The constitution of the LGB is set out in the Articles of Association for the Foundation. The LGBs act as committees of the Foundation Board. Governors, although not themselves Trustees, act at the local level on behalf of Foundation Board with delegated responsibilities. LGBs are accountable to Foundation Board.
Foundation Board has delegated areas of responsibility to the LGBs and has complete discretion regarding the scope of delegated responsibilities. The Board remains legally responsible and accountable for the statutory functions, however, and works closely with the Executive Team and individual LGBs to assess the progress of each school and to ensure they are satisfied that individual LGBs can successfully carry out the responsibilities delegated to them.
Foundation Board maintains a direct link to each LGB within the Foundation. The LGBs are able to raise issues they feel need to be escalated to the Foundation Board through this direct consultation.
The details of what has been delegated from the trustees to local governors are set out in a scheme of delegation for each LGB. The Foundation has three schemes of delegation. These documents set out the functions that the Foundation trustees have delegated to the LGB (or shadow LGB) at each school as well as to any School/Academy Improvement Boards (SIBs or AIBs).
The particular scheme of delegation chosen for each school is dependent upon how well it is performing. The Foundation Board, in consultation with the Executive Team, will decide which scheme of delegation is appropriate for each individual school.
More broadly, there is also a standard Terms of Reference document outlining the constitution and authority of individual LGBs across the Foundation.
More detailed information on delegated responsibilities within each scheme of delegation can be found below:
Some Governors will be given particular roles within the LGB. Most commonly these relate to Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Special Educational Needs, Early Years Foundation Stage (where applicable), Educational Performance (including specific cohorts, such as Pupil Premium, SEN, male/female) and Sixth Form. Governors might also be asked to work in specific key subject areas within their school. Governors will be given training in these roles and are supported by the LGB Chair.
The Role of a Local Governing Body
The role of the LGB is a strategic one. It is responsible for promoting high standards and educational achievement. The school is accountable to the Foundation Board, and the LGB should ensure that the school meets the requirements of the Foundation Board.
Working in partnership with the Principal, the Senior Leadership Team and executives from the Foundation, the LGB sets the medium-term (3 or 5 years) strategic plan for the school and agrees the school’s development/improvement strategy. It will also monitor standards, set targets and ensure that budgets are allocated effectively and that staffing structures are adequate for the school.
The LGB monitors the performance and progress of the school against the plan and targets, responds to school inspections, ensures the involvement of parents through appropriate consultation and dissemination of information and also promotes the school within the local community. The LGB makes sure that the values of the school and the ethos and core values of the Foundation are upheld and are sufficiently reflected in the school’s long term development plans; it builds strategies around continuous improvement and raising standards for all students, takes a strategic overview of staffing structures and the development of staff, ensures best value is being achieved and, in partnership with the Foundation Finance Department, makes certain that the school has robust procurement and financial systems.
The LGB will have an overview of the curriculum and the extra-curricular provision, ensuring they meet the needs of all students, and will have designated Governors to oversee Safeguarding, Health and Safety and Special Educational Needs. The LGB also has a responsibility to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the teaching staff.
The LGB will have a clear commitment to challenge effectively where necessary.
The LGB will meet at least once a term (this is a legal requirement for academies), form committees as required, and be responsible for reviewing its own effectiveness. An annual plan for LGB activities will be created to ensure that all areas of delegated responsibility are covered by the LGB during each academic year.
Committees and working groups may be set up to carry out some of the business of an LGB. Committees are commonly set up for Education, Welfare, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, and Finance. Committees may also be set up to hear disciplinary and grievance procedures for staff, as well as capability procedures for under-performance. This will be done in line with Foundation policies and procedures and supported by the Foundation HR for individual schools.
The LGB will maintain a good working relationship with key community leaders. The school is a vital part of the community and Governors should ensure that their particular school is at the heart of its community, is well represented and promotes community cohesion.
The LGB is responsible for its own self-review and should actively seek to continuously develop its members, providing access to training and support where appropriate.