Introduction to the Academy Government Committee
William Law CE Primary School operates under the governance of the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust. Please see the structure of the AGC by visiting www.pdet.org.uk/governance/pdet-governance-structure
WHAT HAPPENS AT GOVERNORS' MEETINGS?
The Academy Government Committee is required to meet 6 times a year.
Meetings open with prayer and all formal meetings have an agenda which indicates the business to be discussed. The issues that might be discussed at will vary, but some items will be standard. For example there will be minutes of the previous meeting and any matters arising and the headteacher’s report. The Chair of Governors tries to conduct the meeting so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute. The Governance Professional takes the minutes of the meeting, records those present and advises on procedural matters. Governors are asked to prepare for meetings by reading the papers (which are usually sent out electronically about a week beforehand) and noting any points they want to make or wish to clarify.
New governors are given help to enable them to understand their role and the issues facing the school through an induction programme. They are also allocated a more experienced governor as a ‘mentor’.
HOW CAN A NEW GOVERNOR GET TO KNOW THE SCHOOL?
It is important that governors get to know their school in order that decisions made at governors’ meetings can be based, as far as possible, on first-hand knowledge of the school at work. It is helpful to read the school prospectus and other documents about the school but there is no substitute for a school visit. An enjoyable aspect of being a governor is involvement with the pupils during the school day. Visits are planned in consultation with the headteacher and any member of staff whose class you are to visit. Governors must be clear that their role is not that of an inspector. It is right to ask questions, of course, at appropriate times, but visits should be viewed as an opportunity for getting alongside the headteacher, staff and pupils as well as an opportunity to fulfil the governor’s role in monitoring.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO GOVERNORS NEED?
Governors do not need any formal qualifications and are not expected to be experts in everything. Governing any school will, though, involve a considerable commitment. The list of responsibilities can appear daunting but they are shared by the whole governing body. Therefore, each governor needs to play his or her part so that a sensible and fair distribution of the work is made. All governors are able to offer something. For example they may have particular skills or have useful knowledge and understanding because of their careers or their experiences in life. Just as important, though, are the skills of being able to listen and offer encouragement and support to staff, pupils, parents and their fellow governors. Every governor’s contribution can make a difference to William Law and the education and experiences that our pupils receive.
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