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Governing Bodies’ Core Functions

Governing Bodies’ Core Functions


Schools are run by a Governing Body working with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership team. The Governing Body is made up of parent, staff, local authority and co-opted representatives.


There are high expectations of governing bodies. They are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. This is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.


The DfE Governance Handbook for governors in maintained schools, academies and free schools is a key document for governors and highlights their roles and responsibilities.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

• ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, and

• 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.


These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools (September 2013) and in the criteria Ofsted inspectors use to judge the effectiveness of a school’s governing body.