Terms of Reference 2016-2017

Cedars Academy Governing Body

Terms of reference 2016 -17

Most governing bodies carry out much of their business through committees. The governing body decides the constitution, membership and terms of reference of all committees, and must review these annually. Common committees include premises, staffing, finance (often combined in one resources committee as per our template below) and curriculum (sometimes called progress and attainment or standards committee).

It is a good idea for new governors to attend a meeting of each committee so that they can get a good overall picture of how the governing body works.

Each committee must have a chair and a clerk – the governing body will decide whether to appoint the chair or whether the committee should do this. The headteacher cannot be the clerk to a committee but a governor can. However, NGA strongly recommends that it is better practice to have an independent, professional clerk.

The membership of a committee may include associate members, provided that a majority of members of the committee are governors. Even if they are not a member, the headteacher is entitled to attend all committee meetings.

 

Quorum

For committee meetings, the quorum is a minimum of three governors who are members of the committee. The governing body can however specify its own higher limit. If a governing body does specify a higher limit, it is important to not set this too high - this may result in an increased likelihood of meetings not being able to take place where quorum is not met.

Meetings

Governing bodies are free to determine how often their committees meet – this may be left to the discretion of the individual committees and may depend on the circumstances of the school at any given time. Committee meetings will not be open to the public but minutes shall be made available – attendees can be invited to attend a committee meeting where appropriate.

Information relating to a named person or any other matter that the committee considers confidential does not have to be made available for inspection. In the absence of the chair, the committee shall choose an acting chair for that meeting from among their number. In the absence of the clerk the committee shall choose a clerk for that meeting from among their number (someone who is not the headteacher).

The draft minutes of each meeting will be circulated with the agenda for the next ordinary meeting of the full governing body and will be presented at that meeting by the chair (or in his/her absence another member of the committee). Any decisions taken must be determined by a majority of votes of committee members present and voting – but no vote can be taken unless a majority of those present are governors.

 

Full Governing Body

  • To determine the vision and strategic direction for  the school
  • To monitor and evaluate the performance of the school by receiving reports and information from the head teacher
  • To agree constitutional matters, including procedures (Standing Orders) where the governing body has discretion
  • To consider whether or not to exercise delegation of functions to individuals or committees
  • To agree committees terms of reference and membership
  • To receive reports and ratify recommendations from committees working parties or individual governors
  • To consider business provided by the LA and other sources
  • To investigate financial irregularities (head suspected)
  • To agree selection panel for head teacher and deputy head appointments and ratify the appointment
  • To suspend or end suspension of head teacher
  • To draw up the instrument of government and amendments thereafter
  • To elect or remove the chair and vice chair
  • To appoint/dismiss the clerk
  • To hold at least 3 governing body meetings a year
  • To set up a register of governors’ business interests
  • To recruit/appoint new governors
  • To appoint the chair of any committee (if not delegated to the committee itself)
  • To suspend or remove (where eligible) a governor
  • To manage the budget and consider proposed revisions
  • To approve the school development plan / school improvement plan
  • To receive updates and evaluate progress of School Development Plan
  • To decide whether to delegate power to spend the delegated budget to the head teacher and if so establish financial limits of delegated authority
  • To approve the first formal budget plan of the financial year
  • To ensure all statutory policies are in place and there is an effective policy review cycle
  • To review and agree the Governor Code of Conduct
  • Make arrangements to undertake the governor self-review                                                                                                                                                          

Finance & Staffing Committee

Finance

  • To review, adopt and monitor all financial policies, including charging and remissions policy.
  • To consider at least three budget monitoring reports each year monitoring the income and expenditure against the annual budget plan.
  • To draft and propose the first formal budget plan of the financial year to the governing body for approval
  • To establish and maintain a three year financial plan, taking into account priorities of the School Improvement Plan, roll projection and signals from central government and the LA regarding future years’ budgets. 
  • Make decisions in respect of service level agreements.
  • To annually review staff salaries.
  • Review benchmarking information.
  • To report back to each meeting of the full governing body and alert them of potential problems or significant anomalies at an early date.
  • Determine lettings and charging policies for users of the school grounds and premises.
  • Subject to the delegation scheme, approve spending. 
  • Review and complete the SFVS (Schools Financial Value Standard), undertake any remedial action identified as part of SFVS
  • Receive and act upon any issues identified by the local authority audit report  
  • Consider future number of pupils on roll.
  • Consider the use and impact of the Sports Premium, Pupil Premium, EY Premium and Year 7 Catch Up Premium.
  • Review Pay Policy

