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School governors

Each school has a governing body which comprises members of the local community, parents, teachers, staff and representatives of the Local Authority.  Governing Bodies of Church Schools (Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled) are also represented by the church authority.

When vacancies arise for parent governors, information is circulated via "pupil post" and to be eligible to be nominated as a parent governor, you must have a child registered at the school for which the Governing Body is responsible. The term of office for governors is for four years and as a parent governor you can, choose, to serve the full term of office even if your child is no longer a pupil at that school.

Governing Bodies are required by law to meet at least once a term but can meet more frequently in order to discuss specific matters.

All governors are required to undertake mandatory training, please see details below.

Every school has its own governing body which is be responsible for the overall management of the school. The actual size of the governing body depends on the size of the school; the membership is determined by law, and each is made up of different types of governors. They may include some or all of the following:

  • Parent - elected by the parents of children currently attending the school. Such governors must have a child at the school at the time of the election.
  • Teacher -members of the school's teaching staff, elected by the teachers.
  • Staff - members of the non-teaching staff, elected by the non-teaching staff.
  • Local Authority - appointed by us.   Typically, these governors possess a specific and useful skill or are known for their community work and interest in education.
  • Head teacher - may choose to be a governor or opt to remain independent. Whichever is the case, the head teacher has the right to attend all meetings of the governing body.
  • Community - appointed by the governing body, these governors may possess particular skills or come from a specific group within society such as the business community. An additional community governor representing the minor authority is included in primary schools governing bodies.
  • Foundation - essentially the same as community governors, these are appointed to the governing bodies of voluntary schools.

All governing bodies of maintained schools are required by law to produce a full Annual Report to Parents, although it is not necessary to distribute the full report. Governing bodies may distribute a summary report containing the required information, together with details of how the full report can be requested.

As a result of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013, which came into force on 4th May 2013, a school governing body is no longer required to hold an annual parents meeting.

The Act now enables parents of registered pupils at the school to request up to three meetings per year with the governing body via a petition.

The Annual Report and parents’ meetings (if petitioned) are the main formal means by which the governing body can demonstrate their accountability to parents. They provide an opportunity to not only engage with parents on what has been happening at the school during the previous year but to share the governing body’s plans for promoting high standards of educational achievement and to actively seek the views of parents for the future.

The governing body must hold a meeting within 25 school days of receiving the petition, providing that:

  • The petition contains the signatures of the required minimum numbers of parents of registered pupils at the school, which is the lower of the following:
    • the parents of 10% of registered pupils, or
    • the parents of 30 registered pupils.
  • The meeting requested by parents must be to discuss a matter relating to the school. The meeting cannot be called to discuss such matters as the progress of individual pupils or to make a complaint against a member of the school’s staff or governing body.
  • There will be no more than three meetings held during the year in which the first petition is received.
  • There are sufficient school days left in the school year for the meeting to be held.

There are no formal qualifications needed to become a school governor. The one essential requirement is an interest in, and commitment to, the education of children. Governors have to be over 18 years of age and the term of office is four years.

Governors are ordinary people, drawn from many areas of society. They need to be able to devote time to getting to know the school well and to be active and available in their support for it. Having common sense and a desire to serve the community are also important.

Normally no one may be a governor of more than two governing bodies.

Time

  • Attend a meeting of the full governing body at least once a term.
  • Attend committee meetings as required.
  • Read reports and background papers prior to meetings.
  • Attend the annual meeting of parents.
  • Attend other occasions such as concerts, open evenings, sports day.

Commitment

  • Show an interest in children and their education and participate in many of the school's activities.
  • Attend governors' meetings.
  • Readiness to accept responsibility.
  • Get to know the staff, the pupils and their work.
  • Offer support and expertise.

Knowledge

  • Follow educational news and debates.
  • Attend training sessions.

Skills

  • Work co-operatively and creatively with others.
  • Use personal qualities and expertise in the interest of the school, its pupils and teachers.

Primary : Ages 3 - 11 years. Some schools divide into Infant and Junior.

Secondary : Ages 11 - 16 years or 11 - 18 years.

Special : Schools for pupils with special educational needs.

Voluntary : Some schools have been founded by the Church or educational trust and are described as Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled, usually but not always linked to the Church in Wales or the Roman Catholic Church.

In one or all of these ways:-

All newly appointed or elected governors, except headteachers, must attend this training within one year of their appointment or election.

Governors who do not attend this training within the specified period are automatically suspended. If the governors do not complete the training within a six month suspension period they are automatically disqualified from continuing in office as a governor.

Induction training for governors is vital if they are to understand their role and the parameters of their responsibilities.

The induction training will help ensure that new governors:

  • Have the necessary knowledge and understanding to begin to fulfil their role effectively as a governor and to support their school in raising standards;
  • Are aware of national and local education issues and their impact on governing bodies;
  • Recognise the importance of training and the need to develop their skills and take advantage of other opportunities available to them;
  • Develop confidence to enable them to take a full and active part in the role of the governing body.

The training will also reflect the legislative framework for school governance in Wales, and will focus on what should be expected from governors in meeting the requirements of the law and raising standards and school improvement. It will also explain a governor’s strategic role and how this supports and challenges the work of the school and the senior leadership team; their role in setting policies and targets and how these should be monitored and evaluated and how and to whom governors are accountable.

