Welcome from the governors of Beckley School. This section of the website is an introduction to who we are and what our role is in relation to the school.
As school governors, we are part of the largest volunteer workforce in the country and our aim is to help the school provide the best possible education for all pupils. Individual governors do not act independently, but we work together as a governing body with corporate responsibility.
The Governing Body
The role of the governing body is a strategic one. Acting together, governors’ three core strategic functions, as outlined by the Department for Education, are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Governors are not involved in the day-to-day running of the school – that is the responsibility of the Headteacher and staff.
Working collaboratively with the Headteacher and other staff, governors establish the vision and ethos of the school. We pay attention to the wider context, such as Beckley School’s church foundation and our local situation, and we take account of feedback, expectations, other provision in the area. We try to stay abreast of the local and national contexts, the statutory framework and wider educational requirements.
In order to identify strategic priorities for the school, governors consider where the school is now, and then ask what we want the school to achieve and how this can be done. We set policies, budgets, plans and targets in order to achieve development objectives, annually and over the longer term. School performance data, benchmarking and additional information from the school’s self-evaluation all inform priorities for school development. We attend training and liaise with other schools and external organisations as required.
Acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the school, we then check that progress is being made towards targets and we regularly review improvement priorities in the light of that progress. We help to evaluate the effectiveness of policies and school development plans. Governors regularly monitor income and expenditure against budgets and, with support from education professionals, we review the performance of the headteacher, supporting leadership while ensuring accountability for performance of staff and pupils. We also help to celebrate the school’s successes and ensure that parents are informed and involved.
How we Work
Governors get to know the school through attending meetings and by visiting the school during the school day.
Currently, there are five Full Governing Body meetings a year. In addition each governor joins one of two sub-committees, which usually meet twice a term. These are:
- Teaching and Learning committee
- Resources committee
Broadly, these committees take responsibility for holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and the financial performance. The Teaching & Learning committee considers, for example, the learning and progress of pupils, quality of teaching and provision for disadvantaged pupils. The Resources committee considers, for example, budgets and expenditure, value for money, premises and health and safety.
Some governors take on specific Links and responsibilities, for example, Safeguarding or Special Educational Needs and Disability, which usually involve further training and additional meetings with staff in school.
Who are Beckley’s Governors?
The governing body is made up of the Headteacher and people from different groups who have an interest in the success of the school, including parents, staff, the Diocese, the local authority and the community. No matter where we come from, as governors we must focus on what is best for the school. Between them, governors need a wide breadth of skills and experience to enable them collectively to support and challenge the school leadership. Beckley’s governing body welcomes a range of viewpoints, and our governors make decisions together about a variety of issues.
As vacancies arise on the governing body, the Department for Education advises that specific skills are targeted in an effort to fill gaps in our knowledge or expertise. We can also appoint associate governors to advise on specific areas of expertise.
In September 2015 the governing body was reconstituted with the following structure:
Four parent governors
Headteacher ex officio
One other staff governor
Two Foundation governors
One Local Authority governor
Two Co-opted governors
All governors agree to a Code of Conduct and must declare any business or pecuniary interests, as well as governorship at other schools (see below). Attendance at meetings is also logged and published.
The current Chair of governors, Ms Kate Kelly, is a local resident whose children attended Beckley School. The Vice-Chair of governors, Ms McCulloch, chairs our Resources Committee. Our Teaching and Learning Committee is chaired by Dr Borton.
More information about current governors can be found on the Governor Profiles page.