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St Mary's Church of England Primary School

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St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Yew Tree Road, Slough, England, SL1 2AR

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Welcome to our governance section.  Here you will find vacancies and information about school governance and who our current school governors are.

1. What is the Governing Body?


All schools are overseen by a Governing Body. The Governing Body is a group of volunteers who set the strategic vision for the school with the Headteacher, and ensure that the school works efficiently and effectively towards achieving its vision. It does this by:


  • Building a thorough knowledge of the school and its community
  • Supporting and constructively challenging the school, and
  • Ensuring accountability (judging the school’s performance openly) and compliance (ensuring the school meets all its legal obligations, for example for safeguarding children, and managing its finances appropriately)


In practice most day-to-day decisions are taken by the Headteacher and staff (including teachers, teaching assistants, office staff, etc.) but it is the governors’ job to set the direction and policies for the school; to delegate the job of delivering this to the Headteacher; to provide ongoing support and advice; and to monitor the outcome



2. What types of Governor do we have?


We have a number of different types of governor: those who are appointed and governors who are elected. We always have elected Parent Governors. All governors have equal authority and input to the Governing Body. There are 12 positions on our Governing Body.


3. What does being a Parent Governor mean?


A Parent Governor is elected by parents/carers, but actually is NOT there to ‘represent’ parents. The Parent Governor’s job is to get to know, to support and challenge (ask questions of) the school, just like all governors. Parents/carers can bring very useful insights about what the school is like for children and their families. Parent Governors can help other governors understand what being in the school is like. They are often the first to celebrate wonderful things that the school is doing! Being a Parent Governor is a very rewarding way of being involved in your child’s school.


4. What does being a Governor involve?


As a governor, you need to be able to attend at least 6 Full Governing Body meetings over the year where governors with specific responsibilities report back about their work with the school. These take place in school, in the early evening (usually 5:30pm – 7:00pm). On average a Governor needs to spend 1 hour a week on governor activities, whether it is attending meetings, visiting the school, reading reports or following up on actions. (Some weeks you will have nothing to do for governors).


Some Governors have specific responsibilities and work closely, liaising with staff who have overall leadership of the following aspects:


  • Leadership and Management, including safeguarding
  • Pupil Premium
  • Achievement and Attainment
  • Voluntary Controlled Activities
  • Curriculum
  • Inclusion/Special Educational Needs
  • Premises, Health and Safety
  • Finance
  • Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare


5. What do you NOT need to be a Governor?


You do not need:


  • To have any special experience to be a Governor.
  • To be an expert in the field of education.


6. What DO you need to be a Governor?


  • An interest in the school and in the welfare of all our children.
  • The time and willingness to get involved, for example, there will be papers that you will need to read and think about in preparation for meetings.
  • A commitment to learn over time, through getting involved and attending training.
  • The ability to keep up-to-date with current affairs and policy in education.


7. What skills are useful for Governors?


The skills you already have can be very useful to the governing body. Very important skills are:


  • The ability to be able to build relationships with a range of people.
  • The ability to listen to others, and weigh different points of view.
  • The ability to be able to work as part of a team.
  • The ability to be able to question, and
  • The ability to make connections between different types of information.
  • The ability to use ICT, i.e. school website, governors’ websites email, Word and read Excel.


All Governors need to commit to learning about schools and how to improve them. You will be offered a wide range of training to support this.

Of course all Governors do not need to be able to do everything, but amongst our Governors we need people who can learn to do a range of things, for example:


  • Listen to spoken reports, and ask questions about what you’ve been told. You might ask, “Why did the school do that? Did it have a positive impact on children? How do we know this?”
  • Read written reports from the Headteacher, and consider what they mean. You might ask questions such as “Is this thing that the school is doing having a positive impact on children’s outcomes?” “Is behaviour in the school getting better or worse?” “Why?”
  • Read detailed information about children’s progress and attainment, and look for patterns or unusual results. You might ask: “Are all children in the school progressing equally well?”
  • Read a budget report, understand a balance sheet, and consider whether the school is managing its money well. You might ask “Are we getting the best value for money here?”
  • Be part of a team that oversees performance management of the Headteacher. This group might help set objectives, monitor whether they have been achieved, provide support for personal and professional development.
  • Keep up to date with education policy and debates. Help the school keep in touch with educational research and developments in practice.


Some Governors choose to develop some expertise, for example in how best to keep all children safe, or in best practice in meeting the needs of particular groups of children, such as those with Special Educational Needs.

Governors ensure safeguarding procedures are followed


  • The governors all have enhanced DBS checks. They are aware of the legalities of the school’s single central register. If governors attend school during the working day they know that they must sign in and out..


Governors ensure that the school achieves its outcomes for all pupils


  • All data is shared with all governors. Data is broken down in to reports which identify what has gone well and where what is already being done to improve where there may be identified gaps.
  • Governors also receive reports about different groups of pupils to ensure that none are being left behind.
  • Governors are diligent in checking on the progress of the school’s development plan and receive updates each term about this. They ask about the impact that the plans are having on children and how we know.
  • Governors monitor the spending of the Pupil Premium Funding and the PE Grant.


Governors engage effectively with the school community


  • Governors are expected to visit the school during the working day, at least twice a year, as this enables them to understand how the school operates on a daily basis.