Home Page


Contact Chair of Governors  


Address:  Mr Gareth Scott, St.Teresa's Catholic Primary School Academy, Quantock Drive, Ashford, TN248QN

Governance Handbook

What is the role of the Governors?

The Governors’ Handbook, published by the Department for Education (DfE), outlines the role of the governing body.

The handbook says governing bodies in maintained schools “should have a strong focus” on the three core strategic functions. These are:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Section 1.3 of the Governors' Handbook says it is the governors’ job to:

... set the school’s strategic framework and to ensure all statutory duties are met.

It adds that governing bodies should have robust strategies in place for achieving their visions. These strategies should address the following questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How are we going to get there?


Holding the headteacher to account

The governing body is also responsible for appointing the headteacher and holding him/her to account.

According to paragraph 1.4.2 of the handbook, “governing bodies hold their headteacher and other senior leaders to account for improving school performance by asking the right questions”. Suggested questions include:

  • Which groups of pupils are the highest and lowest performing, and why?
  • Which year groups or subjects get the best and worst results, and why?
  • Does the school have the right staff, and the right development and reward arrangements?
  • Does the school listen to the views of pupils and parents?

The handbook adds:

A governing body must have good, timely data if it is to know the questions it needs to ask ... and answer any questions asked of the governing body itself.

This document explains that governors should refer to:

  • School and college performance tables
  • RAISEonline
  • Other sources of data, such as products developed by some local authorities (LAs)

In addition, governors can visit the school to find out whether its strategic vision is being achieved.

Overseeing financial performance

The Governors' Handbook says governors can fulfil their obligation to ensure that the school’s money is well spent by having at least one governor with “specific, relevant skills and experience of financial matters”, and by asking questions such as:

  • Are we allocating our resources in line with our strategic priorities?
  • Are we making full use of all our assets, and efficient use of all our financial resources?
  • Are other schools buying things cheaper or getting better results with less spending per pupil?
  • How can we get better value for money from our budget?