Terms of reference


The Governing Board, makes the strategic decisions required for the successful running of the school, including setting strategic vision, holding the school to account and ensuring financial probity.  The Governing Board need not take every decision that is required.  Some powers or functions can be delegated to the Headteacher, to an individual governor, to committees or to working groups.

The Headteacher is given delegated authority with regard to appointing staff and making dismissal decisions (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Some key decisions cannot by law be delegated and must be taken by the Governing Board. Where this is the case, a person, working group or committee can be asked to consider the issue and make recommendations, as long as the full Governing Board takes the decision. It is important to distinguish between committees which have delegated powers, and informal groups which do not.

The most important duties which cannot be delegated include:

  • holding a meeting at least once a term.
  • to set up a Register of Governors’ Business Interests
  • appointing to and remove from the Governing Board.
  • electing the chair and vice chair of governors
  • appointing the Headteacher and Deputies
  • establishing terms of reference for committees and delegating powers to them
  • to draw up instrument of Government.

All committees are set up by the full Governing Board and must report their decisions or recommendations to the Governing board. The functions, membership and terms of reference of all committees are reviewed periodically.  School policies other than those that require FGB approval are delegated where permitted.

  • Each committee elects its own chair at its first meeting of the academic year.
  • The Chair of Governors and Headteacher are ex Officio members of all Governors’ committees.
  • For all committees, a quorum is three governors.

In addition to the four main committees and various panels, an Appeals committee may be needed. This should consist of any three Governors who have not been involved in the matter at issue.

Please download the full terms of reference policy document below.