Governor Blog Space
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Who are our Governors

We are all volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school and the education of all its children. The Governing Body of Downs Junior School has 13 governor positions. There are 2 elected parent governors, 1 local authority governor, 1 elected staff governor, 1 head teacher staff governor and 8 co-opted governors. We also have a professional clerk.  

Parent Governors (2) Kate Block, Caroline Mann

Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Although voted to the Governing Body by parents, they are a representative and not a delegate of parents. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.

Local Authority Governor (1) Julie Cattell

Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body. The local authority can nominate any eligible person as a local authority governor, but it is for the Governing Body to decide whether their nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set.

Staff Governor (1) Caroline Taylor

Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the Governing Body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors.

The Headteacher (1) Giovanni Franceschi

The head teacher is a member of the Governing Body by virtue of their office.

Co-oped Governors (8) Roz Buchan, Rachel Cooper, Emma Hearn, Catherine Horner.James Murray, Karen Preston,Richard Rudd , Jo Young

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the Governing Body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

Clerk to the Governing Body  – Teresa Dee

We usually carry out our duties during evening meetings and we regularly attend training sessions to help us fulfil our roles effectively. We also come into school to meet with the head teacher and senior leadership team.

School visits are encouraged to monitor the implementation of the school’s policies.

New governors are elected for a four-year period; they are given a mentor and an induction programme, and attend training specially arranged for new governors.

How do we do it?

The Governors meet half termly for Full Governing Body meetings

The major work of the Governing Body is carried out by working parties or link governors.  The Governors are there to debate, scrutinise, and formulate advice for the full Governing Body to consolidate decisions at its meetings.  Decisions can also be taken when the Governing Body has delegated responsibility to the particular governor.  There are also a number of statutory committees that require a panel of governors to be formed.  An example of this would be a Grievance Panel.

Each governor is invited to be a member of working parties or link governors who look at particular areas such as PPG spending and sports funding.

How often we meet?

The clerk to the Governing Body arranges (in conjunction with the head teacher and the relevant chair) and publishes the agendas for meetings of the Governing Body, and prepares and circulates minutes of all meetings. They also circulate training opportunities for governors, and advise governors on legal and procedural matters.

The full Governing Body (FGB) meets a number of times in the school year, at present once every half term, each meeting with a particular focus.

In between FGB’s governors meets to review school matters in detail.

Minutes of these meetings are located on the school website.

 

What do we do?

Governors have a key role to play in the drive to raise educational standards.  The Governing Body, working within a complex legislative framework, is required to promote high standards of educational achievement across the school. The Governing Body’s role is primarily strategic and involves working in partnership with the  head teacher and leadership team to promote continuous improvement in the performance of the school. 

We have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

b. Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and

c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

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We have a number of statutory responsibilities, most of them falling within one of these three areas. In particular, we are responsible for supporting the school in providing a learning and teaching environment that safeguards children, promotes their well-being and encourages high expectation and achievement, as well as for setting the school’s statutory policies and monitoring them in operation. In conjunction with the above roles the Governing Body is there to be a critical friend that is able to provide the right balance between supporting and challenging the performance of both the head teacher and the school.

The Governing Body works at all times in close collaboration with the head teacher, who is himself a governor of the school. He is responsible and accountable to the governing body, for the day-to-day management of the school and all operational matters. He obtains approval from the Governing Body for matters of school policy.

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