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The Governance structure of the school

Here at St Paul’s we have a dedicated team of Governors working alongside and supporting the teaching staff. The Governors are in place to oversee and ensure:

  • Clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Hold the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

The Governors also carry out a number of other important duties, which include:

  • Determining how the school's budget is spent.
  • The appointing and dismissing of staff.
  • Hearing appeals and grievances.
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship.
  • Setting standards for pupils' behaviour and discipline.
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe.
  • Setting and monitoring the school's aims and policies.  

There are eleven Governors at St Pauls, (see the Governors and their roles’ page on the website) serving across three structured bodies:

 

The Full Governing Body

School governing bodies are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a good quality education. Together with the head teacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management, they set the school's aims and policies.

 

The governing body provides non-executive leadership. Its role is to operate as a board akin to the board of trustees of a charity, or the board of directors of a company. In all matters, St Paul’s governors operate at a strategic level, leaving the head teacher and senior school leaders responsible and accountable to it for the operational day-to-day running of the school.

A clear understanding of, and distinction between, the role of the board of Governors and the head teacher is crucial to effective governance. The regulations make clear that the head teacher is responsible for the educational performance of the school and for the internal organisation, management and control of the school – which includes the performance management of staff. The board’s role is to hold the head teacher to account for exercising their professional judgement in these matters and for the performance of all of their other duties. Having advised the board, the head teacher must comply with any reasonable direction given by it. 

There are three core functions consistent with the strategic role of the board. These are to:

• set the vision and strategic direction of school;

• hold the head teacher to account for its educational performance; and

• ensure financial resources are well spent.

To create robust accountability, governors ask challenging questions on the basis of robust objective data. They do not just rely on information provided by the head teacher. Rather, they scrutinise objective national data at least once a year; use visits to verify what they are told, and ensure the head teacher’s termly report provides appropriate and sufficiently detailed information.

Although governors are volunteers, they have a vital and demanding role that requires skill and professionalism. It is only right that the board of governors is accountable to Ofsted for its effectiveness. The School Inspection Handbook sets out how inspectors judge the effectiveness of a school’s governance based on criteria that directly reflect the board’s three core functions. 

The governors, as a full governing body, meet six times per academic year, in addition, committees meet once or twice per term. All Governors are expected to attend; the quorum for any governing body meeting and vote must be one half (rounded up to the whole number) of the complete membership of the governing body, excluding any governor vacancies.      

 

The Performance and Standards Committee

Five Governors sit on the Performance and Standards Committee. The committee’s remit is to:

  • Ensure that the School Evaluation Review and Learning Improvement Plan accurately reflect the performance, work and aspirations of the school.
  • Ensure that the School Prospectus fulfils legal requirements and gives prospective parents accurate and useful information about the school.
  • Ensure that the school meets its legal obligations as to school policies and that those policies are regularly revised to reflect current school practice.
  • Ensure that Pupil Premium is focused on pupils with additional needs and to ensure that the results of regular monitoring and evaluation on all groups delivers improvements and raised standards.  
  • Ensure that target setting procedures are rigorous, that targets set are challenging but achievable and take account of school, local and national context.
  • Ensure that self-evaluation procedures in preparation for a Church School inspection are completed and fully and accurately reflects the performance, work and aspirations of St Paul’s as a Voluntary Aided Church School.
  • Ensure that information on the website is up to date per current legislation.
  • To provide an annual report and prospectus to parents in at the end of the academic year. 
  • Report to the full Governing Body making recommendations as appropriate.

The quorum for the Performance and Standards Committee is minimum of three full governors with staff governors always in the minority.      

 

The Finance and Resources Committee

 

Six of our Governors sit on the F&R Committee. The committee meets up to five times per academic year, the committee’s deliberations are fed back to the full governing body by the F&R chair. The committee’s remit is:

  • To recommend a budget for the year to the governing body.
  • To assist the Head Teacher in monitoring the budget at least termly during the course of the year and to report to the governing body.
  • In consultation with the Head Teacher, to arrange spends of up to £15,000 during the course of the year, as necessary.
  • To ensure that the school complies with the financial and legal requirements of the new Schools Financial Value Standard and the council’s contract standing orders to approve contracts and supplied above the value of £30,000.
  • Periodically to review the school’s financial systems and practice against the standards set in the LA’s document – ‘Financial Responsibilities – A guide for School Governors’, and to make recommendations to the governing body on any changes required.
  • To recommend to the governing body and to keep under review the school’s charging policy.
  • To ensure that the school fund and other voluntary funds are properly audited for presentation to the governing body.
  • To receive and, where appropriate, respond to reports from the auditors.
  • To keep a register of the pecuniary interests of governors.
  • To approve the writing off of irrecoverable debts up to £150 and the disposal of surplus or damaged equipment.
  • To carry out the governing body’s responsibilities in relation to the security of school premises and equipment.
  • To carry out the governing body’s responsibilities in relation to health and safety, including recommending a draft Health and Safety policy statement to the governing body.
  • To make arrangements for governors to inspect the premises on a regular basis.
  • To carry out other or premises related tasks as delegated by the governing body.
  • To prepare for the governing body the information covering staffing for the governors’ annual report to parents.
  • To carry out other personnel related tasks as delegated by the governing body.
  • The Head and Chair of Governors/Chair of Resources sub-committee is authorised to renew any temporary and fixed term contracts which would not extend the period of employment beyond the end of the academic year in which the appointment was made.
  • The Head carries out the initial annual review of teaching staff salaries for approval by the Chair of Governors.
  • The Head is also responsible for applying the selection criteria for redundancy and making recommendations to the governors’ redundancy committee.
The quorum for the F&R Committee is a minimum of three full governors with staff governors always in the minority
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