Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Typologies of School governing bodies

Typologies of School Governing Bodies

Various typologies of governing bodies have emerged from various studies.

The Governing body typology is based on the power relationship between the headteacher and the Chair of Governors and the extent of corporateness of the governing body in its deliberations. There are four types of governing body.

1. A deliberative forum – where discussions of the school are determined and led by the headteacher. School Governors, especially parent governors, will not feel they can question the authority of the headteacher.

2. A consultative sounding board – where the headteacher brings policies and strategies to the governing body for consent and authorisation. School Governors authorise decisions but have little role in, or responsibility for, shaping them. There will be discussion but the headteacher decides.

3. An executive board – where there is a partnership between the governors and the school and especially between the headteacher and the chair. There “may be a division of labour.” Governors have “overall responsibility for the business aspects of the school: the budget, staffing, and the infrastructure of the building.” The headteacher assumes “overall responsibility for curricular and pedagogic aspects of the school.” In this type, “there is likely to be a strong structure of subcommittees with considerable delegation of responsibility”.

4. A governing body – where headteachers maintain strong leadership, but are seen as “members rather than leaders of the governing body that acts as a corporate entity”. Chairs of Governors have the main role in agenda setting and leading meetings. The governing body “takes overarching responsibility for the conduct and direction of the school”

Importantly, research has found that the deliberative forum and the consultative sounding board were predominant.

A factor contributing to the variation in governing body roles may well be the relationship between the headteacher and the governing body and the degree to which they share the leadership function.

This research was taken from The full 'Hidden Givers' A study of School Governing bodies which can be found linked below.

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