Sunday, 23 January 2011

Distance Learning Governor Resource: Taking the Chair

A distance learning programme has been designed by Southend Council for Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Chairs of committees to enable them to better understand the role and carry it out effectively. The programme aims to:

• Strengthen and develop your capacity to lead the work of the Governing Body

• Deepen your understanding of the role of the Chair
• Enhance your confidence and skills in managing the role and relationships
• Widen your strategies for developing the partnership between the Governing Body, the Headteacher and the staff
• Encourage you to share leadership and make good use of the skills and knowledge of others

Programme design

This programme has been designed as a self-study programme. It takes account of:

• The variety of ways in which people prefer to learn
• The different school contexts within which chairs operate
• Varying levels of experience in the role

The content of the programme has been addressed through:

• The text, to provide you with information and stimulate your thinking
• Activities to encourage you to explore how theory works in practice

The activities will provide opportunities for:

• The development of knowledge and understanding of the role of the Chair
• The development of leadership and management skills
• Drawing on existing knowledge and previous experience
• Identifying issues and problems and thinking through solutions
• Reflection – leading to changes in thinking and action which can improve the effectiveness of the Governing Body

The programme focuses on how the Chair carries out the leadership and management role rather than the detailed procedures associated with school governance. It is the quality of that leadership and management that can make a difference to the effectiveness of the Governing Body.

Guidance for participants

This is the Distance Learning version of Taking the Chair and is intended as a self-study option for those who find it difficult to attend face-to-face training or who prefer to read around a subject on their own.

Programme Content

The programme focuses on what the chair uniquely does to assist the governing body in carrying out its three key roles. The programme will enable you to develop knowledge and skills in:

• Managing relationships
• Leading and managing the work of the governing body
• Leading and managing challenge and support for school improvement

The role of the chair in supporting the governing body in carrying out its ‘critical friend’ role is threaded throughout the units.

The programme is divided into five units:

Unit One: The Chair and the Headteacher
Introduction to the course

The role of the Chair

The relationship between the Chair and the Headteacher

Unit Two: The Chair and the Governors

The relationship between the Chair and other governors

Team leadership and team effectiveness

Recruiting, inducting and developing governors

Unit Three: Leading and Managing the Work of the Governing Body

Structuring the governing body

Effective meetings and decision-making

Unit Four: The Chair’s Role in Supporting Strategic Leadership

The Chair’s role in supporting strategic effectiveness and the strategic use of information

Unit Five: The Chair’s Role in Ensuring Accountability

The Chair’s role in ensuring the school is held to account for standards and accountability to stakeholders

The distance learning course can be download or loaded online for Free from

Thanks to Southend on Sea Borough Council & Southend Governors for making this resource available online

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