Dear parents and carers,
As the current Chair of Governors, I want to provide you with information about the role of the Governing Body, describe how we go about our work and encourage you to think seriously about putting yourself forward as a potential Parent Governor in the new school year.
The role of the Governing Body
By law, every state school has to have a governing body to oversee its operation and performance. The Governing Body at Sidmouth College comprises 14 governors. You can find details of who they are and see agendas and minutes of our meetings on the College website (see About Us/Board of Governors). We have collective responsibility for overseeing the College and have 3 key strategic responsibilities, for which we are held to account by Ofsted, namely:
· Determining the strategic direction and vision for the College;
· Holding the Principal and senior leadership team to account for the performance of the College, in particular the educational outcomes for students; and
· Ensuring the efficient use of resources.
Beyond those strategic responsibilities, we have numerous specific operational responsibilities including appointing senior staff, approving the College’s budgets, ensuring children are safe, agreeing operational policies, reviewing student exclusions and so on and so forth…….
In effect, we carry out stewardship of the College on behalf of students and their families and the wider community of the Sid Valley and beyond. Each of us does this because we believe that all our children should receive the best provision available to meet their needs and have access to excellent educational and personal and social developmental opportunities that further their life chances and equip them to make a positive contribution in future life.
How the Governing Body operates
The Governing Body has a cycle of meetings each half term, with each governor elected to represent one of two committees, either Learning & Standards (overseeing the quality of teaching and student progress and attainment) or Resources (overseeing staffing, financial and physical resources). Towards the end of each half term there is also a full Governing Body meeting to consider the Principal’s report, reports from the 2 committees and other important matters relating to the College’s operations and performance.
We also have a Strategy Group, comprising the Chair of Governors, the Chairs of the 2 committees and the Principal which meets as appropriate to ensure strategic issues and key responsibilities are timetabled for discussion on the relevant agenda and, where appropriate, a recommendation is put forward for consideration. And individual governors also have agreed links to specific aspects of the College Improvement Plan and visit the College to meet with key staff (and students) and report back to committee or full governing body meetings. To support us in all of this, we have an excellent professional Clerk who attends all our meetings and advises us on processes and procedures.
Could you be a Parent Governor?
In September, we will have vacancies for two parent governors. Usually, a governor is elected for a period of 4 years, however, some remain governors for more than one period of office. Others step down at the end of, or even during, their period of office.
Our Clerk will be writing to all parents and carers inviting you to put yourself forward for election. In the past we have struggled to fill our parent governor positions and I would like to ask you all to consider whether you might have relevant skills, knowledge or simply enthusiasm and interest in secondary education to contribute to the work of the Governing Body. Please don’t leave it to someone else. Take the initiative to join us in our enjoyable, interesting and rewarding work. You will have access to a governor training programme run by Devon County Council to help you gain knowledge and confidence in the role. Thank you.
Chair of Governors