The Function and the Structure of the Governing Body
Governors are the strategic leaders of the school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. In short, their purpose is to conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement.
In Catholic education governors have a special role which is to ensure that Pope Paul is first, and foremost, conducted as a Catholic School, in accordance with the Trust Deed of the Diocese of Westminster. A Catholic school is not one which merely follows the secular National Curriculum with Catholic religious education and liturgical worship bolted on, but rather an institution where Gospel values and the Catholic faith are at the heart of everything and permeate every facet of its work.
Beyond this, the role of the Governing Body is to:
- set the strategic direction, vision and ethos of the school;
- monitor and challenge the progress of the school in achieving its priorities;
- recruit and performance manage the headteacher;
- exercise employer responsibility;
- ensure the school meets its statutory responsibilities;
- ensure financial probity;
- ensure the premises are well managed;
- report to the school’s stakeholders; and
- set the long term future of the school
The Headteacher is responsible for the educational performance of the school and the internal organisation, management and control of the school.
Governors work with and in support of the headteacher but are also required to hold the headteacher to account. They are not, however, responsible for the day to day management and leadership of the school, which is firmly the responsibility of the headteacher.
The composition of our Governing Body is as follows:
Seven Foundation Governors (appointed by the Archbishop of Westminster)
One Local Authority (LA) Governor (appointed by the LA – Hertfordshire)
One Staff Governor (elected by the staff)
Two Parent Governors (elected by the parents of children attending the school)
One Co-Opted (Associate) Governor (appointed by the Governing Body)
Governors generally hold their office for a period of four years at a time. During this time they have the opportunity to attend training courses and workshops on a comprehensive range of topics provided by the Local Authority and the Archdiocese, and receive updates on salient issues from a variety of sources.
Meetings of the full Governing Body are usually held twice a term throughout the school year. Topics covered in meetings may include planning the school’s long-term vision through the School Improvement Plan, target setting and monitoring, and the school budget. Much of the work, however, is devolved to a series of committees to ensure the workload is dealt with effectively. At Pope Paul there are four major committees.
School Improvement Committee
School Resources Committee
Governors make collective decisions and the Governing Body is answerable to parents and the community.