The Board of Education is committed to helping schools to continually strengthen their effectiveness and distinctiveness as Church of England Schools and academies. Governors, trustees, headteachers and school leadership teams play a central role in securing high standards and in ensuring that every young person within a school can enjoy ‘life in all its fullness’.
Whilst the governing bodies role is largely strategic, a strong, well-led governing body, supportive of the school, its staff and its vision makes an important contribution to the school’s well-being and effectiveness. Working closely with governors, trustees and senior colleagues, it is the headteacher’s job to create a shared vision and plan for the school that inspires pupils, staff and the whole school community to give and achieve their best. Headteachers and principals are both the spiritual and academic leaders of their schools or academies.
The Governance of Church of England Schools
Church Schools were established in a tradition of Christian commitment to education to serve local communities or parishes.
All maintained, local authority led church schools are governed under Instruments of Government, operating since 1 September 2003, which contain “an ethos statement” adopted by the governors to encapsulate the religious character of the school and its purpose. It represents a modern interpretation of the school’s original Trust Deed, the legal document which founded the school.
Academies and academy trusts are governed under Articles of Association and a Funding Agreement. These documents set out how the trust or academy must operate and the arrangements for governance. For further information on the requirement for maintained schools and academies to appoint Foundation Governors, please see below.
The Education Team provides bespoke support to governing boards of maintained schools and academies within the Diocese when recruiting a Headteacher. The following documents should be accessed by governing boards in maintained schools when recruiting a Headteacher or Executive Headteacher. Governors and Trustees should refer to the Academies financial handbook, their Trust policy on recruitment and scheme of delegation when planning the recruitment of the Headteacher or Executive Headteacher.
Gloucestershire County Council provide Headteacher recruitment guidance for governors within the County of Gloucestershire, this guidance can be accessed by clicking on this link.
South Gloucestershire governors can access headteacher recruitment guidance from South Gloucestershire Governor Services via the secure governor portal. Click on this link to access: South Gloucestershire Governor Subscribers Recruitment
The following resources will support Clerks to Governors, Parochial Church Councils and Governing Boards in maintained schools and academies when appointing or re-appointing Foundation Governors. The appointment of Foundation Governors is a statutory process and the guidance included must be followed. Please contact the Education Team if you have any questions or would like any further guidance.
There are several resources published by the DfE and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) available to governing boards of maintained schools and academies to support effective governance. We would recommend governing boards engage with the following resources appropriate to their organisation to support them to understand and perform their roles and responsibilities successfully.
Maintained schools and academies in the Gloucestershire Local Authority can find further information, resources and guidance on the GCC Governor Services webpage. Click this link for further information.
Maintained schools and academies in the South Gloucestershire Local Authority can find further information, resources and guidance on the South Gloucestershire Governor Services webpage. Click this link for further information.
Academies and Academy Trusts
The governing board is responsible for the strategic direction of the school, including the delivery of the curriculum, raising standards and setting targets. Monitoring the school’s RSHE provision, ensuring this meets the needs of all pupils and reflects the community the school serves is part of this responsibility. The following resources will support the governing boards of maintained school and academies to meet their responsibilities as set out within the guidance ‘Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSHE), and Health Education in England’. The resources also consider the wider considerations and conversations that governing boards in Church of England schools and academies may have.
Further information to support governing boards to meet both the mandatory requirements of the 2020 DFE Guidance for RSHE and the CEEO (Church of England Education Office) Charter, and SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) expectations have been shared by Diocese of Bristol. Click this link to access.