What is the Board of Governors?
The Board of Governors is a group of school parents, elected by Association Members/Parents, which serves for one year to oversee the running of the school, working closely with the Head Teacher, who holds responsibility for the day-to-day management of the institution, and the Senior Management Team of the school.
It consists of three elected officers – Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, 5 Board Members and not more than 3 co-opted Members.
Why do we have a Board of Governors?
The Board of Governors represents the Association members in the demanding and complex matter of running of the school. School governors bring perspectives from their professional experience and offer guidance, advice and good counsel. They help the school provide the best possible education for all its students, appropriate working conditions for its staff, and disseminate information and, where appropriate, support for its parents. In common with all schools, VISP needs its governing body to enhance transparency and accountability and to support the school in its development, policy formulation and operation.
What do Governors do?
The Board of Governors works as a team. Members are responsible for making sure that the schoolis accountable for its performance to parents and the wider community.
It ensures that the school provides a quality, value for money education, based upon the National Curriculum for England and Wales.
It ensures that the school has an effective and realistic development plan and has an effective management structure. The Board appoints the Head teacher.
The Board ensures that the school offers a curriculum that is broad and balanced and encourages pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development as well as their academic progress.
The Board ensures that the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special needs.The Board makes effective decisions on the school’s budget and staffing.
The Board raises funds by fees, subscription, contracting loans, donations, gifts and any other method agreed by the Board of Governors of the Association , or in a General Meeting, for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of the Association.
The Board is empowered by the constitution of the school to open accounts and make investments on behalf of the Association for the furthering of those objectives.
The Board draws up an annual budget which covers the setting of school fees, salaries, major spending and any borrowing required in order to deliver the sameThe Board maintains the Scholarship Programme.
The Board commissions major building work when requiredThe Board maintains effective and fair disciplinary procedures, e.g. suspension or dismissal of staff, expulsion of students (on recommendation of Head Teacher only).
The Board holds an AGM – to give feedback to parents, elect a new Board (or re-elect the old one), appoint auditors and adopt the budget for the forthcoming year.
Governors are responsible for ensuring that children, young people, and adults in their school are treated fairly and with dignity and have equality of opportunity.
When the Board of Governors meets, what do members speak about?
The Board of Governors meets once a month. At times, if necessary, the Board meets more frequently. The Head Teacher is present in all meetings but is not a member of the Board.
The issues discussed can be categorised as follows: NB This is not an exclusive list of topics.
The strategic role, which is about:
* the vision and ethos of the school
* developing the aims and objectives for the school
* planning to maximise student performance, academically and other
The Governors play keys roles in School Improvement, adopting the ‘Critical Friend’ role, where typically members:
* monitor and evaluate the school’s work
* visit the school
* ensure that all meetings are effective by reading all papers prior to the meeting and preparing their questions for areas that they would like to discuss at the meeting
The Accountability role of the Governing Body – which is concerned with:
* reporting on progress
* reciprocal accountability between school leaders and governors
* the accountability to parents and the community they serve
What the Board of Governors does not do
As you can see from our Constitution the Board of Governors is responsible for many aspects of school life but many of these are passed on to the Head teacher to oversee on a day to day basis.
The Board does not interview/select staff for the school other than the Head teacher.
The Board will agree school timings but is not responsible for the timetabling of the school day and the day to day running of the school.
All matters of discipline with either children or staff are dealt with in the first instance by the Head teacher.
Governors will oversee the curriculum being delivered but teachers/Head teacher are responsible for its content, ensuring that it is differentiated, shows progression and that children are regularly assessed.
Governors do not make judgments on the quality of teaching. These are made by the Head of Section/Head teacher and any concerns are fed back to the Board of Governors.
Sharing of Information and confidentiality
Once the Board of Governors has been elected members discuss policies promoting the school or curriculum. These decisions are passed on to parents either through letters from the Chair or Secretary or through the Head Teacher.
What is discussed during the meetings remains confidential until a decision has been taken, and indeed thereafter all Board meeting minutes are confidential within the elected group.
The Board of Governors has been elected by the Association Members and will do its utmost to carry its duties responsibly. It has received the trust of the Association Members to represent them and will, throughout its mandate, strive for transparency, accountability and improvement.
Members of the Board of Governors do not receive any payment. Duties and responsibilities are carried out “ad honorem”.
The Board distributes ‘News from the Board of Governors’ periodically throughout the year.
|Bruno Le Gac||Secretary|
|Foram Varsani||Co-opted Member|
|Dolores Martin||Co-opted Member|
|Christina Labuschagne||Co-opted Member|