Bingley Grammar School

Governance

BGS_buildings2

The second level of Governance is provided by the Governing Body
of Bingley Grammar School
("the Governing Body"). The role of the Governing Body is to work with the Headteacher and the rest of the School Leadership team to determine the school's future strategic direction and then hold them accountable for progress towards these objectives.

The Governors have a range of statutory responsibilities, such as appointment of the Headteacher and ensuring that the school budget is used to best advantage, but they do not run or manage the school. They influence the school's progress by developing, setting, monitoring and evaluating performance targets that ensure all students are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. It has representative Governors appointed by Parents ( 4 Governors ), Staff ( 1 Governor ), the LEA ( 1 Governor ) and the Foundation ( 10 Governors ). Our Headteacher, Mr Luke Weston, is also a Governor. The Governing Body can and does co-opt Governors from the community who are willing and able to use their special skills and contacts for the benefit of the pupils and the school. Currently there is 1 co-opted Governors from the community.

The Government recognises the importance of the Governors' role in driving up educational standards. The latest guidelines from the DfE insist that those sections of the school community appointing Governors to represent them should select people with the requisite skills and commitment to add value to the Governing Body. The Governing Body regularly reviews the skill set of its members against the current needs of the school and asks those appointing Governors to measure each Governor they appoint against these needs. In doing this they ensure that the Governing Body is fully equipped to challenge and support the Headteacher and their team in pursuing the goal of Bingley Grammar becoming an outstanding school.

This may sound like a very distant and formal relationship with the school but nothing could be further from the truth. Governance is a "live" process that has to continually adapt to the changing needs of the school. Fortunately, the Governing Body has, collectively, a wide experience of industry, commerce and the service industries in the public and private sectors. This experience is brought to bear on the problems, opportunities and risks facing the school. The full Governing Body meets every half term but most of the work is carried out by four sub-committees. These four sub-committees reflect the current organisation of the school and its strategic aims.

The relationship between Governors and the school Leadership Team is usually described as one which would exist between "critical friends". It is a balanced mixture of support and challenge in which honesty and trust on both sides ensures stability and sustainability.

The Governing Body meets with the Headteacher and other relevant ( to the agenda ) members of the school staff.  It discusses high level strategic issues and receives formal reports from the Headteacher, Governors with specific duties delegated by the Governing Body and the Governors sub-committees.  It should be noted that Governors attempt to carry out all their scrutiny work at sub-committee level and use the Governing Body meetings to ensure that all Governors are aware of progress or lack of it in areas outside their own remits.

The five sub-committees, which also meet half-termly, are detailed below with an outline of their area of responsibility and their membership:

  • Key Stage ( KS ) 3 sub-committee – Works with the Head of KS3 and, from time to time, other school leaders, to ensure that between joining Year 7 at Bingley Grammar and the end of Year 8, pupils are aware of all the options open to them and take full advantage of every opportunity for their learning and social development to progress. 

During their meetings, Governors scrutinise the primary aims of KS3:

to ensure that pupils arriving from Primary School feel comfortable and secure in their new environment and thereby actively “Belong” at the school and are “Growing” in their attitudes to their studies and social development,

that their KS2 learning joins seamlessly to KS3 thereby building solid foundations for GCSE examinations in KS4.  The progress of pupils learning is examined at meetings using the statistics provided by the school.  This includes the progress of pupils in receipt of the “Pupil Premium” to ensure that their progress is not impaired by social dis-advantage,

that Pupils attendance, punctuality and conduct do not impair their own learning or that of others.

Additionally, Governors examine how effectively the “Catch-up” premium is used to ensure that any residual KS2 learning problems are quickly addressed.

  • Key Stage 4 sub-committee – Works with the Head(s) of KS4 and, from time to time, other school leaders to ensure that, in this crucial 3 year phase in their Education, pupils continually progress towards their GCSE goals.

During their meetings, Governors scrutinise the primary aims of KS4:

that the maximum economic number of GCSE subject choices are available to pupils and that they make wise choices as part of “Growing” at the school,

to ensure that pupils make continuous academic progress towards their GCSE targets.   The progress of pupils learning is examined at meetings using the statistics provided by the school.  This includes the progress of pupils in receipt of the “Pupil Premium” to ensure that their progress is not impaired by social dis-advantage,

that Pupils attendance, punctuality and conduct do not impair their own learning or that of others.

  • Key Stage 5 sub-committee – Works with the KS5 Team and, from time to time, other school leaders to ensure that pupils make the maximum amount of academic progress of which they are capable as they embark on the transition to further education or the world of work.

During their meetings, Governors scrutinise the primary aims of KS5:

that the maximum economic number of “A” Level and other KS5 Qualifications are available to pupils and that they make choices which support their future aspirations and ultimately “Succeed” in their final opportunity at the school,

to ensure that pupils make continuous progress towards their Academic targets and that any additional support that they need is available to them.   The progress of pupils learning is examined at meetings using the statistics provided by the school.  This includes the progress of pupils in receipt of the “Pupil Premium” to ensure that their progress is not impaired by social dis-advantage,

that Pupils attendance, punctuality and conduct do not impair their own learning or that of others.

  • Finance, Buildings and Services – working with the Headteacher and Business Manager to ensure that the school gets the best possible value from its budget ( revenue and capital ).

During their meetings, Governors scrutinise, with a view to getting the best possible value:

the schools expenditure against its planned revenue and capital budgets,

the use of the General Fund to support school related activities and development,

the maintenance and development of the school buildings, infrastructure and site,

the Health and Safety of pupils, staff and visitors to the school,

the value achieved by contracting some of the school’s specialist support functions.

  • Leadership and Management sub-committee – The Chairs of the other four sub-committees work with the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher on issues which cross the boundaries of the other sub-committee remits.

During meetings issues are raised that Governors believe have wider implications than their individual sub-committees:

The agendas tend to be focussed on a narrow range of subjects where the Headteacher seeks the guidance of Governors on the strategic development of the school, perceived risks to the school in terms of upcoming legislative or other changes proposed or imposed by external bodies.

Within the sub-committee structure, an increasing number of governors take on delegated responsibility for a defined area of the Governing Body remit. They report progress, problems and perceived risks at the relevant sub-committee meetings or those of the Governing Body. Most Governors attend more than one sub-committee so that they can get a wider view of how the school is performing and ensure that no issues are overlooked.

As well as their work in the sub-committees, Governors are linked to specific Faculties. These links are based around regular visits to the Faculties during the school day and dialogues with the Head of Faculty, the teachers and the students.

Besides their formal duties, Governors are involved in many aspects of school life including the appointment of Staff, Awards Evening, Open Evenings, Options Evenings, Music and Drama performances, a variety of Business and Enterprise activities, school trips, social and fundraising events etc, etc. They also undertake regular training to keep them up to date with trends in education and changes to the law.