Date Venue Language Time
31.01.17 Gwendraeth Hall, Drefach, SA14 7AA English 14:30 - 16:30
08.03.17 Johnstown School, SA31 3HS English 18:30 - 20:30
16.05.17 Llangennech Junior School, SA14 8YB English 18:30 - 20:30
04.07.17 Gwendraeth Hall, Drefach, SA14 7AA Welsh with translation* 14:30 - 16:30

To book a place please e-mail governance@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 246667.

In order to facilitate arrangements, the closing date for bookings will be 5 working days prior to the training session.

*If you are booking a place on a session advertised as ‘Welsh with translation’, please indicate if you will require the use of translation equipment. Due to costs involved, if we have not received notification that translation equipment is required by any of the attendees, translation equipment will not be provided at the session.

All governors, except headteachers, must attend this training within one year of their appointment.

Governors who do not attend this training within the specified period are automatically suspended. If the governors do not complete the training within a six month suspension period they are automatically disqualified from continuing in office as a governor.

An understanding of the data relating to their school is essential for governors to effectively carry out their key roles of strategic planning, target setting, monitoring and evaluation and accountability.

The school performance data training will develop governors’ understanding of the data which is now routinely provided by and for schools and how to use the data to improve school performance. Being able to analyse school performance data and drill down to the core information will enable governors to make comparisons and bench mark how their school is performing compared to other schools in similar circumstances.

Learning about school data and understanding what it means for the school and what needs to be done to raise standards should give governors the confidence to ask challenging questions of the headteacher and school leadership team in order to improve performance and pupil attainment.

Date Venue Language Time
02.02.17 Ysgol Bryn Teg, Llanelli, SA14 9ET English 18:30 - 20:30
14.02.17 Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman, SA18 2NS Welsh 18:30 - 20:30
08.03.17 Room 5, Building 2, St. David's Park, SA31 3HB English 14:30 - 16:30
04.05.17 Saron School, SA18 3LH English 18:30 - 20:30
08.06.17 Room 5, Building 2, St. David's Park, SA31 3HB English 14:30 - 16:30
21.06.17 Bryn School, Llanelli, SA14 9TT English 18:30 - 20:30
04.07.17 Gwendraeth Hall, Drefach SA14 7AA Welsh with translation* 16:30 - 18:30

To book a place please e-mail governance@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 246667.

In order to facilitate arrangements, the closing date for bookings will be 5 working days prior to the training session.

*If you are booking a place on a session advertised as ‘Welsh with translation’, please indicate if you will require the use of translation equipment. Due to costs involved, if we have not received notification that translation equipment is required by any of the attendees, translation equipment will not be provided at the session.

All newly appointed Chairs must attend this training within six months of their appointment as Chair.

Any Chair of governors who does not attend the Training for Chairs within six months of their appointment will immediately cease to hold office as a Chair. If that governor wishes to stand again for election as Chair of governors they will be required to complete the Chair training before they are eligible to be elected as Chair.

The mandatory Training for Chairs will reflect the current legislative framework for school governors in Wales and will clearly define what is expected from a Chair of governors, including providing a clear lead in organising the work of the governing body; focusing governing body discussions on their strategic role and their role in raising school performance; and acting as critical friend.

Specifically, the training will:

  • Provide Chairs with the knowledge and understanding required to fulfil their role effectively to support school improvement, raise standards of performance; ensure pupils’ wellbeing and improve the quality of education being provided
  • Develop and enhance their understanding of the role of an effective Chair in leading the governing body;
  • Enhance their confidence and leadership skills and their ability to develop effective relationships with the head teacher enabling them to offer challenge and support to the school
  • Provide them with an awareness of national and local educational issues and their impact on governing bodies, and help them to recognise the importance of training and the need to develop their skills and those of the wider governing body and take advantage of other training opportunities available to them.

Aspiring Chairs of governors or vice Chairs of governors are able to complete the mandatory Chair training if they wish. If these governors become Chairs within two years of attending the training they will not be required to attend the training again.

Date Venue Language Time
21.03.17 Cross Hands School, SA14 6SU English 18:30 - 20:30

To book a place please e-mail governance@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 246667.

In order to facilitate arrangements, the closing date for bookings will be 5 working days prior to the training session.

*If you are booking a place on a session advertised as ‘Welsh with translation’, please indicate if you will require the use of translation equipment. Due to costs involved, if we have not received notification that translation equipment is required by any of the attendees, translation equipment will not be provided at the session.

Link governors with responsibility for overseeing child protection arrangements and Chairs of governing bodies (who may be in the position of receiving concerns or allegations) should attend this course within one year of their appointment and then once every three years.

This training will develop awareness of:

  • The legislative framework within which children’s welfare is safeguarded and promoted;
  • The essential safeguarding procedures that should be in place within the school;
  • The role of the link governor in ensuring these procedures are in place and implemented.
Date Venue Language Time
16.05.17 Tycroes School, SA18 3QD Welsh with translation* 18:30 - 20:30

To book a place please e-mail governance@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 246667.

In order to facilitate arrangements, the closing date for bookings will be 5 working days prior to the training session.

*If you are booking a place on a session advertised as ‘Welsh with translation’, please indicate if you will require the use of translation equipment. Due to costs involved, if we have not received notification that translation equipment is required by any of the attendees, translation equipment will not be provided at the session.


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Governor Support Unit
The Department for Education and Children,
Building 2, St David's Park, 
Job's Well Road, Carmarthen
SA31 3HB

E-mail: governance@carmarthenshire.gov.uk | Tel: 01267 246448

Page updated on: 21/07/2016

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