Regulations came into force on 1st September 2000 which set out the terms of reference for governing bodies of all maintained schools in England. The Regulations do not give governing bodies new duties, but clarify that their role is mainly strategic, and that they should act as a “critical friend” to the Headteacher. The Regulations replace provisions in previous Articles of Government which were abolished on 31st August 1999 following the reconstitution of governing bodies.
Governing bodies must act as a corporate body. They must also act with integrity, objectivity and honesty and in the best interests of the school. They must be open about, and prepared to explain, their decisions and actions.
The governing body are to carry out their functions with the aim of taking a largely strategic role in the running of the school. This includes setting up a strategic framework for the school, setting its aims and objectives, setting policies and targets for achieving the objectives, reviewing progress and reviewing the strategic framework in the light of progress. The governing body should act as a “critical friend” to the head teacher by providing advice and support.
The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school; and for advising on and implementing the governing body’s strategic framework. In particular, headteachers need to formulate aims and objectives, policies and targets for the governing body to consider adopting; and to report to the governing body on progress at least once every school year.