1. Information about the Governing Body
Ashmole Academy, formerly Ashmole School, is a company limited by guarantee and was incorporated on 14th September 2010. Ashmole Academy is responsible for its own governance and management.
The Academy is the employer of its staff, owns the freehold of the school grounds and buildings and retains responsibility for its own admission arrangements. Funding comes primarily from the Education Funding Agency and also from the Local Authority (Barnet).
2. The Work of the Governing Body
The Governing Body is to develop the strategic direction of the school. That is why the Governing Body is responsible for:
- Approving the school budget
- Determining the admissions policy
- Approve the school’s Improvement Plan
- Appoint the Head Teacher when the need arises
- Approve key policies that regulate how the school operates, eg Health & Safety
- Ensure that the school is compliant with legal requirements
- Determine employment practices as the employer of its staff
In addition, the Governing Body has a duty to monitor the work of the school, especially its performance, and to be a critical friend to the school through working in partnership with the Head Teacher.
The Head Teacher is responsible for the running of the school, not the Governing Body.
The Governing Body also has key functions to perform. These are as follows:
- Pupil Discipline: In cases of exclusion, the Pupil Discipline Panel may review the decision of the Head Teacher where an appeal occurs. In cases of permanent exclusion, the Pupil Discipline Panel has to review the decision of the Head Teacher within 15 school days. The Governing Body is also responsible for establishing the independent Review Panel in permanent exclusion cases where the parent/carer wishes to appeal against the decision of the Pupil Discipline Panel to uphold the Head Teacher’s decision.
- Admissions & Admission Appeals: The Governing Body is responsible for establishing an Independent Admission Appeals Panel to hear appeals on admissions.
3. How Does the Governing Body Operate?
The Governing Body has three meetings a year, one per term. The Head Teacher provides a report on the work of the school to each of these meetings. At the meeting, the Governing Body will go through the report from the Head Teacher, the work of its various committees and determine the outcome of discussions on pertinent topics relevant to governance.
The Governing Body has various committees whose work is to develop the strategic direction of the school taking to the Governing Body key decisions to ratify. The committees are as follows:
- Finance Committee: The Finance Committee monitors termly the income and expenditure patterns of the school as well as developing excellent financial management ensuring that the school retains the highest standard of practice. The Finance Committee will also approve key large scale expenditures and work with the Head Teacher on creating the budget to take to the Governing Body for approval.
- Estates and Health & Safety Committee: The Estates Committee reviews the use of the school grounds and the maintenance and development of the site and its buildings. It also reviews health & safety practices ensuring that the school and its site and buildings are fully compliant legally, as well as being very safe places to visit and work.
- Curriculum Committee: The Curriculum Committee explores developments at the school with regard to the curriculum as well as monitoring the work of the school with regard to examination results and other key performances, the progress of special needs and looked after children, and the progress of the Equality Plan.
- Personnel Committee: As the employer of its staff, the Personnel Committee reviews employment policies and practices ensuring that the school is fully compliant with legislation and that its practices are that of a good employer.
4. The Work of the Parent & Staff Governor
Parents/carers and staff have the opportunity to vote for who they think will make a good governor when vacancies appear for parent or staff governor. Parent and Staff Governors are not delegated to work specifically on behalf of or for parents. The post is chosen by ballot of parents or staff to select those who have the motivation, skills and qualities that would make a good governor in the best interest of the school – in the same way that all Governors are responsible as members of the Governing Body.
Because the role and responsibilities of the Parent or Staff Governor are no different to other Governors, it is not the role of a Parent or Staff Governor to take up individual requests of parents or staff. In all cases of a personal matter about what is happening at school as a parent or a member of staff, the advice from the Governing Body is to take the matter to the Head Teacher, as it is the Head Teacher who is responsible for the running of the school. If after that a parent or a member of staff feels a need to contact the Governing Body, and it is not a formal complaint, then please contact the Clerk to the Governors to discuss how best to resolve the issue.
5. Do you want to Contact the Governing Body?
Sometimes parents/carers wish to contact the Governing Body directly. Sometimes parents/carers wish to contact Parent Governors about a school matter that is affecting them.
The advice to parents/carers in these cases is clear. Please contact the Head Teacher in the first instance. The Head Teacher is operationally in charge of the school, not the Governing Body, so on most matters, it is the Head Teacher who can most effectively deal with the issue. The Head Teacher is also a governor and, if the matter is more strategic, he is in the best position to bring it to the attention of the Governing Body.
There are formal processes to deal with admission and exclusion and parents/carers involved in those processes will be contacted directly over those matters and informed on how to appeal.
If you are still of the view that you want to contact the Governing Body, please contact the Clerk to the Governors, at the school for advice about how best to pursue the matter.
6. How to Contact the Governing Body
The Governing Body can be contacted via the Clerk to the Governors:
Clerk to the Governors
c/o Ashmole Academy
London N14 5RJ
Tel : 020 8361 2703