Jane Martin takes her monthly look at the role of governors
MUCH is said about the strategic role of the governing body - what does this mean?
Planning - what do we want to do, how are we going to do it and what resources do we need?
Monitoring - are we doing what we said we would do?
Evaluation - is it working? How do we know?
Review - what revisions should we make to our plans?
Think of it as an annual cycle, usually ending in autumn. Different aspects of work may have different cycles. Summer is a good time to ensure appropriate monitoring systems.
Are you monitoring:
Special education needs code of practice - a role for the SEN governor and SEN co-ordinator.
Literacy and numeracy - relevant governors should be working with curriculum coordinators.
Health and safety - committee needs to ensure risk assessments are carried out as per education authority health and safety policy.
School improvement plan priorities - usually discussed in curriculum committee but oten an agenda item at a full meeting.
School budget and resource management - at least termly reports to finance committee.
Use of the home-school agreement - try parent andor teacher surveys to check effectiveness.
Governors only have to ensure monitoring takes place, not do it themselves. A lot will be covered in the headteacher's report or discussed in committee. Governors need to ensure delegation and reporting systems are in place.
Nevertheless, monitoring systems should help governors develop a working knowledge of the school, via links with school staff and planned school visits.
Check monitoring systems:
Do you have different monitoring processes and do reports come from a range of sources?
Do governors understand all the data - particularly statistics?
Do governors ask appropriate but challenging questions of reports - especially about the links between resources, targets, priorities and performance?
Does monitoring lead to evaluation of progress made?