The governors’ role is to oversee the strategy of the school; to act as a sounding board for issues being reviewed within the school and to ensure that the school is accountable to all stakeholders including parents, staff, pupils, Brighton and Hove Local Authority and the local community. Governors are not involved in the day to day running of the school, which is managed by the Senior Leadership Team. Governors are guided by the governance handbook 2020 and all agree to act according to the PJS Governors Code of Conduct 2021.
The full governing body usually meets three times a term. At these meetings, the governing body carries out its three core functions:
- ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
- overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.
Structure of the Governing Body
The legal structure now allows for: 3 elected parent governors, 1 local authority governor, 1 elected staff governor, 1 headteacher staff governor and 9 co-opted governors. The make-up of the governing body is entirely guided by the skills and experience offered by the individuals in order to make the governance of the school effective. Decisions are made by the full governing body although non-staff members are drawn from the whole governing body to form a committee to make decisions under the terms specified in the pay policy. Powers have not been delegated to individual governors.
The majority of governors are now ‘co-opted’. Where vacancies arise, new governors can be invited to join by the governing body as co-opted governors based on the skills they offer. The staff governor is elected from and by the staffing body and parent governors are elected from and by the parent body. The LA governor is appointed by the governing body and approved by the local authority. With the exception of the Headteacher governor, all governors are appointed for a term of 4 years, may resign at any time and are not automatically reappointed at the end of their term. The Headteacher may choose to be a Headteacher governor. The full governing body may also appoint associate members, who do not have a vote at full governing body meetings, on the basis of their skills, to support them in their work.
The governing body of Patcham Junior School is recruiting for two co-opted vacancies at the moment and we shall be seeking nominations for a parent governor in September. We would be interested to hear from potential volunteers who have an interest in school improvement and have skills and experience in any of: being a parent/carer of a child currently at the school, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Business, reflect the diversity of or have links in the Patcham community.
Governors are all volunteers who wish to make a positive contribution to the school and the education of all its students and governors find it a rewarding experience. The governing body’s overriding responsibility is to work in partnership with the Headteacher, to promote the continuous improvement in the performance of the school. We play an important part in raising school standards through our three key roles.
We take training seriously and there is a full induction programme for new governors and excellent training provided by the local authority to ensure we maintain the skills necessary to fulfil our role.
If you are interested in joining or assisting the governing body, please contact the Chair of governors firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and an application form is here. Further information is also available from:
What am I letting myself in for?
In serving as a governor, you would need to commit to attending three evening meetings per term, take time to attend governor training courses and get to know the school, including working with school staff to understand the school’s plans and activities. In time you would be expected to develop an area of specialism and contribute to working groups as required from time to time as appropriate.
Contacting the Governors
If you wish to contact the governors, please email the school office via the form on our contact page, or write to:
Marion Rajan, Chair of Governors, Patcham Junior School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, BN1 8TA