Governance is about overseeing the success of the school. It is about agreeing priorities and monitoring progress towards them. It is not about running or managing the school or college – that is the job of paid professionals. Governance is about providing constructive support and challenge to leaders and managers to enable them to do their job to the best of their ability. Strong governance is becoming all the more essential as schools and colleges become more autonomous.
The Government and Ofsted have high expectations of governing bodies to:
- set the vision and ethos
- establish strategic direction
- promote high standards of educational achievement
- appoint a headteacher or principal and hold them to account for the performance of pupils and staff
- oversee the financial performance of the school or college, making sure money is well spent.
Some schools work together as multi-academy trusts – these organisations can be involved in the education of thousands of pupils with significant budgets. They need strong corporate governance and trustees with financial and leadership experience to support them.
PSHE Education and the Role of the Governor
"Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school and academy. They are also a key part of the overall system for school accountability. Governing bodies have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education." (John Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools).
PSHE education provides pupils with opportunities to develop key skills and attributes to keep themselves healthy and safe and to thrive, thus helping children and young people achieve the best possible outcomes in life and work. While PSHE is a non-statutory subject, section 2.5 of the National Curriculum framework states that: ‘All schools should make provision for PSHE, drawing on good practice.’
As governors are a key driving force, who play a vital role in making decisions regarding the curriculum, it is paramount they are actively involved in tailoring the PSHE curriculum to the needs of the pupils within the school.
School Council Links
The purpose of a school council is to give the children in it a voice and encourage them to get involved in issues that concern both the school and their local community. The success of the School Council will rely on building strong communication links between school staff, parents and carers, and school governors. A governor presence at school council meetings on occasion is a great way to link the work of the governors and the work of the school council. You can find out more about the role of the school council by going to the School Council section of our website.
We welcome governors to attend the training sessions we have on offer, in an array of health and wellbeing areas. Some of the training sessions we offer, include: School Council Workshop, A Whole School Approach to Good Mental Health and Online Safety. For more information about the training we offer, follow this link.
Resources and Guidance for Governors
The PSHE Association provide a large amount of guidance around PSHE, including lesson plans and resources that schools can use and adapt. Your school can become a member of the PSHE Association (there is a cost associated for a full membership). One of the documents you can access, if you are a member, is the PSHE Education Briefing for Governors, which is available via this link.
The Department for Education produces a handbook for school governors, which contains information about the role of the governing body, constitution and procedure, education and inspection and pupil wellbeing.
The National Governors’ Association, strives to improve the well-being of children and young people, by promoting high standards in all our schools, and improving the effectiveness of their governing boards. The NGA is the only independent board representing governors at national level across England. You can view the Written Evidence submitted by National Governors Association (NGA) regarding PSHE by clicking here.