The Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body
St. Edward’s Royal Free is a joint Anglican-Catholic Voluntary-Aided school.
The Governing Body’s primary purpose is to approve the strategic direction of the school, working in partnership with the Headteacher, and under the guidance of the Oxford and Portsmouth Dioceses.
Through strategic leadership and accountability, the Governing Body promotes continuous school improvement to achieve high standards of education for all our pupils, set within the Ecumenical nature and Christian ethos of our school.
There are three core functions of the Governing Body:
- Ensuring clarity of vision,ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Aligned to its improvement role, the Governing Body is there to be a ‘critical friend’ providing a balance between supporting and challenging the performance of both the Headteacher and the school.
Our Scheme of Delegation sets out what powers our Governing Body has given to the committees, the Headteacher or individual Governors.
The Headteacher is delegated total responsibility for the running of the school and all associated operational matters; governors are not involved in the day-to-day operation of the school.
Our Foundation Principles document details how we work together with both the Dioceses.
The Structure of the Governing Body
The Instrument of Government is the legal document that outlines the constitution of the Governing Body for our school and the term of office for each category of Governor.
At St. Edward’s Middle School we have a total of 14 Governors, supported by a Clerk:
- 8 Foundation Governors (4 Portsmouth Diocese, 2 Oxford Diocese and 2 Royal Free Foundation)
- 1 Local Authority Governor
- 2 Parent Governors
- 1 Staff Governor
- 1 Co-opted Governor
- The Headteacher
For binding decisions to be made, a Full Governing Body meeting must be quorate.
Committees are designed to help the Governing Body manage the wide range of duties and responsibilities by spreading the workload and allowing issues to be examined in detail. Minutes of committee meetings are submitted to the Full Governing Body for consideration and approval of recommendations.
At St. Edward’s Middle School we have three committees:
- Standards and Performance (curriculum, standards, SEN, PP, pastoral)
- Finance and Resources (finance, budget, personnel, premises,health and safety)
- Admissions (meets as and when required to consider admission applications to the school)
Each committee has a Terms of Reference detailing its purpose, its powers and its operation; these are reviewed annually to ensure our statutory duties are met and that the committees are working in the best interests of the school and the Governing Body.
Individual Governors take on particular tasks and/or make decisions on behalf of the Governing Body, but only when specifically given this responsibility by the Governing Body.
At St. Edwards Middle School we have the following Link Governors:
- Pupil Premium
- Health and Safety
The responsibilities of the Link Governors are detailed in individual Role Descriptions.
The Governing Body endeavours to conduct its business in accordance with the Nolan Principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty and leadership.
There are different routes by which different types of Governors are appointed but once appointed all Governors have equal status. The role of a Governor is a voluntary one.