Governor Induction

1. Introduction

The trust is committed to ensuring that all new governors receive a comprehensive induction package covering a broad range of issues and topics.  This is seen as essential to enabling new members to carry out their role with confidence and to make an effective contribution to the work of the Local Governing Body (LGB).  Investing in induction in this way leads to more effective governance and the retention of key skills, knowledge and experience on the governing body.  

2. Purpose of Induction

  • To welcome new members to the LGB and enable them to meet other members.
  • To encourage new governors to visit the school(s) to understand ethos and values and to meet the head, staff and students.
  • To explain governance arrangements within the trust, LGB operations within the context of delegated powers from the trust board, the role and responsibilities of governors, and the relationship between the LGB and the head.  
  • To provide background on the school(s) and information on current issues.  
  • To enable new governors to ask questions about their role and/or the school(s)/trust.  

3. New governors will:

  • Be welcomed to the LGB by the chair
  • Be invited by the head of school to tour the schools and have an opportunity to meet staff and students
  • Receive an informal briefing on the schools and current issues from the head (Note 1)
  • Be assigned an experienced LGB member to act as a Mentor who will be available as a source of information and support in the probationary period (Note 2)
  • Attend an induction programme for new governors organised by Local Authority Governor Services
  • Complete a skills audit to identify any training and development needs.   

4. New governors will receive

  • The Governance Handbook (DfE)
  • Ofsted inspection handbooks
  • The trust Code of Conduct for School Governors  
  • The school prospectus   
  • The organisational staffing and curriculum structure  
  • The school improvement plan and self-evaluation statement
  • The latest Ofsted report and action plan
  • The staff handbook
  • LGB terms of reference  
  • The schedule of LGB meetings  
  • Policies – e.g. Admissions, Behaviour, SEND
  • Access to minutes and papers of previous meetings 
  • Governors’ contact information
  • Information on training and development for governors

Note 1

The briefing from the head will normally be expected to cover:

  • The school’s current position and performance/key issues/priorities for school improvement
  • The nature of the student intake, the number of students on roll and projected future numbers
  • How the school is staffed, organised and managed
  • The curriculum and the range of extra-curricular activities offered
  • Student progress and attainment
  • Stakeholder engagement - how the school communicates with parents, and the wider community
  • A tour of the school and any development plans
  • Arrangements for effective working between the head and LGB under the powers delegated to LGBs by the trust board.   

Note 2

The trust operates a system of informal mentoring under which all new governors are assigned an experienced governor to act as their mentor to provide support, information and guidance about the governing body and requirements for discharging their role effectively.   The mentoring relationship complements other induction and training opportunities.

The mentoring relationship lasts as long as each side feels is valuable (normally at least a couple of terms). 

The mentor will assist with explaining:  

  • The working practices of the governing body – e.g. conduct of LGB meetings, agenda setting, communications
  • The role and responsibility of governors within the context of the collective responsibility of the LGB to support and challenge the school(s)  
  • Protocols for governors’ visits to school  
  • Current issues relating to LGB activities
  • On-going support, advice and guidance on areas for development/skills gaps and suitable governor training.

Where possible, it is suggested that the mentor and new governor meet informally prior to the new governor attending their first LGB meeting to agree arrangements for the mentoring relationship.  Ideally, the mentor should accompany the new governor to their first meeting, to facilitate introductions and if possible, offer a debrief after the meeting.  

 

Last update: December 2016