The Role and Responsibility of the Governing Body
The Governing Body
The full Governing Body retains full powers with regard to:
- Appointing community governors to the Governing Body and associate members to any of its committees;
- Electing a Chair and Vice-Chair;
- Considering the Local Authority’s Curriculum Policy;
- Ensuring the National Curriculum is implemented;
- Deciding the policy on charging and remissions;
- Agreeing the general principles for discipline;
- Taking actions, as required or permitted by law, on matters relating to admissions;
- Deciding any changes in the time of school sessions;
- Appointing the Headteacher and Deputy Head.
Financial duties consist of:
- Setting financial priorities through the Strategic School Development Plan (SSDP), the medium-term financial plan and the annual budget.
- Deciding on how the school’s delegated budget should be spent, in accordance with the SSDP and the statutory curriculum requirements laid down by the Government.
- Approving and monitoring the annual budget.
- Ensuring the budget is managed effectively.
- Ensuring the school meets all its statutory obligations, and through the Headteacher; complies with the Local Authority’s regulations.
- Determining virement and expenditure thresholds for the Scheme of Delegation.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of spending decisions.
- Ensuring that there is a Finance Handbook containing information and a description of financial systems and procedures for all staff with financial management responsibility.
- Establishing formal procedures and a timetable for budget planning.
- Ensuring that only a balanced sound budget is approved.
- Ensuring that financial records are maintained that can provide auditors and inspectors with explanations they consider necessary.
- Responding promptly to recommendations made by auditors or inspectors.
- Monitoring the budget and implementing virements when appropriate.
- Ensuring that the school obtains best value for money when purchasing goods and services
- Establishing a charging policy for the supply of goods and services.
- Establishing and maintaining a register of business interests of Governors and staff who influence financial decisions. This should be open to examination by Governors, staff, parents and the Local Authority.
- Ensuring that financial duties of staff are clearly described to avoid potential conflicts and that person specifications and appropriate procedures are provided during the recruitment process. Performance management targets and annual appraisals to be set for staff with financial management responsibilities.
- Ensuring, in conjunction with the Headteacher that:
- Salary payments are only made to school employees
- Salary payments are made in accordance with appropriate conditions of employment
- Salary payments are only made for services provided to the school
- Appropriate statutory deductions are made (i.e. Tax and NI)
- Payroll changes are accurately recorded and promptly processed.
- Deciding, after careful consideration, whether or not to insure risks not covered by the Local Authority.
- Authorising the disposal or write-off of stock.
- Ensuring the provision of an induction pack for new Governors containing appropriate financial information.
- Establishing effective clerking arrangements for the Governing Body and the Finance Committee and ensuring that the Clerk has appropriate skills to undertake the role.
- Ensuring that the full set of competencies is available at the school with regard to the Governing Body and staff with financial management responsibility and to check that there is no over reliance on particular individuals in either of these two bodies.
Delegation to Committees:
Governing Bodies may delegate many of their functions to working committees.
The responsibilities which cannot be delegated to committees are listed below
- Instituting a Health and Safety Policy (Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools only – in Voluntary Controlled and Community schools the responsibility lies with the Local Authority);
- Consideration of the Local Authority's curriculum policy.
- Drawing up the instrument of government;
- Appointing (and removing) the chair and vice-chair;
- Appointing and dismissing the clerk to the Governors;
- Holding a full Governing Body meeting at Least three times in a school year or a meeting of the temporary Governing Body as often may require;
- Appointing and removing community or sponsor Governors;
- Setting up a Register of Governors’ Business Interests;
- Considering whether or not to exercise delegation of functions to individuals or committees
- Considering forming a federation or joining an existing federation
- Deciding to offer additional extended services activities and the form these should take
- Ensuring that the National Curriculum is implemented.
- Deciding sex education policy.
- Agreeing general principles for pupil discipline.
- Taking action as required or permitted by law on matters relating to admissions.
- Deciding any changes in the times of school sessions.
- The appointment of a Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher.
- Ensuring that daily collective worship and religious education are provided.
- Deciding the policy on charging and remission of charges.
- Approval of the school budget and School Strategic Development Plan (SSDP)