The chair and vice chair are elected by the governing body, usually at the autumn term meeting for a term of office agreed by the governing body.
Most governing bodies choose to elect the chair each year, however a chair can be elected for up to four years. Staff governors cannot be elected as chair.
The chair clearly has an important role and to be effective needs the confidence of all of their colleagues.
The vice chair of the governing body acts as chair in the absence of the chair of governors.
Their main tasks are to:
At the meeting, they should ensure that:
As a general rule, the governing body is responsible for a school's policies and strategic direction; the headteacher is responsible for the school's day-to-day management and decision-making.
The local authority's (LA) role in supporting and advising governing bodies is one of major importance. In recognition of this, Salford LA offers a service level agreement (SLA) to governing bodies so they can have an experienced clerk to the governors attend their full governing body meetings.
Under this SLA, senior officers from the Democratic Services team of Salford City Council are linked to a small number of governing bodies, providing support and advice in the following ways:
It is a legal requirement that all meetings of governing bodies and their committees have someone in attendance to take notes. This is so that minutes of the meeting can be prepared. Regulations stipulate that this person may not be a member of the governing body.
Under the SLA the clerk to the governors also provides the following services for one full governing body meeting per term:
The clerk to the governors and the Governor Services team work very closely together to make sure each governing body gets a high quality service.
The Strategic Director of Children's Services is not the clerk to the governing body in every Salford school. Governing bodies of all schools may, if they wish, appoint someone other than the Strategic Director of Children's Services to act as their clerk. However, regulations state that the appointed person must not already be a member of that governing body.
The clerk to the governing body has an important role to play in making sure the governing body's work is well organised (e.g. notice of meetings, agenda, minutes) and should also be able to offer advice and information, particularly on matters involving the law and meetings procedures.
For governing bodies appointing their own clerk, the link officer's primary role is one of liaison between the LA and the governing body, and to provide advice on local authority policies and procedures.
Governing bodies may also choose to make their own arrangements for the minuting of meetings. This is normally the responsibility of the clerk but may be undertaken by another person who is not a member of the governing body.