Staffing

  • Review staffing structures. 
  • Ensure that the school is staffed sufficiently for the fulfilment of the School Improvement Plan and the effective operation of the school. 
  • Establish and oversee the operation of the school’s Appraisal Policy – including the arrangements and operation of the schools appraisal procedures for the Head Teacher
  • Establish and review the school’s Pay Policy for all categories of staff.
  • Annually review procedures for dealing with staff discipline and grievance.
  • To monitor approved procedures for staff discipline and grievance and ensure that staff are kept informed of these.
  • In consultation with staff, to oversee any process leading to staff reduction.
  • Review the Single Central Record
  • To consider pay discretions
  • To receive health and safety reports
  • To approve high risk educational visits
  • Conduct agreed arrangements for recruitment and selection
  • Receive reports and monitor levels of staff absence
  • Consider requests made in line with staffing policies (secondment, flexible working, leave of absence, compressed hours)
  • Approve Staff Code of Conduct
  • Review and approve annually the Appraisal Policy ensuring that all staff have been consulted

 

Premises, Health and Safety Committee

  • To establish, review and monitor the Health and Safety Policy
  • To provide support and guidance for the governing body and the Headteacher on all matters relating to the maintenance and development of the premises and grounds, including Health and Safety.
  • To ensure that an annual inspection of the premises and grounds takes place and a report is received identifying any issues.  To inform the governing body of the report and set out a proposed order of priorities for maintenance and development, for the approval of the governing body.
  • To arrange professional surveys and emergency work as necessary.

-        The headteacher is authorised to commit expenditure without the prior approval of the committee in any emergency where delay would result in further damage or present a risk to the health and safety of pupils or staff. In this event the headteacher would normally be expected to consult the committee chair at the earliest opportunity.

  • To create a project committee / working party where necessary to oversee any major developments.
  • To establish and keep under review an Accessibility Plan and a Building Development Plan
  • To ensure that actions are taken in respect of relevant health and safety legislation
  • To make recommendations to the Finance and Staffing Committee on premises related expenditure

 

Curriculum and Pupils Committee 

Curriculum Planning and Delivery

  • To review, monitor and evaluate the curriculum offer
  • To recommend for approval to the full governing body:

-       Self-evaluation form

-       School Improvement Plan

-       Targets for school improvement

  • To review policies identified within the school’s policy review cycle and in accordance with delegated powers.
  • To ensure that the requirements of children with special educational needs are met, as laid out in the Code of Practice, and receive termly reports from the head teacher / SENCO

Assessment and Improvement

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of leadership and management
  • Monitor ad evaluate the impact of quality of teaching on rates of pupil progress and standards of achievement
  • To monitor and evaluate rates of progress and standards of achievement by pupils, including any underachieving groups
  • To monitor and evaluate the impact of continuing professional development on improving staff performance
  • To set priorities for improvement, and monitor and evaluate the impact of improvement plans which relate to the committee’s area of operation.
  • To monitor and evaluate provision for all groups of vulnerable children (e.g. looked after children) and ensure all their needs have been identified and addressed, and to evaluate their progress and achievement.
  • To regularly review and develop the Assessment Policy and to ensure that the policy is operating effectively.
  • To consider recommendations from external reviews of the school (e.g. Ofsted or local school improvement advisers), agree actions as a result of reviews and evaluate regularly the implementation of the plan.
  • To ensure that all children have equal opportunities.
  • To advise the resources committee on the relative funding priorities necessary to deliver the curriculum.
  • Review pupil attendance and exclusion information
  • Review impact of Sports Premium, Pupil Premium, Early Years Premium and Year 7 Catch Up Premium
  • To ensure safeguarding policies are adhered to.
  • To review child protection policy
  • To monitor and review safeguarding practice within the school.
  • To consider changes in safeguarding personnel.
  • To attend training as required in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance.
  • To keep up to date with changing legislation in the areas of safeguarding and child protection.

