Royal School for the Deaf Derby Governing Body
The Role of a Governor
A Governor is essentially a “critical friend” of the school. Governors do not generally make school policy, though no major change to the nature of the school could be made without the consent of the Governing Body. Rather, they look at school policy and practice, can recommend modification or change, and monitor the work of the school. They also have many opportunities to show support or get involved. It should be an ‘Eyes on, Hands off’ approach.
The current legislation requires all Governors to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
All Governors are volunteers; they have some legal obligations and it is hoped that they will also wish to show a supportive interest in many aspects of school life. The Governors meet twice a term as a Full Governing Body (FGB). The FGB is divided into three committees, Pupil Well-being and Attainment, Resources and Finance. Each governor is on one of these committees and each committee meets twice a term. Governors are required to attend all these evening meetings, or send a reason and apology if they cannot. Paperwork which Governors are required to read will usually be sent out in advance.
Governors are also paired with a curriculum department or area of special activity. They are asked to form links with the teachers and take a supportive role.
Governors are encouraged to attend some of the school’s special events.
More experienced Governors are asked to join small working parties with specific responsibilities e.g. the Disciplinary Committee or Staff Appointments and Selection. All of these groups have the input of a member of staff from the school’s Senior Leadership Team.
All the essential meetings are held in the evenings but it is helpful if Governors can occasionally attend during the day.
From time to time Governors are trusted with confidential information.
Training and Support
New Governors are paired with a more experienced one who will be their mentor. The Local Authority currently runs courses for Governors. RSDD also arranges several training sessions for its governors. Governors are given a comprehensive Handbook.
To sum up: Governors give their time for free, have significant responsibilities, have to do quite a lot of reading – but most of all do a very important and rewarding job for the school.
Trustees of Royal School for the Deaf Derby
David du Celliee Muller (Chair), Alan Castledine, Lynn Senior, James Richardson
Over the past year Trustees have worked in close partnership with the Charities Commission to mirror the increased transparency and accountabilities of the School within the wider charities group. As part of an agreed action plan a simplified structure is now established incorporating a newly formed Charitable Incorporated Organisation (RSDD 2016 Property Trust) which effectively becomes the School's new landlord and the source of continued support.
The Trustees look for a breadth and depth of experience among their number in order to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently. When recruiting new trustees, the Board looks for enthusiasm for the work of the school as well as appropriate knowledge and experience. Recruitment effort has centred on networking within the local business and educational community, having identified the need to strengthen the educational and financial expertise. With this in mind, the Board has been delighted to recently add to its number Lynn Senior (Dean of Education at Derby University) and Alan Castledine (Chartered Accountant). In addition to external trustees training opportunities, Board members can also benefit from attending the broad range of training events which the school offers to its staff.
David du Celliee Muller, Chair
I have a long standing association with Royal School for the Deaf Derby. Initially as the parent of a deaf daughter who attended the school, continuing as an active member of the League of Friends, as a governor, Chair of the Governing Body, a Trustee and currently as Chair of the Trust Board.
I am a retired Managing Director and ran my own freight forwarding business for over 30 years. Presently I serve as a District Councillor and a Parish Councillor.
I am passionate about RSDD and its future as a quality provision for deaf children in this country.