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Getting to Grips with Governance - Part 1 (Governors)

Event/course Code EDU 18/555
Event/course type Training course
Event Introduction The Department for Education and Ofsted have high expectations of boards of governors/trustees. They are the strategic leaders of our schools/academies and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. In all school settings, boards should have a strong focus on the three core functions:

• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
• Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
(Governance Handbook, January 2017)

These functions are reflected in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of governance in both maintained schools and academies. They are also discussed further in departmental advice set out in The Governance Handbook (2017).

Please note: This session is fully funded to all those schools that subscribe to premium SPARK or standalone Governor Support.
Event Content This course is a two part evening session and is an alternative to the intensive one day version that Achieving for Children also run termly. The course is highly recommended for all new governors and clerks. It is also suitable for governors who wish to refresh their understanding of governance, whether at a school or an academy including free schools. Ideally, participants will have attended at least one meeting of their board before attending the course.

Governors/trustees are asked to bring their school's:

• Development/improvement plan
• Pupil premium report. This should be on the school's website (except nurseries)
• Performance tables - downloadable from

The course is structured around the Three Core Functions set out in The Governance Handbook and is closely cross referenced to Ofsted’s criteria for judging governance.

It will provide essential information about governance in schools/academies and the education system including jargon-busting, categories of school, types of governor/trustee, what governors/trustees do (and don’t do), their powers and duties and an overview of the role including advice on what to focus on as a new governor.

It explores:

Core Function 1: Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction - including values and vision, succession planning and statutory duties.

Core Function 2: Holding the Headteacher to account - covering reporting to the board, interpreting data, visiting the school and what sort of questions to ask.

Core Function 3: Ensuring effective use of public money is explored, by overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

There is a mix of input, small/whole group discussions, and practical activities on the school/academy development plan, monitoring visits and the pupil premium report.

This session will be delivered by Therese McNulty, School Governance Development Adviser at Ealing Council. Therese has worked in a variety of education roles for more than 20 years. Her previous experience has included teaching English/history and being second in department at a London high school; recruiting and placing teachers in both London and international schools and being part of a team that set up a new business venture, teaching agency for an educational charity. Therese has worked at Ealing Council in a number of roles including supporting schools in all aspects of recruitment, development, training and restructuring/change management. Since 2012 she has headed up the school governance service for the local authority and also been involved in intervention work focused on governance across all phases of school.
Event Learning Outcomes By the end of the two sessions, governors will be able to:

• Perform the main purpose and core functions of the board
• Demonstrate knowledge of the current context for governance
• Examine relevant documentation from their schools to better understand the core functions
• Demonstrate good practice, knowing where to access further information and support.
Trainers Angela Langford
Expiry Date Sunday 5 June 2022
Course categories Governor Support
Age Ranges
0 - 5 yrs No 5 - 7 yrs No 7 - 11 yrs No 11 - 19 yrs No 19+ yrs No 
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SessionSession DateSession TimeSession VenueMap
Session 1Wednesday 5 June 201919:00 - 21:00King Charles Centre Surbiton, Hollyfield Road, KT5 9AL