School and Federation Governance: 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Over 250,000 volunteers, drawn from all walks of life, serve as school or federation governors, ar as trustees in Multi-Academy Trusts across England and Wales. Below we seek to answer just a few of the questions that are typically asked about school governance, within our Federation and beyond.
1. Do school governors get paid?
No. Members of the Board give their time voluntarily and receive no payment; occasionally, they may claim specific pre-agreed out of pocket expenses.
2. How often do we meet?
The Full Board meets each September to elect officers, allocate responsibilities and map out its plans for the academic year ahead, and then three times during the course of the year. In addition, there is an additional meeting of the Full Board to ratify the Budget for the following academic year. The three Sub-committees also each meet three times a year, once per term. In addition, governors meet with staff members, parents and others in the course of discharging their responsibilities.
3. Where and when do we meet?
Usually, Full Governing Board meetings are held at Bushey Manor while Sub-committee meetings are held at Bushey and Oxhey. Most of our formal meetings are held in the evenings to enable participation by those with work commitments. In addition, governors visit the school to observe teaching practice and to support a range of events and activities, especially those relating to their special interests, their areas of expertise, or their responsibilities as Link Governors or Sub-committee members.
4. How long do school governors serve for?
Governors are typically appointed for a term of four years, but they can seek nomination or. Re-election for a second period?
5. Is your employer likely to support you in your role as a school governor?
Possibly. Some employers encourage their staff to get involved as school governors or the trustees of charities and allow a certain number of days per year to support this kind of voluntary activity. As an organisation, this enables the employer to demonstrate that it is a good, socially responsible ‘corporate citizen’. The employer is also likely to see this kind of participation as a good way for individuals to develop and demonstrate skills that might subsequently be valuable in the workplace and in their career.
6. Do we get support or advice to improve our effectiveness and decision making?
Yes. Our Board is supported by the team of governance professionals in the Clerking Service at Herts For Learning. Both of our Clerks, Rod Woodhouse and Allyson Woodhouse, are former Primary School Headteachers and Rod is currently Chair of Governors at another local school. As such, aside from their clerking duties at all Full Board and Sub-committee meetings, which we detail elsewhere in this section of the website, they bring a wealth of additional educational experience to our discussions.
7. Do governors get involved in the day-to-day running of the Federation’s schools?
8. If I am unhappy about something, at what point do I seek to involve the Board?