Monday, 21 February 2011

Principles of School Governance: Effective delegation

Effective delegation

The governing body has a large number of statutory responsibilities. Some of these must be exercised by the full governing body, but the remainder are usually delegated to a committee, a working group, an individual governor or the headteacher. Indeed, it is recommended working practice that the governing body should delegate much of its work to the headteacher or to groups of its own members.

It is important to understand, however, that functions and responsibilities that are delegated are done so on the authority of the corporate body. This relates the delegation of authority to the first principle of corporateness: no governor has a right to take a decision unless the power has been delegated by the whole governing body, and then the whole governing body takes responsibility for that decision. It is therefore critical for the full governing body to ensure that it has working procedures that not only cover all its statutory responsibilities but which also are clear and transparent to all. It should have clearly defined mechanisms to ensure that the full governing body is kept informed of how groups or individuals are exercising the authority that has been delegated to them.

The governing body cannot delegate authority for responsibilities about its own constitution or which have to be handled by a committee such as an appeals panel. However, it may delegate any others to the headteacher, an individual or a committee. It should set out the terms of reference or remit within which such delegated authority should be exercised. The headteacher must comply with any reasonable direction from the governing body in connection with delegated authority.

Once the four principles and the connections between them are understood that governing body can set about securing school improvement – the topic of the next e-bulletin.

The material in this blog article has been drawn from Joined-up Governance book by Jane Martin and Ann Holt, revised edition 2010,Adamson Publishing.

It was reproduced on the website which you can sunscribe to for free here

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