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Forest Row School

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General Information

The Governing Body

Every school in England and Wales has a governing body. Governing bodies are responsible for working strategically with the headteacher to ensure the school achieves high educational standards.

What do governors do?

Governing bodies have three main roles: to provide strategic direction for the school; to act as a critical friend to the headteacher; to ensure accountability.

The governing body “governs” the school in partnership with the headteacher. This includes setting the overall objectives and monitoring performance. Headteachers are responsible for the day to day running of the school, including the management of staff.
In Forest Row School, we work closely with the Headteacher to set the school's aims and policies as well as undertaking a number of other responsibilities. Amongst the more important of these are:
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship
  • Setting priorities and targets and monitoring performance
  • Establishing clear guidelines for the school on a variety of issues including attendance, behaviour, equal opportunities and community use of the school
  • Deciding how the school's budget is spent and monitoring expenditure
  • Ensuring health and safety requirements are met
  • Interviewing and appointing staff; hearing appeals and grievances
  • Reviewing the adequacy of school buildings and appraising capital projects
  • Encouraging good relations with parents and the local community


How are we organised?

The governing body is organised into two of committees. Each one deals with specific areas of responsibility. All have terms of reference, a chair and vice chair. These committees are:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Resources - includes Finance, Personnel, Premises, Health and Safety

In addition, we have a number of statutory committees that deal with matters of performance management, staff dismissal, staff appeals and pupil discipline. From time to time, working parties are set up to manage specific projects or issues such as the School Travel Plan, Governing Body Reconstitution.

Most committees meet twice per term so, together with main governing body meetings, governors may be attending 5 or 6 meetings per term which tend to last about two hours each. Governors also give up their time to help with some PTA events, attending security alarms and even sweeping leaves in the playground!

Who are we?

Governing bodies are made up of volunteers give up their time support the school. There are 5 different categories of governor:

  • Parents
  • Staff including the headteacher, teacher and support staff representatives
  • Local Authority representatives
  • Members of the community and local business
  • The Vicar and others appointed by the church (Foundation governors)

Our constitution stipulates the number of members we must have in each category to ensure a fair representation.