Saturday, 26 March 2011

Governing Body Health Check: Reviewing Strengths

The Governing Body Review of Strengths

Use the Ofsted criteria at the bottom of this article to assess the current state of your governing body by exploring the statements below. Make a judgement about the impact of each statement. Make sure you can provide evidence to back up your judgements.

Indications of Strength

1. The governing body makes a major contribution to the leadership with a clear focus on raising standards and improving the quality of provision.

2. It is fully involved in strategic planning and formulating policies, and supports
staff in implementing them.

3. The clerk provides advice and guidance and doesn’t just take the minutes.

4. Governors have prepared a headteacher succession strategy and are supporting distributed leadership.

5. The pattern of the governing body’s work meshes well with the school’s development cycle.

6. Governors have a good grasp of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and deal with them openly and frankly.

7. Performance management procedures are very effective and are monitored closely by the governing body.

8. The governing body improves its own performance through appropriate development activities or training.

9. The governing body understands its role in promoting community cohesion and improvement priorities link closely with local priorities.

10. The Every Child Matters agenda is embedded in school governance procedure

Grade of each of these questions 1-4 using Ofsted criteria below:

Outstanding (1)

Governors make an exceptional contribution to the work and direction of the school. They have high levels of insight and are extremely well organised and thorough in their approach. They are vigorous in ensuring that all pupils and staff are safe. In discharging their statutory
responsibilities, they have very robust systems for evaluating the effectiveness of their implementation, keeping the work of the school under review and acting upon their findings. Governors are innovative, flexible and adapt to new ideas quickly, supporting the work of the staff in improving outcomes for all pupils. They are confident in providing high levels of professional challenge to hold the school to account. Governors engage very effectively with parents, pupils and the staff as a whole and are well informed about users’ views of the school. They use these views to inform strategic priorities for development.

Good (2)

The governing body has the capacity to meet the school’s needs and is influential in determining the strategic direction of the school. Governors are rigorous in ensuring that pupils and staff are safe and discharge their statutory duties effectively. They are fully and systematically involved in evaluating the school. Their relationships with staff are constructive and they show determination in challenging and supporting the school in tackling weaknesses and so bringing about necessary improvements. Governors have clear systems for seeking the views of parents and pupils and mechanisms for acting on these.

Satisfactory (3)

Governors discharge their statutory responsibilities and ensure that pupils and staff are safe. They are well organised, are visible in the school community, and support staff and pupils. Most governors know the strengths and weaknesses of the school, understand the challenges it faces and are directly involved in setting appropriate priorities for improvement. The governing body holds the school to account for tackling important weaknesses. Governors engage often with parents and pupils and respond quickly to their views and any significant concerns
they may have.

Inadequate (4)

The governing body has too little impact on the direction and work of the school or The governing body does not challenge the school to address weaknesses and bring about improvement or The governing body’s negligence in failing to meet its statutory requirements places the pupils’ achievement or well-being at risk

The full Governing Body Heath Check from East Sussex County Council can be found here

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