A message from Andy O’Connor, Chair of The Earls High School Governing Body
“The effectiveness of the Governing Body is outstanding. It is very supportive of the school and has well-defined and effective committees. Members of the Governing body analyse data to challenge the school and it has been influential in helping senior managers’ secure highly effective school improvement”. Ofsted 2011
The Earls High School became an Academy (also known as Academy Trust) on 1st January 2012. This means that we are funded directly from the Department for Education (DfE) via the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rather than via Dudley Local Authority (LA). Like LA schools, Academies have Governing Bodies.
Who we are
All Governors are volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school. We meet as a full Governing Body at least four times a year. The Earls High School Governing Body may include up to twenty Governors at any one time. The Principal is a Governor automatically but all other Governors are either elected or appointed.
Appointed Governors are those people who are appointed by the Governing Body. Elected members are Governors who are elected by either parents or staff.
- At any one time, The Earls High School Governing body can include up to seven elected Parent Governors.
- At any one time, the Earls High School can include up to three elected Staff Governors.
More about your Governors
I am delighted to be able to tell you that your Governors bring a wide range of useful, relevant knowledge and experience to the role, as well as high levels of enthusiasm and commitment. Our Governing Body includes those with education and business backgrounds as well as those with more specialist professional skills.
Many of our existing Governors started their association with the school as a Parent governor and then when their term was completed continued to serve on the Governing Body in a different category.
Our current Parent Governors are: Kuldeep Deol, Joe Kelleher, Lisa McClenaghan, Tracey Price, Gareth Smith and Simon Southall. There is one post vacant at present for which we are holding a ballot.
The initial term of office for all categories of Governor, other than the Principal, is four years. (Once a person is elected as a Parent Governor they remain on the Governing Body for the length of their term of office, even if their children complete their education and leave the school during this period).
In legal terms, all Governors are equal and no type of Governor is any more important or influential than any other. Generally, all Governors have a right to take part in discussions on all items, although there are some exceptions. For example, if the child of a Parent Governor is being discussed, the Parent Governor cannot take part in this discussion. If an individual Governor has some direct personal interest in a financial or employment matter under discussion which is greater than that of the other Governors, he/she cannot take part in the discussion.
What we do
We work collectively to:
- Set the strategic direction for the school and decide how the budget should be spent.
- Promote high standards of educational achievement.
- Make decisions on matters such as performance targets, school policies and the school’s development plan.
- Monitor the impact of policies and oversee the use of the school’s budget.
- Monitor the school’s achievements and respond to inspection recommendations.
Governors provide the Principal with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They act as a critical friend to the Principal and ensure the school is accountable to those it serves.
Our role is largely strategic and we do not get involved in the operational, day to day, running of the school; this we delegate to the Principal. The statutory legalisation does not permit Governors to manage the school or intervene on behalf of parents, for example if they have a concern they wish to raise about the school.
If you do wish to raise a concern about any aspect of your child’s education at The Earls High School you should in the first instance contact the relevant member of staff at the school. This is usually the Year Co-ordinator. Should this be insufficient then contact the school to seek a discussion with a senior member of staff.
In line with statutory legalisation, Governors hear appeals from students and staff in some circumstances as summarised below in the information about ‘Committees of The Earls High School Governing Body and other responsibilities’.
A word about Parent Governors
Parent Governors give a great deal of time to the school through their participation in the work of the Governing Body. It is important that other parents support them and let them know that their commitment, time and energy is appreciated. Parent Governors are not delegates or representatives, and other parents cannot instruct or ask them about what to say or bring up at Governors’ meetings. Parent Governors are unable to raise personal or individual issues relating to a child or the school; these must be resolved through the usual school channels.
Governors who take on nominated roles
Some Governors may take on a ‘nominated’ role, whereby they focus specifically on one area. These governors act as a direct liaison from the area concerned and report directly to the Governing Body.
Committees of The Earls High School Governing Body and other responsibilities
The Governing Body also appoints various committees with three to six members to look at specific areas of work. These committees may make decisions on behalf of the Governing Body, or recommendations, depending upon their terms of reference. At The Earls High School we have four committees:
- Finance (including Buildings)
- School Improvement
- The Foundation
- A panel of up to three Governors sit on disciplinary panels, when students have been excluded for 15 days or have been permanently excluded. Governors all have training before sitting on a panel.
- Governors also sit on appointment panels for senior members of staff.
The Clerk to the Governing Body:
We have a person who is the Clerk to the Governing Body who is appointed to advise the Governing Body. If you have any queries about the work of the Governing Body or comments to pass on to us, these can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use ‘For the attention of the Chair of Governors’ as your subject heading. We very much look forward to working together in the coming year to help The Earls High School to provide the best possible educational experience for your children.
Andrew O’Connor (Chair)
On behalf of The Earls High School Governors