The purpose of the governing body is to help the school provide the best possible education for its pupils. We play a strategic role, meaning that we concentrate on the underlying principles of how the school is run, rather than day-to-day management issues, which remain the responsibility of the head teacher and their staff. We have a considerable number of statutory responsibilities to fulfil (such as approving the school budget, performance management of the head teacher, the delivery of the national curriculum, safeguarding and child protection policy, approving arrangements for school trips as well as other health and safety issues) and generally monitor and evaluate progress in school development and achievements.
We also play an important role in accountability. Not only is the head teacher accountable to the governing body, but the governing body in turn is accountable to parents, the LA and ultimately to the Department for Education. However, perhaps one of the best phrases used to summarise the role of the governing body is that of “critical friend”. At Coleridge we have a long history of excellent working relationships between the governing body, head teacher and staff. The 2015 OFSTED report commented that “Governors use their wide range of expertise, including in assessment data, to question senior leaders incisively and to hold them very closely to account for the school’s performance”.
We meet as a full governing body twice a term and each of our core committees (Child and Community, Resources, and Environment Health & Safety) also meets twice a term, as well as additional committees (Pay, Charities and Sponsorship) which meet as required. Between them, the committees divide up responsibility for monitoring and reviewing school policy and supporting the school development plan.
Our three core committees are:
- Child and Community – overseeing quality of teaching, wellbeing of students and performance standards such as exam and assessment results
- Environment, Health & Safety – dealing with matters relating to Health & Safety and the maintenance and management of school buildings and grounds
- Resources – overseeing the schools finances and budgeting
We also have a Pay committee, who meet as required to make decisions around staff pay and performance management, and a Charities and Sponsorship committee, who meet as required to advise the school on it’s dealings with charities and sponsors.
Membership of each committee can be seen on the Our Governors page.
At Coleridge, in keeping with our commitment to openness and transparency, the main Part One of governing body meetings is open and parents are welcome to attend. Most meetings are held in Coleridge West building, and the dates of the meetings are available on the school calendar or the Governors Meeting Dates page.