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Governance Overview

Governing Body Roles and Responsibilities


In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction.
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

As part of the governing body team, a governor is expected to:

  1. Contribute to the strategic discussions at governing body meetings which determine:     
  • the vision and ethos of the school.
  • clear and ambitious strategic priorities and targets for the school.
  • that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • the school’s budget, including the expenditure of the pupil premium allocation.
  • the school’s staffing structure and key staffing policies.
  • the principles to be used by school leaders to set other school policies.


  1. Support and challenge the school through oversight of the school’s performance; this includes:
  • agreeing the outcomes from the school’s self-evaluation and ensuring they are used to inform the priorities in the school development plan.
  • considering all relevant data and feedback provided on request by school leaders and external sources on all aspects of school performance.
  • asking supportive challenging questions of school leaders.
  • ensuring senior leaders have arranged for the required audits to be carried out and receiving the results of those audits.
  • ensuring senior leaders have developed the required policies and procedures and the school is operating effectively according to those policies.
  • acting as a link governor on a specific issue, making relevant enquiries of the relevant staff, and reporting to the governing body on the progress on the relevant school priority; and
  • listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders: pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers.
  • Ensure the school staff have the resources and support they require to do their jobs well, including the necessary expertise on business management, external advice where necessary, effective appraisal and CPD (Continuing Professional Development), and suitable premises, and that the way in which those resources are used has impact. 
  1. When required, serve on panels of governors to:
  • appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders.
  • appraise the headteacher.
  • hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters.
  • hear appeals about pupil exclusions.