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.
Janet Hall Chair of the Governors
I started my career as a mainstream teacher but after volunteering at a youth club for deaf children at the Rycote Centre in Derby I decided to retrain as a Teacher of the Deaf.
I worked for Derbyshire Service for the Hearing Impaired as teacher in charge of a Resource Unit in Chesterfield before joining RSDD. I was employed by the school for 20 years becoming Head of Primary and then Assessment for Learning Co-ordinator. I was staff governor twice during this time.
I retired in 2013 and was invited to join the Board of Governors in 2015. I always felt very privileged to work at RSDD it is a unique school. I feel even more privileged to be the Chair of the Governors and hope to be able to support the school and pupils in moving forward and in achieving their full potential.