Friday, 25 March 2011

Governing Body Health Check

Governing Body Health Check


All governing bodies want to be sure that they are providing effective shared leadership with the management team in their schools. We exist as School governors to promote high standards of educational achievement. It is important to remain focussed on this vital element of our role.

To assist governors in assessing the contribution they are making to the success of their school we have devised this governing body health check.


The health check is in four stages and is designed to take a minimum amount of governor time.

Our advice is to establish a small working group of governors who will spend no more than one hour undertaking the first four stages. You will have to work quickly especially when it comes to deciding on the evidence you will cite.

Stage One - Strengths

Spend some time in self-congratulation outlining your strengths and successes.

Stage Two - Weaknesses

Confident in your successes now realistically assess where the governing body has weaknesses. This may in fact contradict some of what you have assessed as successful. Be honest. At this stage this is confidential to the governors in the working group.

Stage Three - Effectiveness

Take on the persona of a dispassionate Ofsted inspector. Answer true or false to the statements. Don’t equivocate. Based on what you have done in stages one and two make a judgement - true or false. Then give yourselves an Ofsted grade for your governance. To help with this the criteria Ofsted use for evaluating leadership and management are at the back of
this pack.

Stage Four – Action

Look at the suggestions for action and decide if some, many, or all of them apply to your governing body. There is space for you to add others of your own. Be sure to identify how you will measure success, who will do the work and when you expect it to be finished.

Report back

Take your health check and its findings to a governing body meeting and share your experiences with all your governors. There will be some who disagree with your judgements,especially if you have found weaknesses and this is where the robustness of the evidence you cite will be important. If it supports your judgements in the governing body meeting it is also
likely to satisfy external scrutiny.

Agree an action plan and make sure it gets minuted

Over the next 3 days I will cover reviewing Strengths, Weaknesses and Signs of Effective Governance.

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

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