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The full Governing Body meets at least termly, where strategic business is discussed, reviewed and decisions made.  Governors make collective decisions, with a majority voting process.  Most of the detailed work is carried out in the two Committees.  Committees also meet at least termly - more often if required.


    Governing Bodies of maintained schools has to have at least 7 members, although there is no maximum limit.  The make-up – or Constitution – is laid down in legislation.  There has to be:

    • One Headteacher (although the Headteacher can decide not to be a Governor)
    • One Governor who is nominated by the Local Authority and appointed by the Governing Body
    • One Staff Governor, who is elected by the school staff. This Governor can be a teacher or a member of the support staff.
    • At least two Parent Governors, although there can be more. These are elected by the parent community.  If there are no nominations for Parent Governor, they can be appointed by the Governing Body. Whilst the preference is that Parent Governors have children at the school, they can be parents of former pupils or of any child of school age.
    • Co-Opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body; these are usually members of the local community, who are appointed for their skills and expertise to enable the Governing Body to carry out their responsibilities.

    All Governors, with the exception of the Headteacher, are appointed or elected for a period of four years.  The Headteacher is ex-officio and remains as a Governor for as long as he/she is in post.  Staff Governors cease to be Governors if they leave the school before their four year term ends.

    There can be no more than one third of Governors who are employed by the school – including the Headteacher.  Parents who are employed at the school for more than 500 hours per year cannot be Parent Governors.

    Green Dragon’s Governing Body is made up as follows:




    Parent Governors


    Staff Governor



    LA Governor


    Co-Opted Governors






    If needed, the Governing Body can appoint Associate Members to fill any gaps in skills and expertise. Associate Members are not Governors and cannot be the Chair or Vice Chair, hold Link Governor roles, or vote at full Governing Body meetings.  They can be given voting rights on Committees, so long as that is agreed by the full Governing Body. Associate Members can be appointed for any period up to four years.


    The Governing Body is led by the Chair, elected by the Governing Body from within its membership, though Staff Governors, including the Head, cannot stand for the office. Since 1st September 2003, the term of office for the Chair can be set to more than one year. The Chair is supported in their work by one or more Vice Chairs, who may be delegated certain tasks or responsibilities. Certain tasks, including signing off the school budget, can only be done by the Chair. The Full Governing Body can remove the Chair and/or Vice Chair by a majority vote of no confidence.


    The governors are supported in their work by a Clerk to the Governing Body. In many schools this role is combined with that of Bursar or Administrative Officer, although they may also be employed solely in a clerking role. In some areas clerking services may be provided by the Local Educational Authority. as is the case in Green Dragon. The Clerk is remunerated for their work.

    The Clerk is usually considered an integral part of the Governing Body, although they are not entitled to vote. Their role is primarily one of providing advice and interpretation on the regulatory and administrative framework in which governors work, preparing and distributing minutes and agendas, keeping records and dealing with correspondence.


    The Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school.  Governors have strategic oversight.  The DfE recognise three core functions of the Governing Body:

    To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategy

    Vision: a statement that clearly and simply states what the school aspires to

    Ethos: the culture and character of the school. It's how people feel when they're there, and the shared beliefs we all hold. It's the environment we create to make sure people can achieve the vision, live the values, and implement the strategy

    Strategy: the specific actions we'll take to achieve our vision


    Holding the Headteacher to account for:

    • The educational performance of the organisation and its pupils
    • The effective and efficient performance management of staff

    To hold leaders to account, Governors need to make sure they can explain their actions and decision. For example:

    • The Headteacher makes decisions about day-to-day operations, and Governors evaluate how effectively the Headteacher has exercised her professional judgement.
    • The Headteacher decides how to spend the budget, and Governors review whether the school has achieved value for money
    • The Headteacher manages individual staff members, and Governors assess staff's performance as a whole

    Overseeing financial performance

    Governors ensure that:

    • There is sound financial oversight
    • Money is spent correctly, and
    • Spending is in line with school priorities.

    Governors are also responsible for appointing the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and may be involved in the appointment of other staff.

    Governors are required to review any decisions to permanently exclude pupils and to review any incidences where pupils are suspended for more than 15 days in any school term.  This is covered by legislation.


    Most Governing Bodies use a committee structure to undertake their monitoring and evaluation roles. Membership and terms of reference of committees must be determined annually. Green Dragon has a Strategic Development Committee and Educational Strategy Committee. Other areas covered by committees may include marketing, discipline and management. Many Governing Bodies form working groups to tackle specific problems. Since 1st September 2003, particular committees can be given delegated powers to make decisions about the school that do not then require any approval by the Full Governing Body.


    Governors are required to undertake regular training on safeguarding by the DfE.  This and other training is available from a number of organisations, including:

    • The Local Authority
    • The Key for School Governors 
    • Modern Governor

    There are a number of organisations, websites and resources that support governors and governing bodies in England and Wales.

    The National Governor's Association is the representative body for school governors in England. The NGA is an independent charity. Governors can join the NGA as individuals, as members of a governing body, or through their local governors' association.

    The School Governors' One-Stop Shop (SGOSS) is a government funded charity tasked with recruiting governors to governing bodies in England. SGOSS also receives support from business organisations. The SGOSS service is free to Local Authorities, volunteers, employers and schools.

    GovernorLine offers free, confidential advice, information and support to school governors, clerks and individuals involved directly in the governance of maintained schools in England. The GovernorLine number (from a UK line) is 08000 722 181. GovernorLine is a free service delivered by an organisation called WorkLife Support under contract to the UK government.

    GovernorNet is a UK government website with information for school governors.

    Please view the pdf documents below to view the terms of reference for the Strategic Development Committee & the Educational Strategy Committee.. Reading these will help you to understand the role of these committees.

    If you are interested in the work of this committee and would like to know more contact the chair, Nick Jones, via the school office.  Nick will arrange a time to meet up with you.

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