Governing Body Terms of Reference
Field House Infant & Nursery School
Terms of Reference for the Governing Body
As a Local Governing Team (LGT), we are important to our school and to the whole Embark family. Governors play a vital role in being the eyes and ears of the Trust Board, providing assurance on the quality of provision and performance in our school, its relationship with stakeholders and the safety and well-being of its children and staff.
A governor will serve a term of office of FOUR years and can be re-elected for up to 3 consecutive terms. After this time, the whole term will be reviewed with the Headteacher and Chair in consultation with the Trust Board.
Quorum: The quorum for a meeting of the LGT is be 50% of the total number of Governors of the LGT [rounded up to a whole number] at the date of the meeting.
The key duties of Local Governing Team are to:
BUILD AN EFFECTIVE TEAM
- Hold at least three well-attended LGT meetings a year, in line with the Trust annual plan
- Establish key roles, ideally covering the following responsibilities (a governor may hold more than one responsibility)
- Chair and Vice Chair (voted into the role through a structured process, ideally in line with the Governance Handbook guidance)
- Safeguarding/Looked after Children
- Health and Safety/Care and Welfare
- Pupil Premium/Sports Premium
- Links to priority objectives of the School Improvement Plan
- Appoint or remove a clerk to the LGT
- Recruit new governors as vacancies arise in line with the guidelines for team make-up and skills audit outcomes
- Ensure all governors are made aware of the Code of Conduct and ‘Working Together Agreement’
- Support and effectively induct of new governors
- Suspend/remove a governor should this be necessary
- Decide which functions of the LGT will be delegated to individuals and or committees and review the outputs of any delegated activity
- Carry out (on alternate years) a skills audit and a self-evaluation of the LGT (i.e. against this agreement) and use the outputs from this process to inform learning/training needs for governors
PROVIDE SUPPORT AND CHALLENGE TO THE SCHOOL
- Attend events in school to be a visible presence
- Contribute to the School Improvement Plan and help shape the priorities that will form the focus on monitoring and assurance activity
- Receive reports from, and provide challenge and support to the Headteacher and other leaders within the school on the quality of teaching and learning and the performance of the school;
- Support the Headteacher in promoting good relations with parents/carers and the community
- Form a pupil disciplinary panel in relation to serious breaches of school discipline should this be necessary
- Participate in the recruitment process as required and ensure the school appoints the best possible staff in line with Safer Recruitment procedures;
PROVIDE ASSURANCE TO THE TRUST BOARD
- Actively participate in Embark’s ‘Helping Hands’ School Improvement Cycle to provide monitoring and assurance to the Trust Board (ideally 1 or 2 governors should attend the school improvement audit day)
- Provide assurance that safeguarding, and health/safety of the school is robust;
- Provide assurance that staff disciplinary/conduct hearings are carried out in line with policy and participate as per the requirements of the policy
- Contribute to the performance review of the Headteacher annually and provide assurance that the performance review process is carried out effectively with whole staff team
- Contribute to, monitor and review the policies of the school, making recommendations to Trustees on Trust wide policies where appropriate;
- Provide assurance that the requirements of children with special education needs and disabilities are met
- Propose the school budget in line with Embark Federation calendar
- Carry out a website compliance audit every two years
(For more details on this please see the Embark Scheme of Delegation)
LGTs are asked to ensure:
- Minutes are taken and signed (subject to the approval of Governors) at the same or next meeting by the Chair of the meeting
- Minutes include a record of appointments of Governors and all proceedings at meetings of the LGT and of subcommittees. Including a signed register of all persons present at each meeting.
- Minutes include details of decisions taken, actions agreed, person responsible for taking action and timescales for completion. The agreed actions from a previous meeting should be included in the agenda for the next meeting.
- That copies of the draft minutes of all meetings, including any confidential item (s), of the LGT and any subcommittees are shared on Governor Hub (once in place) and that key items identified for reporting to the Trust Board are highlighted to the Trust Board Clerk as soon as possible.
- Copies of all LGT minutes and reports are kept in school (and on Governor Hub once in place) and accessible for reference (subject to the confidential nature of the information).
Proposed make-up of Local Governing Teams
- Ideally at least 9 Governors
- TWO Parent Governors (elected after requesting applications from the parent/carer community, advertising of a vacancy can include a request for certain skills in line with the skills audit outcomes)
- TWO Staff Governors (one of whom is the Headteacher. School Business Managers ideally attend meetings for their input on finances but not as governors)
- FIVE Co-opted Governors appointed based on the skills needed by the team and availability to come into school for monitoring activity
- Additional Associate Governors can become members of the LGT, i.e. where this is seen as development opportunity or there is a specific need.
Terms of Reference taken from Embark's 'Working Together' document and adopted by the Governing Body as the Terms of Reference for Field House Infant and Nursery School at their meeting on 12 May 2021.