Governance Handbook 2015

Article

16 December, 2015

The Department for Education have published a new re-branded version of the Governance Handbook for Governors in maintained schools and academies. The handbook has been updated to 'reflect changes to the law affecting boards of governors and changes to education policy'.

The change in the name of the handbook marks a significant shift towards the performance of a function of the governance as a board, rather than the particular role of a governor. There is also an increased focus on involving trustees, members of the local governing bodies and the staff of the school in a collective approach to governance.

The handbook focuses on three core functions

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The new version includes many changes namely;

  • The handbook now refers throughout to the 'board' to outline that it applies to all maintained schools regardless of the size.
  • The handbook has shortened sections in an attempt to refocus the handbook and signposts the reader to further guidance where needed.
  • Increased focus on the core functions of the board
  • New and updated links to best practice and support for the board

Schools are encouraged to provide robust accountability and fully realise the benefits of working together to gain a strategic perspective. There is a real emphasis on the importance of schools working together, collaborating and integrating in their local community.

There is also more of a commercial focus in the guidance on recruiting individuals for the board. Boards are encouraged to recruit individuals with business acumen and particular skills to enable an effective board to be established. Effective boards are those that think carefully about their organisation and efficiently delegate functions and decisions to suitable committees or individuals.

If you have any further questions about any changes to the new Governance handbook please do not hesitate to contact Ruth Rule-Mullen on 01772 220195 or Ruth Rule-Mullen

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