GOVAS works closely with the Stockport Children and Young People Directorate, but we are a fully independent association of governors affiliated to the equally independent National Governors Association. Every governor in Stockport is automatically a GOVAS member (as long as your institution pays their subscriptionof £10.00 PA)and our Management Committee is made up exclusively of serving volunteer governors in Stockport’s schools – nursery, primary secondary and special. Our biggest strength is our links with all the school governors in Stockport through our newsletter, special communications, and this website.
New requirements mean that all LA maintained schools must reconstitute their governing body by September 2015 if they have not done so since September 2012. It's good practice though for all governing boards (including academies and free schools) to review their constitution and membership periodically.
You need to think whether your structure enables you to carry out the board's role effectively. The three core functions are outlined by the Department for Education:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school
- Holding the headteacher to account for the performance of the school
- Ensuring the sound, proper and effective use of the school's financial resources
The agreed constitution then needs to be populated with skilled and committed people. A skills audit should be conducted so that the strengths and weaknesses of the board are identified to allow any current or future vacancies to be targeted at creating a diverse and skilled board. The NGA skills audit was recently updated, and includes a matrix (available at www.nga.org.uk/skillsmatrix.aspx) to allow boards to collate the information.
If the board is reducing its size, there may well be a role for the chair in talking to the governors that have played less of a role. Where there are more governors in one category than there are positions, the governors in the other categories will decide who remains in post based on their contribution to effective governance.
More details on the NGA website -here -
Joint Chair, GOVAS
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