I hope you are enjoying our website and finding out about Penpol School.
As Chair of Governors here at Penpol School I am very pleased to have this opportunity to explain what we do as Governors.
Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.
Governors are responsible for making sure the school actively provides the best possible and highest quality education for its pupils, and actively fulfils its role in the local community. We recognise that there are three important core roles to our contribution at Penpol School. These roles include providing a strategic overview, acting as a critical friend to the school and ensuring accountability.
- The Head Teacher is responsible for day-to-day management of the school and Governors, in co-operation with the Head Teacher, set the school’s aims, strategies, and policies and fulfill other important roles. It is our responsibility as Governors to support the management of the school by agreeing policies and monitoring their impact. Governance is strategic and management is operational. This distinction between governance and management needs to be clearly understood by all, so that governors and trustees are not asked to, and do not try to, involve themselves in day to day management of the school.
- The second is to be a ‘critical friend’. It is important that we ask relevant but probing questions. We examine the performance of the children in the school, and we give praise where it is good and seek ways of making improvements when expectations are not achieved.
- Thirdly, we must ensure accountability. For instance, if we delegate a task to a committee or working party, the terms of reference for the group must be clearly set. We must evaluate ourselves and the actions we take.
Penpol School Governing Body
At Penpol School there are currently fifteen members of the Governing Body, representing the Local Authority, local community (now called co-opted Governors), parents and staff. We are all volunteers, and we all have the same aims and ambitions for the school. We are interested in children, their education and their development.
The Full Governing Body meet four times a year, with sub-committees meeting an additional three times a year and the Finance Committee meeting once every half term. The Governing Body as a whole is responsible for any decisions made in these meetings. We also have an independent Clerk who is responsible for taking minutes of our meetings, and oversees our administration.
Being a school governor can be demanding, but it is a good and rewarding way of putting something back into the local community. The satisfaction of knowing that we can make a contribution to school life is also personally rewarding. It is truly a privilege to be part of the highly skilled and dedicated team of professionals and volunteers here at Penpol School.
If you would like to find out more about the role of a Governor please click on the relevant page on the Governor section of the school web site. Also, in this section you can find the list of Governors, their roles/responsibilities, and dates of meetings. Governing bodies are increasingly professional so volunteers need not be experts in education as they will be able to contribute from their skills set, whatever that may be. Recruiting governors is largely based on an analysis of needs and vacancies arise from time to time.
Clerk to the Governors
The Clerk to the Governors is Janet Standring. All correspondence relating to Governor matters must be directed through the Clerk to the Governors. Letters should be sent to the school office marked for her attention.
I look forward to meeting you at Penpol in the near future.
Mrs J Whitehouse
Chair of Governors