The Governors role at Huish Episcopi
"The role of the Governor is largely a thinking and questioning role, not a doing role."
As the largest voluntary body in the UK, school governance has three core functions in order to provide the highest standards of education:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the Principal (Headteacher) to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its pupils
- Overseeing the financial performance of the Academy and ensuring financial probity
A Governor's role is to advise and support the Principal and other members of the Senior Leadership Team and act as a 'critical friend'.
Schools granted Academy status are expected to incorporate as a Limited Company and the members of the previous Governing Body become Directors of that Company and are registered with Companies House. As such they are required to attend a Full Board Meeting at least once each term; they will also be asked to serve on one or more of the committees that advise the Full Board in specific areas.
These committees monitor three specific areas:
- Finance and Premises
- Pay and Personnel
- Teaching and Learning
Additionally, at any one time, there may be a number of bespoke working groups researching and advising on such matters as Governors' training, Governors' monitoring and intervention, pupil admissions and marketing. Governors also play an important role in the interviewing and appointment of new teaching staff.
Governors have the facility and responsibility to visit the Academy to witness its day-to-day activities, in order to assess and understand the progress made and the issues encountered by the Senior Leadership Team. These visits are arranged in conjunction with the relevant members of the Senior Leadership Team and are structured in a way that is not disruptive to the Academy's daily activities.
The Feedback Forum allows Governors and the Senior Leadership Team to meet regularly with parents, students and other users to discuss any issues or suggestions they may have. There is routine interaction with teachers and staff, and also parents and pupils, during visits and events in the school calendar such as Prize Giving, concerts and theatrical productions. In addition, Governors have the opportunity to link with a department within the Academy to better understand its workings. All of these extend the Governors' understanding of how the Academy is performing which in turn helps to steer the strategic direction of the Academy.
A number of Governors, alongside others, are also responsible for the management of Huish Leisure - the onsite community sports and leisure facility.
WHY BECOME A GOVERNOR?
If you have an interest in helping Huish to become the best Academy possible in terms of providing education for young people from 11-16 years of age and at Huish Sixth, then offering your services as a Governor will allow you to contribute directly to this end.
If you had a good experience of education you may be driven by wanting to contribute to a similar experience for today's young people; equally if your experience was less than good you may wish to contribute to improve the educational experience of students today.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN BECOMING A GOVERNOR?
There are up to eighteen Governors of Huish Academy - three drawn from the Academy staff, a minimum of two drawn from parents and the remainder drawn from the local community who bring with them skills and experience relevant to the role. The term of office for all Governors is four years.
Parent Governors - are elected by the parents of students at the Academy.
Co-Opted Governors - are approved by the Board. These are people with a particular skill set such as financial, business or legal acumen, or other experience and qualifications, which will help them assist in the decision making processes of the Board.
WHAT IS INVOLVED?
- There is an expectation that you attend Full Board meetings - normally one per term
- You will be asked to sit on one or two committees, as well as working groups as issues arise.
- Induction and on-going training is provided, some of which - such as that related to child protection - is mandatory.
- A committed Governor will ordinarily attend at least three routine, typically, two hour meetings per term, with approximately an hour of pre-reading and preparation (consideration of the issues) in your own time required. Academy visits are approximately one full or half day per year, plus a couple of evenings annually at events such as Prize Giving. You may, later be encouraged to take more lead roles within the Full Board such as Chair or Vice-Chair of one of the committees or working groups.
All Governors are encouraged to make active contributions to all meetings.
WHAT DO YOU GET?
- First and foremost, opportunities to help shape the education of our local young people, with a view to giving them a greater chance of a successful ongoing career, whatever their interests.
- Huge personal satisfaction that you have been involved in the development of the Academy and the students' education.
- Personal development opportunities to gain some skills and experience that your working life may not have provided. These may contribute to your ability to enhance your own work experience and will certainly broaden your skill set.
- Involvement in the management and improvement of one of the area's largest businesses.
If anything above prompts you to offer your services as a Governor of the Academy, please contact our Clerk of the Academy Board, Zoe Leach, at email@example.com adding 'GOVERNOR-DIRECTOR INFORMATION' in the subject line. Please let us know if you would like to chat with our current Chair of the Academy Board.