To be an effective governor, most governors contribute some 20 hours per term to meetings, reading documents, visiting the school and attending training. They use the time to consider and analyse the strategic challenges the school faces and give guidance and advice to the Headmaster and SLT.Guiding principles and valuesGoverning Body framework
In term time, governors attend Full Governing Body and committee meetings to help govern the school, approve key documents such as budgets and school improvement plans, and ensure key policies such as student safeguarding are up to date and robust.
They attend Parent Consultation Evenings to hear first-hand what parents and their sons have to say. They also have many other varied and visible commitments such as attending and recognising achievements at senior and junior prize giving, helping at Friends and alumni events, meeting with visitors and neighbours and engaging in fund raising activities – the astro turf pitch, Sports Hall and Sixth Form Centre are all magnificent examples of public giving, but they are also examples of activities which took up very willingly given amounts of governor time and energy.
Teaching standards and performance are matters for the Headmaster and his staff; what governors do is make sure the right systems, processes and data are in place to ensure continuing high performance in teaching and learning. They observe lessons, come along to careers evenings, support the Extended Project Qualification exhibition and help the school go on improving and achieving excellence in everything it does.
An outstanding school is a vibrant place and the governors also enjoy the creative energy of the school by attending school activities such as concerts, plays, art exhibitions, musicals, public speaking events, the Carol Service and sports days.
We believe an outstanding school should have outstanding governance and governors ensure they constantly evaluate and review their own work.
We have developed a Full Governing Body Charter to ensure current and future members are clear what is expected of them. This sets out our corporate nature, defines our key responsibilities and, as part of the Challoner’s family, makes clear our commitment to the guiding principles of the school. The Charter also shows our key relationships, the working practices and behaviours we believe are key to the success of what we do and the areas of focus for our work. It helps us ensure we keep important aspects of the school’s services under careful and regular scrutiny. The focus of our work is varied and wide-ranging and includes, for example, future learning requirements, student development, physical assets and risk management.
In addition we have defined and work according to a code of conduct for governors consistent with the principles and standards of those who hold public office.
Learning and development is also important to governors themselves. We must be a team with a good mix of attitudes, commitment and experience. We engage in regular training to make sure we stay up to date and have good arrangements in place to induct and mentor new governors. We evaluate our own performance and have undertaken a self-assessment survey to review our own skills and look for gaps and areas for improvement to ensure our performance is of the highest possible standard.
Appointment of governors takes place through a fully transparent process either by appointment or election. Anyone interested in becoming a governor is strongly encouraged to contact the Chair in the first instance.
A school is a complex business and needs a broad team of people to help run it, particularly those with skills in running a business. The Head and his team need to be able to call on the support and experience of such people and use their questions and constructive challenge to test and develop ideas. An outstanding school is built on excellence in teaching and learning which in turn grows out of strong leadership and strong relationships – shared and clearly understood - especially between the Head and the Chair and the members of the Governing Body and the SLT.
An outstanding school has strong values and needs visible support from Governors to sustain and refresh these values for each generation. The values drive the strategic vision for the school, its aims and objectives and its performance. Like any other business the school is a living organism and needs to continuously improve or it will wither and die. Governors aim to bring their collective wisdom and experience to bear on this: to facilitate and drive continuous improvement for everyone involved in the life of an outstanding school.
Helping children to develop is enjoyable and rewarding. Governors know they are a vital part of the public face of the school and aim to add value in everything they do, but they also know an effective team of governors gets back more than it puts in.