Governors

School governors oversee the success of the school and are often responsible for large numbers of pupils and significant budgets. Whatever the size of the school, strong corporate governance and trustees with the appropriate leadership experience are essential.

As well as providing oversight, strategic direction and financial control, school governors should work with the leadership team to agree priorities to promote children’s learning and wellbeing and monitor progress.

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a duty on the governing bodies of maintained schools to promote wellbeing. ‘Wellbeing’ is defined (in the Children Act 2004) as relating to:

  • physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • protection from harm and neglect
  • education, training and recreation
  • the contribution children make to society
  • social and economic wellbeing.

Mental health and wellbeing: the role of school governors

Mental health and wellbeing: the role of school governors

It is important that the staff and governors of a school work together on the issue of mental health and wellbeing and that it threads across the range of responsibilities and influences the activities of the whole-school staff team.

Governors should support senior management to:

  • Review and develop the existing school vision, goals, strategies and improvement plan to ensure that child and staff mental health and wellbeing represents an integral part of strategic and operational practice.
  • Share the initial vision for school mental health and wellbeing and build upon it through consultation with staff, children and parent/carers.
  • Inspire all those people who must work together to evolve, develop and implement this vision and the curriculum for children.
  • Strategically implement a process of improvement, helping with the development of ongoing priorities to support children’s wellbeing and achievement in school and creating a mentally healthy workplace.
  • Measure impact of targets for change and refine strategic planning based on findings.
  • Some schools have allocated the role of responsibility for mental health and wellbeing to one governor. This can help drive and maintain a focus but it is equally important that the issue remains the responsibility of the whole school.

Governor induction and training

All governors need to have initial induction training as well as ongoing updates on key developments affecting children’s and staff’s mental health and wellbeing. This website may provide a useful induction tool for understanding the importance of links between children and families’ wellbeing, children’s ability to achieve in school, and what works to promote and support children’s mental health and academic success. Find out more:

Resources

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Guidance for school governors

Governors and trustees have a key role in the mental health and wellbeing of pupils.

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  • National Governance Association

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Guidance for governors

Guidance for governors

Guidance for governors’ adopting the mental health and wellbeing role in schools.

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  • Milton Keynes Council

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SEND governor responsibilities

SEND governor responsibilities

A checklist showing the annual range of SEND governor responsibilities.

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Video on governing body and SEND

Video on governing body and SEND

A 4-minute video on the annual cycle of SEND review and the responsibility of governors for SEND...

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Role of a SEND governor

Role of a SEND governor

A briefing paper on the role of the SEND governor.

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Article on school governance

Article on school governance

Pooky Knightsmith explains the vital role the governing board has to play when it comes to pupil and...

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  • Pooky Knightsmith

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Handbook for Governors

Handbook for Governors

Guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and...

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Emotional health and wellbeing framework for schools

Emotional health and wellbeing framework for schools

This framework has a useful traffic light system to identify strengths and weaknesses in...

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  • Brighton and Hove City Council

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