Role of the Governing Body

Our board has three core functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  1. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
  1. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The core features of effective governance also apply at any scale and in any context and are common to good governance practice in the charity and corporate sectors. They include the importance of the board having:

  • The right people with the necessary skills, time and commitment, and sufficient diversity of perspectives to ensure internal challenge, all actively contributing in line with clearly defined roles and responsibilities under an effective chair and an explicit code of conduct, and with active succession planning;
  • Clear governance structures with tightly defined remits, particularly in relation to functions delegated to committees or other bodies;
  • Clear separation between the strategic and operational in terms of the role of the board and its school leaders;
  • A positive relationship between the board and its school leaders enabling robust constructive challenge on the basis of a good understanding of objective data particularly on pupil progress, staff performance and finances;
  • The support and advice of an independent and professional clerk and, in the case of academies, company secretary;
  • Robust processes for financial and business planning and oversight and effective controls for compliance, propriety and value for money; and
  • Processes for regular self-evaluation, review and improvement including; skills audits, training and development plans, and independent external reviews as necessary.

For more information on the role of the board or being a school governor, please see the Governance Handbook on the Department for Education’s website: