What we expect of our Governors and how they make a difference
Governors in a Multi-Academy Trust are not the decision-makers they were in a Grant Maintained school, but they are invaluable, and we realised that more than ever their skills and school knowledge and expertise needed to be harnessed to give strength to our Trust.
They are the ‘eyes and ears’ in our academies. They work with the Academy Heads and like the Academy Heads their focus is on Teaching and Learning.
Local Boards report through the Standards and Curriculum Committee (S&CC) to the Board of Trustees. Any areas of strength or concerns are shared and discussed. A summary of the discussions are always brought to the Trustee Board to give our Trustees the in depth understanding of our academies that they need to operate at the highest level.
Principle Role of a Governor on the Local Board of the Link Academy Trust
To actively contribute to the work of the Local Board in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the Academy by:
- Understanding and providing reflection for the Academy Head regarding the clarity of vision, ethos and operational direction, including the Christian distinctiveness of Church Academies.
- Learning about the educational performance of the Academy, its pupils, and staff. Supporting and challenging the Academy Head where relevant with developments.
- Understanding and gaining a knowledge of the annual budget and proposed spending of the individual academy while supporting/challenging the Academy Head in relation to the spend of ‘ring-fenced’ grants i.e. Pupil Premium, Sports Grant, any specific funding grants.
- Supporting/challenging the Academy Head to promote high standards of safeguarding and security and check they are being upheld, including online and GDPR procedures.
- Evaluating learning environments to provide the highest levels of health and safety for all stakeholders.
As part of the Local Board, a governor is expected to:
1. Contribute to the operational discussions at Local Board meetings which lead to the determination of:
- the vision and ethos of the individual Academy
- clear and ambitious priorities and targets for the individual Academy in the form of the Academy Strategic Improvement Plan (ASIP) feeding into the overall Academy Trust Strategic Improvement Plan (ATSIP)
- a broad and balanced curriculum that all children, including those with special educational needs, have access to
- the expenditure of the pupil premium allocation, sports grant and any other ring-fenced funding
- staff performance and wellbeing
- the Academy policies which are a designated responsibility of the Local Board for consideration with the Academy Head and to ensure they reflect current practice within the Academy.
2. Hold Academy Heads to account by evaluating and providing constructive challenge related to performance. This includes:
- Providing reflection for the outcomes from the Academy’s self-evaluation and ensuring they are used to inform the priorities in the Academy Strategic Improvement plan (ASIP)
- considering all relevant data and feedback, (provided on request) with Academy leaders and external sources, in all aspects of school performance
- asking challenging questions of Academy Heads
- ensuring that those responsible have arranged for required audits to be carried out and receiving the results of those audits, including risk assessments.
- Monitoring the development and implementation of required school-based policies which are designated as the responsibility of the Local Board and procedures and that the Academy is operating effectively according to these policies
- listening to and reporting to the Academy’s stakeholders: pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers
3. Working alongside the Academy Head to enable school staff to have the resources and support they require to do their jobs well, including the necessary expertise and external advice , effective appraisal and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and suitable premises and that the way in which those resources are used has impact.
4. When required, serve on panels of governors to:
- appoint staff where the Trustees delegate the authority to do so
- hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters where this is not a Trustee matter
- hear appeals about pupil Exclusions
In order to perform this role well, a governor is expected to:
- get to know the Academy, including visiting at least every half term, during school hours whenever possible and in agreement with the Academy Head in order to gain a good understanding of the Academy strengths and weaknesses
- attend induction training and regular relevant training and development events, including online training
- attend Local Board meetings regularly and read all the papers before the meeting
- act in the best interests of all the pupils of the Academy
- behave in a professional manner, as set down in the Local Board’s Code of Practice, including acting in strict confidence
Expenses: Governors may receive out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of fulfilling their role as governor as set out in Director and Governor Allowances policy. Payments can cover incidental expenses, such as travel and childcare, but not loss of earnings.
Please note. As a governor develops in terms of experience within their role there are other responsibility areas that can be undertaken e.g. as a Chair of a committee. This role description does not cover the additional roles taken on by the Chair, Vice-Chair or Chairs of committees.
Below are the key documents to serving as a Governor on the Local Boards of the Link Academy Trust: