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What is Governance?

If the Governing Body is responsible for implementing and ensuring effective governance of the Academy, what is governance?

According to the report "Good Governance in the Public Sector" (June 2013), the following definition being short and to the point, summarises the meaning of Governance:

Governance comprises the arrangements put in place to ensure that the intended outcomes for stakeholders are defined and achieved.

OK…so that doesn't help much!! Let's pick this apart and make some more sense of it.

Every organisation should have a clearly defined set of statements and objectives (the mission and the strategy) that encapsulate what the organisation is aiming to achieve for all those impacted by it's operation. For a school/academy, those impacted are primarily:

  • the staff working in the academy,
  • the students attending the academy,
  • the parents/guardians/carers responsible for the students,
  • the community both in which the school/academy is based and from which it's students are drawn

The mission and strategy are usually prepared by the leadership team, in this case the Principal and their team, incorporating inputs from a broad range of the stakeholders to ensure the mission and strategy accurately reflect the aspirations and requirements of these groups. The mission/strategy and the outputs/results that come from its implementation, should be challenging and aspirational but also realistically achievable, within any identified constraints such as the available resources.

To ensure the mission and strategy meet these objectives, the governors – drawn from a range of economic sectors/experiences including parent and staff governors – provide both challenge and support to the leadership team to test the level of ambition, aspiration and realism. Also, once the mission/strategy are converted into an implementation plan, with activities, timescales and milestones by the leadership team, the governors will work with the leadership team to scrutinise and review progress of the plan in delivering the mission and strategy over time and successfully achieving the defined outputs/results, offering external perspectives and experience from their own working careers and lives as appropriate.

As a publicly funded organisation ie, its funds and resources are paid for by the taxpayer, there is a clear obligation for governors and the leadership team to ensure resources are deployed wisely and prudently to deliver the very best outcomes. This work also falls under the heading of "governance", underpinning the discussions held during governing body meetings on the resources input to achieve the progress and outcomes anticipated in the strategy and established as targets each academic year.

The "arrangements" mentioned in the statement above, comprise such things as:

  • the size and make-up of the governing body – Brooke Weston Academy has 12 Governors, including 2 parent governors and 1 staff governor.
  • the frequency of meetings – our governors formally meet three times each year
  • the content of the agendas – our agendas are aligned to the cycle of activities and information throughout the academic year and focus heavily the quality of teaching and learning, progress and outcomes forecast and achieved as well as the governors' involvement in Academy activities, events and initiatives
  • the principles within which we operate – the governors and leadership team maintain strong, constructive relationships while not losing sight of the core requirement for governors to balance both challenge to and support for the progress and outcomes achieved.
  • the overarching context and framework set by the Brooke Weston Trust for all the Trust Academies and schools, comprising the culture, values, principles, structure and aspirations within which we consistently operate.

The "Good Governance in the Public Sector" report (June 2013), describes the Governing Body as:

The person(s) or group with primary responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction and accountability of the Academy.

Describing its core activities and responsibilities as:

  • contributing to strategy, by bringing a range of perspectives to strategy development and decision-making;
  • making sure that effective management arrangements and an effective team are in place at the top level of the Academy;
  • holding the Executive to account for performance in fulfilling the responsibilities delegated to it by the Trust, including through purposeful challenge and scrutiny
Copyright © 2007 - 2018, Brooke Weston Academy. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2007 - 2018, Brooke Weston Academy. All rights reserved.
Company No. 2400784.
Brooke Weston Academy
Coomb Road, Great Oakley, Corby, Northants. NN18 8LA
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