Engagement

  • To monitor the school’s publicity, public presentation and relationships with the wider community.
  • To identify and celebrate pupil achievements
  • To oversee arrangements for educational visits, including the appointment of a named co-ordinator.
  • To ensure all statutory requirements for reporting and publishing information are met and the school website content is fully compliant and presented in an accessible way.
  • Ensure the school website is reviewed and monitored and holds all of the necessary statutory information.  

 

Pupil Discipline Committee

  • Consider representations from parents in the case of fixed term exclusions, in line with statutory guidance. 
  • To consider the appropriateness of any permanent exclusion or any exclusion where one or more fixed period exclusions total more than 15 school days in one term or where a pupil is denied the chance to take a public examination in line with statutory guidance. 
  • To attend training as required in line with guidance.

 

Appeals & Complaints Committee

  • To consider appeals against the decision of the Headteacher  or committees

      (No fewer members than the original committee who made the decision being appealed against)

  • To consider any complaints against the school in accordance with the agreed Complaints Procedure
  • To approve a Complaints Policy / Procedure
  • To attend training as appropriate

 

Head Teacher Performance Management

  • To discuss and agree the annual head teacher’s performance management targets
  • To decide whether the targets have been met
  • To monitor through the year the performance of the head teacher against the targets
  • To make recommendations to the Finance & Staffing Committee in respect of pay awards for the successful meeting of targets in line with the Pay Policy
  • To attend training were appropriate

 

DELEGATION PLANNER

Governing bodies are accountable in law for all major decisions about the school and its future. However, this does not mean that they are required to carry out all the work themselves. Many of the tasks can and should be delegated to individuals and committees. It is vital that the decision to delegate a task/responsibility to an individual is made by the full governing body and recorded – without such a formula, the individual/committee has no power to act.

The table below sets out the major areas of responsibility for governing bodies and who they can delegate each task to; it also records where the NGA does not think that, even if a task/responsibility can be delegated, this would be good practice.

There is also space for notes relevant to your governing body – for example, you should specify which committee or individual a particular task will be delegated to.

  • The governing body is responsible for the strategic direction of the school
  • Committees can be given delegated authority to make decisions, monitor, evaluate and review particular plans, policies and targets. The head and staff play the major role in formulating plans, policies and targets to bring to committees or to the governing body for discussion prior to adoption by the full governing body.
  • The head is responsible for internal organisation, management and control of the school and is accountable to the governing body.
  • Although decisions may be delegated, the governing body as a whole remains responsible for any decision made under delegation

 

 

Level

 

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

Budgets

To approve the first formal budget plan each financial year (whether this can be delegated to a committee of the governing body depends on your local authority’s scheme of financial delegation)

 

ü

ü

 

 

Full Governing Body

To agree annual action plans and monitor how school premiums are spent (i.e. PE and sports premium, Year 7 numeracy and maths catch up premium, service premium and the pupil premium)

 

ü

ü

X

X

Curriculum  and Standards Committee

To monitor monthly expenditure

 

ü

ü

X

ü

Resources Committee

To establish a charging and remissions policy

 

ü

ü

X

X

Resources Committee

To enter into contracts (GB should agree financial limits)

 

ü

ü

x

ü

FGB / Resources committee

Staffing

Appoint selection panel for Headteacher

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Appoint selection panel for deputy head

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Appoint selection panel for other members of the senior leadership team

 

ü

x

x

x

Resources Committee

Ratify or reject decisions of appointed selection panels

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Appoint other teachers

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Appoint non-teaching staff

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

To put in place a pay policy

 

ü

ü

x

 

Resources Committee

To make pay decisions in line with the pay policy and legal requirements

 

x

ü

x

ü

Resources Committee

Dismissal of headteacher

 

x

ü

x

 

 

Initial dismissal of other staff

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Suspending head

x

ü

ü

 

Resources Committee / Chair

Suspending staff (except head)

