Governing Body Roles and Responsibilities
The governing body must hold at least three meetings in every school year.
Governing body meetings are not open to the public by right. It is for the governing body to decide each year whether anyone who is not a governor may attend meetings, visitors should be asked to withdraw if confidential (Part 2) items are to be discussed. If open meetings are agreed, it is advisable for the governing body to agree an open meeting protocol.
Copies of the agenda, the approved minutes and papers for each meeting must be made available for inspection at the school by any interested person. The only exception is for Part 2 items, which the governing body has decided should remain confidential.
Decisions should only be taken by a committee, or by an individual with delegated power, or at a governors' meeting. However, there may be times when a decision is so urgent that there is no time to call a meeting. If a delay would seriously harm a person or the school, the chair or vice-chair has the power to take a decision on behalf of the governing body. If neither is available, the headteacher can act as necessary and must seek the governing body's retrospective approval as soon as possible. Any such decision must be reported back to the next full meeting of the governors.
All boards, whether in the maintained or academy sector and no matter how many schools they are responsible for, have three core functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
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(s) meet its statutory responsibilities
- ensure financial probity
- ensure the premises are well managed and
- report to the school's stakeholders.
Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools
The Safeguarding Audit
This is a statutory requirement for Surrey maintained schools.
Safeguarding – audit of statutory and associated duties: to review the school’s policies and procedures in relation to the duty of the governing body to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, in particular the school’s arrangements for the protection of children, and report this to the LA using the online format. Surrey’s completion date for 2018/19 to be confirmed.
Safeguarding & Child Protection in Schools
Surrey County Council: Audit of statutory and associated duties.
The online version is a statutory requirement for Surrey maintained schools and recommended for academies.
To review the school’s policies and procedures in relation to the duty of the governing body to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and in particular the school’s arrangements for the protection of children, and report this to the LA using the online format. Surrey’s completion date for 2018/19 to be confirmed.
KCSIE Revised Guidance Effective 3 September 2018 (KCSIE)
Schools and colleges must continue to have regard to KCSIE 2016 until this point
This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. Schools and colleges in England must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. For the purposes of this guidance children includes everyone under the age of 18.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a revised version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). KCSIE is statutory guidance from the DfE and all schools in England must have regard to it when considering their safeguarding duties and promoting children and young people’s welfare.
The guidance is published for information only and does not take effect until 3rd September 2018.
KCSIE can be downloaded in full using this link.
The new version of KCSIE contains a considerable number of changes. Many of the changes are aimed at clarification and reflected updated guidance and legislation that has come into place since the 2016 version was published. There are other less significant changes but all amendments are summarised in Annexe H of the document.
The key changes in Part 1 of the guidance are summarised below:
• Must vs should are explained, emphasising that must is used throughout the guidance, to indicate a
legal requirement or duty to act.
• What staff need to know has always contained a list of key documents that all staff should be made
aware of. This list has now been updated (par. 13) to include, the school’s Management of
Behaviour Policy and guidance on Children Missing from Education.
• Children’s Welfare has always been a consideration in safeguarding and the wording in the section
advising staff what to do if they have concerns (para 23) has been updated to reflect new guidance
‘If staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately’
• Female Genital Mutilation guidance has been updated in paragraph 35 reminding staff of the duty to
raise concerns and of legal duty on teachers to report concerns to the police.
• The recently published DfE guidance on peer-to-peer sexual harassment and sexual violence is
referenced under the section in part one relating to Specific Safeguarding Issues.
There are other changes to Part Two of KCSIE which will be addressed in a further article on Better Governor and training sessions during the autumn term 2018.
These changes referenced above should be reflected upon by Trust Boards and Governing Bodies.
Unless otherwise specified:
• ‘school’ means: all schools whether maintained, non-maintained or independent schools (including
academies, free schools and alternative provision academies), maintained nursery schools1 and pupil
• ‘college’ means further education colleges and sixth-form colleges as established under the Further and
Higher Education Act 1992 and institutions designated as being within the further education sector.2 It
relates to their responsibilities towards children who are receiving education or training at the college. It
excludes 16-19 academies and free schools (which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding
legislation by virtue of their funding agreement).
This statutory guidance should be read and followed by:
• governing bodies of maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools) and colleges;
• proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision
academies) and non-maintained special schools. In the case of academies, free schools and
alternative provision academies, the proprietor will be the academy trust; and
• management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs).
The above persons should ensure that all staff in their school or college read at least Part one of this guidance.
The above persons should ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one of this guidance.
Surrey Safeguarding Children Board
Surrey County Council Social Care
Statutory Nominated Governor Roles
Governor responsible for liaison with LA in the event of allegation (Child Protection) against Headteacher (check the school’s Child Protection Policy)
Nominated governors with responsibility for:
Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND)
Looked after Children (LAC)
Governors to agree School Development Plan (SDP) priority areas for monitoring and allocation of roles