Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ten Golden Rules for Good School Governance

The Ten Golden Rules for Good School Governance

Abide by these and you won’t go far wrong!

1. Get to know your school

Attend the special events organised by your school and celebrate its successes

Offer to help at events or with visits

Arrange visits during the school day

Get to know the staff, the pupils and the wider school community

Seek out and read information about your school, including its performance

2. Attend meetings regularly

Make sure you note dates and times of any meetings – ask if you are unsure

Prepare well by reading all the documentation in advance – note any questions you may have or anything you want to say

If you cannot attend make sure you let the Chair know and the reason why you cannot attend

3. Be a team player

Treat all governors as equal

Be willing to help and to learn from each other

Abide by the majority decision even if you don’t agree

Don’t disagree in public with the Governing Body after a decision has been taken

If you want the Governing Body to reconsider a decision you must ask for it to be put on the agenda at the next meeting

4. Make a positive contribution

Make the most of the skills you have to offer

When in doubt about anything, ask

Make sure you are aware of the training available to governors

Make use of the governor websites and other relevant online information

5. Follow procedures in meetings

Signal to the Chair when you want to speak

Don’t interrupt others

Listen to differing points of view and learn

Don’t monopolise the discussion or refer back to matters which have been decided

Don’t raise matters under ‘Any other business’ unless it is genuinely urgent and could not have been foreseen when the agenda was drawn up

6. Remember that as an individual you have no authority

You can only speak and act on behalf of the Governing Body when it has formally delegated the power to you

The Governing Body may also delegate powers to a committee

If you want to raise a matter, you should ask for it to be put on the agenda

7. Be clear – you are neither a representative nor a delegate

You have a duty and a responsibility to put forward the views of those who appointed you
e.g. other parents, the staff etc. This ensures diverse views are put forward

However, when it comes to a vote, you must weigh up all the arguments and vote the way your conscience directs for the good of the pupils and the school.

8. Maintain confidentiality and discretion

Sometimes the business of the Governing Body is confidential-keep this confidence and act
with integrity

Although the minutes of meetings (Part A only) are made public, the details of the discussion that takes place should remain confidential

The Part two or B section of the meeting (if any) remains entirely confidential and minutes are not made public

The more trust placed in you by the school, the school community and other governors, the more effective you can be in your role as a governor

9. Declare any personal interest

Don’t use your position as a governor to gain an advantage or benefit in other situations

If a matter under discussion affects you personally and/or financially, you should declare an interest at the start and you may be asked to withdraw from that part of the meeting

10. Act as ambassador for your school

Find every opportunity to make good news public

Never talk down your school in public

Never gossip about individual staff or pupils with others

If things are going wrong, ask yourself if you are part of the problem or part of the solution

Be there for your school

The Ten Golden Rules are from East Riding Association of Governing Bodies

1 comment:

  1. Excellent list but not sure I wholly agree with point 7. Although I guess it is up to each governing body to decide how it approaches this, we've always advocated that you are elected (assuming you are) as a representative person of a particular group, but that you are NOT there to, necessarily, put forward the views of that group.

    I appreciate that you sum up by saying you must vote in good conscience, but I think governors, once elected, use their own experience, knowledge and judgement to put forward any relevant views that they think need to be considered in the best interests of the school, staff and children.

    HC (@happy_chap)