Friday, 9 September 2011

School Governing Body Committees Part 1

School Governing Body Committees: General Guidance and Model Structure

As it is that time of year to review Committee Structures I thought I'd run a series on Governing Body Committee Structure and Guidance.

This guidance is provided for governing bodies to help them establish efficient, effective and legal committee structures. 

We will cover:


• What are committees? 
• What committees shall we have? 


• How often should committees meet and who should convene them? 
• What are the rules governing committees? 
• What is the quorum for committee meetings? 


• How are committees accountable to the full governing body? 
• Who should Chair and Clerk committee meetings? 


• Can anyone else attend committee meetings? 
• Can staff be involved in committees? 


• What about committees involved with Human Resources (HR) issues?


If a group of governors is delegated the responsibility for making decisions on 
behalf of the full governing body, they are a committee.  

The full governing body is bound by the committee’s decisions and must take responsibility for them. 

In practice, most committees have a mixture of responsibilities, including some decision-making powers (which is what makes them committees) and some responsibilities for discussing issues and making recommendations (rather like a working group).  For example, a Resources Committee may have certain delegated powers to decide to spend or vire money and also a responsibility to recommend a draft budget to the full governing body, for its approval.

Governing bodies can also delegate responsibilities to an individual governor or the Headteacher.  The same rules apply as for committees, in terms of how the responsibilities are delegated and reviewed and how the individual reports his/her actions and decisions to the full governing body. 

Selection Panels established for the purpose of carrying out the process for selecting Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers do not have delegated responsibility for appointing persons to these posts. The decision of the selection panel must be endorsed by the full governing body.


Because of the amount of work they have to deal with, all governing bodies need an efficient committee system to carry out their responsibilities effectively. 

However, there is no single “right” way of organising committees.

In general, committees take two forms: 

(a) “policy committees” which focus on monitoring the operation and effectiveness of key areas of governing body policy and planning such as the curriculum, inclusion, pupil behaviour, finance and premises; and 

(b) “implementation” committees whose role is to consider individual cases in the light of the governing body’s policy and make decisions on the governing body’s behalf - e.g., deciding on staff salaries, reviewing a pupil exclusion or considering a parental complaint. 

No comments:

Post a Comment