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Ending suspension(head)

ü

ü

ü

 

As necessary

Ending suspension (except head)

ü

ü

ü

 

As necessary

Setting the overall staffing structure

ü

ü

x

X

Resources Committee


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staffing

In voluntary and foundation schools to agree whether or not the Chief Education Officer/diocesan authority should have advisory rights

 

ü

ü

x

 

Resources committee

Determining dismissal payments/ early retirement

 

ü

ü

x

x

Resources committee

To produce and maintain a central record of recruitment and vetting checks

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Establish and review procedures for addressing staff discipline, conduct and grievance

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Curriculum

Ensure National Curriculum (NC) taught to all pupils

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Standards and Curriculum committee

                                                              

To consider any disapplication for pupil(s)

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

To decide which subject options should be taught having regard to resources, and implement provision for flexibility in the curriculum (including activities outside school day)

 

ü

ü

x

x

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Establish and review a sex and relationships education policy (including in primary schools where the GB must decide whether to teach sex education) and ensure that parents are informed of their right to withdraw their children

 

x

 

 

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Provide clear advice, informed by statutory guidance, on which a strategy for careers advice and guidance can be based

 

X

X

X

ü

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Responsibility for ensuring that provision of religious education (RE) meets statutory requirements and/or the requirements of any trust deed

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Head Teacher


 

 

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

 

To ensure that all pupils take part in a daily act of collective worship in line with statutory requirements

 

 

 

 

ü

Head Teacher

Extra-curricular provision

To decide whether to offer additional activities and what form these should take place

ü

x

x

x

Full Governing Body  

To put into place the additional services provided

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

                                                             

To decide whether to stop providing additional activities

 

ü

x

x

x

Full Governing Body

Performance management

To adopt and review teacher appraisal policy

 

ü

ü

x

x

Resources Committee

To appoint the panel to carry out the appraisal of the head teacher

 

ü

ü

x

 

Full Governing Body

To carry out appraisal of other teachers (or delegate to line managers in the school)

 

 

 

 

ü

Head Teacher

Discipline / Exclusions

To review all permanent exclusions and fixed term exclusions where the pupil is either excluded for more than 15 days in total in a term or would lose the opportunity to sit a public examination

 

(can be delegated to Chair / Vice Chair in cases of urgency)

 

x

ü

 

 

Pupil Discipline Committee

To produce a set of written principles for the school behaviour policy and present these to the headteacher, parents, staff and students for consultation

 

ü

 

 

 

Curriculum and Standards Committee

To draft the content of the school behaviour policy and publicise it to staff, students and parents.

 

 

 

 

ü

Head Teacher

Admissions

To annually determine admission arrangements (VA and foundation schools)

 

ü

ü

 

 

Admissions Committee 

To carry out consultation where changes to admission arrangements are proposed, or the governing body has not consulted on their arrangements in the last seven years (VA and foundation schools)

 

ü

ü

 

 

Full Governing Body

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                         

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

 

Admissions: application decisions (Governing bodies of VA and foundation schools must establish a dedicated admissions committee to allocate places, where they choose to delegate authority to committee level)

 

x

ü

 

 

Admissions Committee

 

To establish and publish an admissions appeal timetable (VA and foundation schools)

x

ü

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To appeal against LA directions to admit pupil(s) (voluntary, foundation and special schools; also community and VC schools where LA is the admissions authority)

x

ü

 

 

Admissions Committee / Curriculum and Standards Committee

Premises and Insurance

Buildings insurance and personal liability– GB to seek advice from LA, diocese or trustees where appropriate

 

ü

x

x

 

Full Governing Body

Health and Safety

To ensure a health and safety policy and procedures are in place

 

ü

ü

x

 

Resources Committee

To ensure that health and safety regulations are followed

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

School Organisation

To publish proposals to change category of school

ü

ü

x

x

Full Governing Body

                           

To decide whether to convert to academy status

ü

x

x

x

Full Governing Body

Propose to alter voluntary foundation or foundation special school

 

ü

x

x

x

Full Governing Body

Propose to discontinue voluntary foundation or foundation special school

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

                                                                    

