The governing board are representatives of parents, staff and the local community who oversee the strategic direction of the school.
If you would like to contact our governors, please email Chair of Governors, Carol Roberts on: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out who our governors are, on our Governors page.
The school council invited the governors along to a meeting to find out more about what we do. David Lamboll and Ken Trout went along to face the questions.
What is a governor’s job?
Governors are friends to the school; they ask questions to help us develop and they share any concerns that they have and make sure things are fair.
Would you rather work on your own or in a group?
Mr Lamboll said that often he likes to work on a task individually, but he likes to collaborate with others too. Mr Trout said he felt it was good to work in a group as that helps you to get a wider view and make sure that we don’t miss things.
If all the governors don’t agree with each other, how do they sort it out?
The governors work in groups called committees. In their committees they discuss and share ideas, they listen to each other and they vote on ideas. Sometimes the committees come together to share and vote on ideas. They have a democracy – just like on school council.
How do you think our school is doing?
Governors think our school is doing really well and if it wasn’t they would talk about it in their committees. They said that the OFSTED inspectors liked how the children behaved!
What are your plans & recommendations for our school?
Buildings: there are no buildings planned at the moment. We had two new classrooms last year which was a major project. Organisation: last year we went to our current seven class structure. This will stay as it is. Curriculum: this was new a couple of years ago – this will continue as it is. So there are no major plans at the moment, just small tweaks to what we have now.
Do you think our school is safe?
Yes governors think our school is safe. They have checked that the environment is safe and that the adults are safe for children in our school. One of the governors has a special responsibility for safeguarding.
What does the governing board do?
The governing board provide the school with a strategic view and helps set, and keep under review, the broad framework within which the head and staff run the school. The governing board and head work together in partnership to develop key policies. Sometimes the role is described as that of critical friend, offering support and help whilst also asking questions and seeking to improve proposals. Governors are not involved in the school’s day-to-day management, but the head and staff are accountable to the governing board for the school’s performance.
How can I become a governor?
All governors are elected or nominated for four years, although if their circumstances change they can serve for less. There are several different routes by which people can become school governors. Our school has 14 governors. Five of these are parent governors who are elected by parents as vacancies arise. The other categories of governor are: two staff (including the head), six co-opted for the skills they can bring to the school, and one nominated by Devon County Council.
Parent governors are not expected to be educational experts and neither are they expected to act as parent representatives. Rather they are people who are able to put a parent’s perspective forward where necessary.
How often do the governors meet?
There are six full governors’ meetings a year, but the governing body is sub-divided into two smaller committees that each meets separately once or twice a term. Most governors are members of one committee. The two committees are Teaching and Learning, which covers all curriculum aspects, and Resources, which includes oversight of communications, finance, personnel, and premises. Issues can be looked at in detail in the small groups and then brought back to the main governors’ meeting for either approval or further discussion. Governors on the Teaching and Learning Committee also attend some staff curriculum meetings. Some meetings are held in the evenings, but others are held during or at the end of the school day.
What else do the governors get involved in?
In addition to attending meetings governors need to be familiar with the school’s activities and this requires governors to sometimes visit the school during working hours. Visits could include:
- Attending staff meetings, assemblies and school productions;
- Monitoring a particular activity;
- Serving tea/coffee during Parent/Teacher consultation evenings;
- Assisting at fund raising events.
There is also a certain amount of reading and preparation outside of meetings, reviewing policies, mentoring new governors, etc.
Will I have an induction?
There is an induction programme for new governors. In addition the county provides support including training and a telephone helpline. It is recommended that all new governors attend a one day introductory course organised by Devon Governor Services.
Governors are not paid but the school will pay travelling costs and cost of child care during training courses. The school will also pay for a limited range of expenses such as when a governor has to pay child care costs to attend a meeting because no other responsible adult is available.
Why become a governor?
Becoming a governor can be an interesting, rewarding and worthwhile experience. The school welcomes enthusiastic, dedicated people who would be committed to helping provide a supportive environment for our community school.
For more information contact the head, chair of governors or any present governor who would be delighted to offer some insight into the role of a governor.
Full Governing Board: minutes of meetings from September 2019
Governor committees at Bishopsteignton School
Teaching and Learning
Committee chair: Graham Hooker
Committee chair: David Lamboll