The Governing Board plays an important part in the life of the school. Governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school, but take a keen interest in all aspects of school life – the welfare of pupils and staff, the curriculum, the achievement of pupils, the management of school funds, and the condition of the school buildings and equipment. It has been suggested that Governors act like Directors of a company, who have overall control, but leave the routine management to a CEO, which, in the case of a school, is the Headteacher.
Ofsted now regard the quality of the governance of a school as an important consideration when they come to make a judgement about a school. For this reason governors are expected to act in a professional manner, keeping a close eye on the pupils’ progress, scrutinising the school’s spending and overall financial management, and ensuring that the school is well organised, and provides a good learning environment for the staff and pupils. In the end, Governors are legally responsible for much of what happens in school. They must set an annual budget and monitor the progress of the spending of the money. They are asked to set targets for achievement and monitor outcomes. They are the employers of school staff and so have responsibility for complaints and disciplinary matters arising from the employees. The tasks of the Governing Board are many and wide-ranging. In carrying out these duties, the Governors work in partnership with the Headteacher, staff, pupils and parents.
The Governors meet all together twice each term, but much of the detailed work takes place in committees. We operate through three committees: Financial, Personnel & Premises; Curriculum & Standards; and, Parents, Pupils & Community. In our meetings we look in detail at the School Development Plan, the school budget, staff issues, how well pupils are progressing, the quality of teaching, the school buildings, and how the ethos of the school is reflected in its everyday life. We sit on interview panels for the senior leaders in the school, and operate the admissions process for places in the school.
We receive reports from the Headteacher on all aspects of the school’s work and discuss whether the ambitions for the school are being delivered. We receive information from the Director of Education of the Local Education Authority, much of which keeps us up to date with the ever-changing statutory duties of Governors as well as informing us of initiatives which are designed to support or enhance our work. We continue to analyse our own performance and attend training courses to improve our knowledge and understanding. Individual governors take responsibility for particular areas of the school curriculum, visit the school to meet with teachers and to observe classes at work, before reporting back to committees on their findings.
The 16 Governors come from different backgrounds and represent different constituencies. Governors are appointed by the local church, Holy Cross , Greenford; by the London Diocesan Board for Schools; Ealing Council; and by the parents of pupils in the school, and by the school staff. Two governors are appointed by the Betham Trust, which exists to maintain Edward Betham’s vision of providing education for children in the area, and to manage his financial legacy. The governors have differing political and religious views, but we see this variety as a strength, not a weakness. The Governors share a broad vision for education, based on an inclusive approach which welcomes people from other world faiths as a feature of our commitment to the Christian faith.
The school’s ethos is determined by our Christian values, and we see these as providing the framework in which the children may grow to have a generous understanding of the world in which we live. These values include equality and inclusivity, care for each other, honesty and tolerance, and a willingness to challenge intolerance, hatred, cruelty and inequality. We believe that these Christian values have underpinned the development of the United Kingdom and its institutions, and the ‘British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
The Governors are proud to be the managers of a Church of England school, which has been operating for over 200 years. We do not see that heritage as a narrow sectarian one, and although preference in our admission criteria is given to the children of worshipping Anglican families, we are open to the good influences from all the families who send children to the school. It is a vital feature of our Religious Education curriculum that children from all faiths visit places of worship which include Churches, Mosques, Gurdwaras and Mandirs and learn about other faiths, and religious traditions. This positive statement is both educationally sound and spiritually vibrant. We want the children to experience what the world has to offer in every area, including the area of faith journeys. So, children of other world faith families are not encouraged to see Christianity as superior and Christian children are nourished in their faith with confidence.