The Role of the Governing Body


In 2012 the Governing Body adopted the following principles that would guide its decision making:

  • That our status should reflect our commitment to being an inclusive comprehensive community school.
  • That our status should be determined by that which will provide the best educational provision for the children of ECS.
  • That our school should continue to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that is tailored to the needs and aspirations of the school community.
  • That every child has an equal and absolute right to the highest quality education we can provide
    That ECS values the individual and collective achievement of every child;
  • That ECS recognises the importance of a well motivated and rewarded staff. All staff are employed on national pay and conditions. Any change is to the benefit of every member of staff regardless of status and tenure.


  • Ensure every student has access to a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum.
  • Promote equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all.
  • Ensure a focus on teaching and learning and a commitment to raising standards.
  • Work as part of a team together with the staff for the benefit of the school.
  • To be aware of, and accountable to, the various committees we represent.
  • Set targets for school improvement in consultation with the Headteacher and the School Improvement Service.
  • Support the Headteacher in ensuring the effective and efficient deployment of resources.
  • See that the statutory requirements of the curriculum are met.


  • Establish with the Headteacher, aims and policies for the school.
  • Monitor standards in order to support the Headteacher and staff in achieving agreed standards.
  • Be responsible for the recruitment, retention and development of staff.
  • Hear appeals involving staff and students.
  • See that there is a school development plan which is regularly reviewed and evaluated.
  • Give support to the Headteacher in the financial management of the school.

Governors’ Monitoring Role

The Governing Body’s role is one of governance. The Headteacher has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school. The Governing Body will give the Headteacher the freedom to manage and deliver agreed policies.

The purpose of the Governing Body is to help provide the best possible education for all students at the school.

To do this effectively, the Governing Body needs to have a strategic view of their main functions, and clear arrangements for monitoring progress against targets and plans.

To achieve a proper working partnership with the school, the Governing Body and the Headteacher must recognise and respect the roles and responsibilities of school staff. Similarly, school staff need to recognise the responsibilities held by the Governing Body.

For and effective partnership to exist protocols need to be established, and expectations made clear, to ensure that school staff and the Governing Body act appropriately when carrying out their duties.

Approaches to Monitoring

The Governing Body will use a variety of methods to collect data and gather evidence about the work of the school and use this evidence to make judgements about the school’s effectiveness. These include:

  • The Headteacher’s termly report to the Full Governing Body.
  • Reports from Enfield School Improvement Service.
  • The school’s self evaluation
  • The data Dashboard
  • Reports presented to the governing body’s committees.
  • Visits to the school, including the Governor Visits when Governors meet with and visit their link faculties.

Roles and Actions

There are a range of roles and actions that the governing body or individual governors need to consider:

Roles of Governors

The governing body must appoint a chair and vice-chair. In addition the governors appoint one of their members to act as the SEN Governor

Committees of the Governing


  • Pupil discipline– this committee has the function of hearing all matters relating to pupil exclusions. There is a membership of three drawn from the full governors committee. Its procedures are governed by statute.
  • Staff discipline – this committee has the function of hearing appeals against disciplinary action or dismissals taken by the head. It will also hear any staff grievances under the grievance procedure. Again the committee is drawn from the full governors committee. Its procedures are laid down in the relevant policies that it effects.
  • The head’s performance review and salary review of the leadership team – this committee reports to the staffing committee. There are normally three members of this committee- the Chair of Governors, Vice-Chair of Governors and the Chair of the Staffing Committee. This group is chaired by the Chair of Governors. This committee’s procedures are laid down by statutes governing performance management and salary review of members of the leadership team.
  • Ad hoc Panels and Appeals – the governing body will convene panels to hear complaints and appeals according to policies that include school pay policy and school complaints policy.

Non statutory

The governing body has four non statutory committees currently: Secondary, Primary; Finance, premises and health and safety; Staffing. The Headteacher sits on all of the non-statutory committees. Each committee is clerked by the LA’s Governor Services and is advised by a member of the Leadership Team. The Headteacher is a member of all of the non-statutory committees.

Code of Conduct

The Governing Body is a committee whose members are collectively responsible for what it does. Governors entrusted with additional responsibilities (for example chairing a committee, representing the governing body on particular issues etc.) need to have the confidence of their colleagues. That is one reason why chairs and representatives are elected. The governing body may then expect colleagues to act in accordance with its wishes and in the best interests of the school. Conversely, representatives and chairs can reasonably expect to receive the governing body’s support.

Effective governance is where the Governing Body makes a major contribution to the leadership of the school, including the sixth form, and its successes. It is fully involved in strategic planning and formulating policies, and supports staff in implementing them. Governors keep in close touch with the school’s work across all stages, and this cements the partnership between the governing body and the school. The pattern of the governing body’s work meshes well with the school’s development cycle, so that both are very influential. Governors are well aware of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and deal with them openly and frankly, contributing very fully to development planning. Performance management procedures are very effective and are monitored closely by the governing body.

The Governing Body recognises that it is a corporate body that has general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement (Section 21 Education Act 2002).

Governors should act at all times with honesty and integrity and be ready to explain their actions and decisions to staff, pupils, parents and anyone with a legitimate interest in the school.

The Seven Principles of Public Life

The Governing Body of Edmonton County School has adopted the “Seven Principles of Public Life” (Nolan Committee) as a general guiding set of principles for individuals and corporate actions. This code of conduct incorporates all of the principles and practices of ‘Being a Governor’.


Governors should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest.

They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.


Governors should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.


In carrying out governor business, including making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, Governors should make choices on merit.


Governors are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.


Governors should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.


Governors have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their governor duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.


Governors should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.