To set the times of school sessions and the dates of school terms and holidays (except in community, special and VC schools where this is the LA’s role)

 

ü

x

x

 

Full Governing Body

To ensure that school lunch nutritional standards are met

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

 

To establish a data protection policy and review it at least every two years and register with the Information Commissioner’s Office

 

x

ü

x

ü

Resources Committee

 

Maintain a register of pupil attendance

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

 

 

 

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

 

To ensure provision of free meals to those pupils meeting the criteria, including Universal Infant Free School Meals (if applicable)

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

Information for Parents

To determine whether to publish a home-school agreement (no longer a statutory requirement)

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Overall responsibility for ensuring that statutory requirements for information published on the school website, including details of governance arrangements, are met

 

ü

ü

x

x

Resources Committee

 

To establish, publish and review a complaints procedure

 

ü

ü

x

x

Curriculum and Standards

 

To establish and publish a Freedom of Information scheme and ensure the school complies with it

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Head Teacher

 

Ensure focus on three core strategic functions:

 

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff

3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

GB roles, procedures and development

To draw up an instrument of government and any amendments thereafter

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To appoint (and remove) the chair and vice-chair of a permanent or a temporary governing body

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To appoint and dismiss the clerk to governors

 

ü

ü

x

x

Full Governing Body

To appoint and remove co-opted governors

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To appoint local authority governors

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To set up and publish a register of governors’ business and pecuniary interests

 

ü

ü

x

 

Full Governing Body

 

 

 

 

 

Area

Function

FGB

Committee

Individual Governor

HT

In our school, this responsibility is delegated to:

GB roles, procedures and development

To set and publish the structure and remit of the governing body and any committees including governor appointment details, term of office and attendance record

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher  

To submit governor information to the DfE database of governors via Edubase

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

To approve and set up a governors expenses scheme

ü

ü

x

x

Resources Committee

To consider whether or not to exercise delegation of functions to individuals or committees

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To regulate the GB procedures (where not set out in law)

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To agree governor induction and training programme

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To review progress against strategic plan and evaluate governing body performance

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Formal collaboration

To consider forming or joining a group of schools

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

Academies

To consider approach and time scale to academy conversion

 

ü

ü

 

 

Full Governing Body

To consider forming or joining an existing Multi-academy-trust (MAT)

 

ü

ü

 

 

Full Governing Body

Federations

To consider forming a federation or joining an existing federation

 

ü

ü

 

 

Full Governing Body

Review of structure including any subsequent conversion to MAT status

ü

 

 

 

 

Inclusion and equality

To establish and approve a special educational needs (SEN) policy

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To publish and update at least annually a SEN information report (meeting requirements set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014)

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Standards and Curriculum Committee

To designate a qualified teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (the SEN co-ordinator or SENCO)

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

  1. In some schools, particularly larger ones, it may be appropriate to delegate deciding pay discretions to the headteacher. However, in this case it is a good idea for the governing body to quality assure the decisions made, for example by spot checking a selection.

 

  1. Regulation 18 of the School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 permits the governing body to delegate any of its functions, subject to the restrictions listed in Regulation 19. Academy conversion is not included on this list and the Academies Act 2010 explicitly restricts the functions of the discontinuance of schools provisions in the Education and Inspections Act 2006. Therefore legally the Regulations permit delegation of the decision to convert to an academy. However, it would be bad practice for any decision affecting the future of the school to be decided by anything other than the full governing body. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the Department for Education would accept an application to convert which had not been signed off by the full governing body.

 

 

3. Set out in the School Food Regulations which came into force on 1 January 2015.

 

Inclusion and equality

To appoint a designated teacher for looked-after children

 

x

x

x

ü

Head Teacher

To establish an accessibility plan and review it every three years

 

ü

ü

x

ü

Curriculum and Standards Committee

Safeguarding

To have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and to oversee the incorporation of the necessary procedures and practices outlined in the Prevent duty into the child protection policy

 

ü

 

 

 

Full Governing Body

To adopt and review annually a child protection policy and relevant procedures

 

ü

 

ü

 

x

 

Standards and Curriculum Committee