How does the governing body work?
Following on from Simon Linforth’s (Chair of Governors) letter in the newsletter last week we have received a number of questions about the way in which governance works here at Caythorpe. The role of the governors is to provide both support and challenge for the school at a strategic level. This involves a range of duties the key ones being:
set the aims and objectives for the school
set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)
Schools are required to have governors from a range of backgrounds. Some are appointed and act as Local Authority Governors. These governors tend to have a link with education where possible (have worked in education in some capacity). Others are appointed as Community Governors. These governors seek to represent community interests.
There are two types of governor for whom an election may be needed. Staff governors are voted for by the staff within the school. Parent/Carer governors are voted for by the Parents/Carers of the school community. Should only 1 candidate stand then there is no need for an election, the candidate is appointed following the same checks that all governors go through.
Following a governors meeting on 26th January 2017 the governors requested that the Memorandum of Understanding (agreement) between The Community Inclusive Trust (CIT) and Caythorpe Primary School be extended. This has been agreed and CIT will continue to support the school until the completion of the period of consultation with regard to academisation. Whilst we (CIT) remain here at Caythorpe I will ensure that any changes within the governing body are relayed to the school community as quickly as possible. As you know, the governors have indicated their intention to consult the school community with regard to academisation. This means that any resignations of appointed members are unlikely to be replaced. However, we will ensure that elected members of the governing body are replaced. As such, today you should have received a letter outlining the process that needs to be followed in order to fill the Parent Governor position vacated by Karen Bradford.
The DfE currently states that:
“Governing bodies should be no bigger than necessary to secure the range of skills they need. Smaller governing bodies are likely to be more cohesive and dynamic”
As such, it is likely that the size of the governing body will reduce over time whatever the outcome of the consultation. Simon Linforth is also currently a member of the Trust Board for CIT. The Trust is always looking for the correct skill sets to complement the board. Upon realising that Simon has a range of skills that will allow him to provide support and challenge for CIT the Trust approached him. CIT know that he will be an excellent appointment to the Trust Board regardless of the outcome of the consultation.
The governors understand that this is a conflict of interest when the governing body has indicated its intention to consult on becoming an academy with CIT as the preferred option. Any member of the governing body who has a link with CIT or any CIT employee will not take part in the discussions following the consultation. Nor will they have a vote with regard to academisation.
We appreciate your patience regarding the start of the academisation consultation, however as previously stated (newsletter 13/1/17) we have to complete the staffing restructure before the governors can commence. We are in the final stages of the restructure and following the half term break the governors hope to be able to give you notice of the first consultation meeting. At the meeting Parents/Carers will be able to listen to the proposals, ask questions and receive details of the formal means of communication for the consultation. It is important for me to emphasise that the governors will consult the whole school community with regard to the proposed academisation and that all of the feedback will be taken into account when a final decision is made. Each of the governors are volunteers and give of their own time to ensure that they are acting in the best interests of the whole school community. There will be a governing body with a range of representation (including Parents/Carers and Staff) regardless of the outcome of the consultation.
If you have any further questions or queries then do please get in touch with either myself or Peter Bell (CEO of the Trust).
Paul Hill (Executive Headteacher)