The Diocese of Ely Education Directorate

Overview of Governance

The Diocesan Board of Education supports its Church schools in all matters relating to the appointment or reappointment of Foundation Governors; the federation of governing bodies, and other strategic matters. Officers of the Board also support church schools in the vital task of recruiting and appointing a new headteacher.

All schools have governing bodies made up of different categories of governors, all volunteers.  All Church of England school governing bodies are made up of a combination of foundation governors,  parent governors, staff governors, the head teacher (or equivalent), local authority governors and co-opted governors.  The exact number of governors in any school and their constituencies will be clearly shown in the school’s individual Instrument of Government.  You do not have to have children at a school to be a governor, however, you do have to be over 18, and will be subject to a DBS check.

The main role of the governing body is to operate at a strategic level, leaving the head teacher and senior school leaders responsible and accountable to the governing body for the operational day-to-day running of the school.  As such, the three core functions of the governing body are:
1 . Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance and character of the school, its staff and pupils (often described as the “critical friend” role);
2. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the budget is well spent.                              3. Ensuring clarity of  vision, ethos and strategic direction.

Foundation governors are also specifically appointed to ensure and support the preservation and development of the school’s Christian character, although this monitoring and support role can be carried out by any member of the governing body.  See the Foundation Governor Skillset.

Governors bring many different talents and experiences to their role and it is important that each governing body has a good mix of such skills and knowledge within the team to better support the school.  It’s also important to have energy, enthusiasm, time, and a real desire to help provide children with the best possible education.  The voluntary role of school governor is a vital and demanding one in our current education system,  and the Diocese is appreciative of all those who are prepared to give of themselves in this way.