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The Role of the Governing Body


We have 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 responsiblities. 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


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.

If you are interested in finding out more about school governing bodies, you might like to read: