Why become a Governor?

St Joan of Arc actively seeks to ensure that the Governing Board has a range of skills and expertise to contribute to ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school by setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent. The Governing Board is made up of Foundation Governors; Associate Governors; Staff Governors; Parent Governors; and Co-opted (Community) Governors. Becoming a Governor at St Joan’s is an exciting opportunity to play a role in a vibrant and collaborative School which is part of a Catholic Multi Academy Trust. The role of Governor is incredibly rewarding and some of the benefits to post holders include:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Supporting the local and wider Catholic community
  • Gaining insight into the Education Sector
  • Having meaningful impact on the School and the ASCAT Trust

In addition to the Full Governing Board the School currently benefits from Local Governing Body Committees which include:

  • Resources
  • Finance
  • Catholic Life of the School
  • Performance and Effectiveness

Foundation Governors are appointed in the name of the Archbishop and form the majority of the governing body. They have a legal duty to preserve and develop the Catholic character of the school and to ensure that the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed. This includes:

  • being familiar with, and supportive of, the policies and procedures of the diocese
  • representing those policies to the governing body
  • considering not only the interests of the individual school or college, but the interests of other schools and colleges and of Catholic education throughout the diocese
  • responding to the needs of the Catholic community as a whole as represented by the Archbishop

To be eligible for appointment as a Foundation Governor, you must be a practising and committed Catholic, in communion with the Church. This is because the ministry of a Foundation Governor is a carrying out of your Christian vocation by collaborating with the diocesan bishop in the great work of Catholic education. Appointments are entirely at the discretion of the Archbishop or Vicar-General appointing in his name (known as the “Ordinary”). Before considering whether to offer you an appointment, the Ordinary will normally consult your referees, the parish priest or dean where the school is situated, the chairman of governors, the head teacher of that school and anyone else he considers appropriate.

Parent and Staff Governor Vacancies will be advertised when a term of office has expired. Associate Governor vacancies will be considered where an individual has expertise in an area where the Governing Board has deemed there is a skills gap and there is a need for this to be bridged through a Governance appointment.

Training for Governors is a priority for the Board and while individual governors are not expected to be skilled in every aspect of governance on appointment, all governors do need to be able to demonstrate the following at an early stage:

  • A commitment to improving education for all pupils.
  • A commitment to contribute fully to the work of the governing body including attendance at meetings, background reading, occasional purposeful school visits and desirable training.
  • An ability to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality.
  • Adequate literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills to allow effective engagement with a wide range of relatively complex information.
  • Good communication skills including the ability to discuss difficult issues with tact and sensitivity and where appropriate good humour.
  • The capacity to differentiate between strategic leadership and operational management.
  • The confidence to ask strategic questions about school performance that contribute to both supporting and holding school leaders to account.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and take collective responsibility for decisions made.
  • An ability and willingness engage in their own learning.

You can find out more about the current Governors serving on the Board HERE.

If you are interested in supporting the Governing Board at St Joan of Arc School please contact Christina Reffold, Clerk to the Governing Board via email joagovernor@joa.herts.sch.uk