school and becoming involved in school life and activities, whilst respecting the guidelines laid down for governor visits to the school;
- Take a proactive approach to their own training and development, in particular committing time to understand how performance is measured and evaluated within the school, taking into account Ofsted guidelines and the particular needs of the school.
- Express views openly, courteously and respectfully in all communications with other governors and staff.
- Always have the well-being and attainment of the children and the reputation of the school at heart;
- Act as an ambassador for the school, publicly supporting its aims, values and ethos.
- Be aware of and accept the Nolan seven principles of public life, as set out at Appendix 1.
2. Meetings and committees:
- Regularly attend meetings, including full governing body meetings and relevant committee meetings; and where this is impossible, send apologies with an explanation to the clerk or the chair of the meeting;
- Be prepared to contribute personal skills through involving themselves in the work of appropriate committees;
- Prepare for all meetings so they are well informed, having as a minimum read all the papers sent out with the agenda.
- Encourage and contribute to open debate at the governing body meetings, listen to and respect the points of view of other governors even where these differ from their own;
- Raise concerns with the headteacher between meetings in a positive and constructive way.
F. Operating principles for the governing body
- Give sufficient notice of meetings and distribute paperwork to all governors in good time, at least a week before the meeting;
- Ensure that meetings are chaired effectively so that the chair keeps to the agenda, paces the meeting so that time is given to each matter in proportion to its importance, draws on all members for contribution, and keeps discussion to the point;
- Ensure that accurate draft minutes are produced promptly following meetings and agreed at the following meeting;
- Supports the training and development needs of all governors, supports leadership development and succession planning within the school;
- Organise meetings around alternate business-focussed and strategy-focussed meetings, with agreement of governors regarding strategic issues for discussion at the end of each business-focussed meeting;
- Agree an agenda of key business and strategic items which must be brought before relevant committees and/or the governing body over the course of a school year.
- Ensure that its operation and processes are transparent, including producing an annual governor’s report for the school which will be published to staff, pupils and the wider community.
This Charter will be reviewed by the governing body and adopted on an annual basis.
Appendix 1: The Seven Principles of Public Life
(originally published by the Nolan Committee: The Committee on Standards in Public Life was established by the then Prime Minister in October 1994, under the Chairmanship of Lord Nolan, to consider standards of conduct in various areas of public life, and to make recommendations).
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.