Each of Torbay's schools has a governing body whose role is to represent the public in the running of the school. They work closely with the headteacher and us (in maintained schools) in thinking strategically about how to raise the standards of achievement of all pupils in the school.

Governing bodies work within a legal framework and must act as a corporate body, although they have a lot of freedom in deciding exactly how they carry out their responsibilities. They must also act with integrity, objectivity and honesty and in the best interests of the school.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of 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.

Governing bodies have to monitor and evaluate progress towards the school’s priorities and targets, support the head and staff as well as challenging their expectations and account to all stakeholders for the school’s overall performance and for the decisions they have made. They do not run the school day to day.

The head teacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and for advising on and implementing the governing body’s strategic framework. Headteachers draw up aims, policies, targets and plans for the governing body to consider adopting.