Using the experiences and expertise of governors to address school issues

Commentary

It is good practice for a governing body to undertake a skills audit to identify the skills and knowledge that members of the governing body already have. It also enables the governing body to fill any gaps and align future training programmes to individual governor requirements.  Governors Cymru Services has a skills audit that can be completed by individual governors, as well as a template to collect the information to provide an overview of governor skills – http://governors.cymru/publications/2018/08/29/governor-skills-audit/

This case study focuses on supporting Additional Learning Needs (ALN) requirements within the school and how assistance can be best received to help the school staff. The school will have a policy to follow in conjunction with the SEN Code of Practice which currently exists at the time of writing. This information will be updated once all the new publications on ALN have been published.

Many governors will have specific responsibility for key areas of work. One way of doing this is via link governors joined to a curriculum area or year group. This helps to share the workload and assists governors in fulfilling their strategic role. Each school will appoint a governor to have specific oversight of the school’s arrangements and provision for meeting additional learning needs. It is important to have a clear brief for this role so everyone is clear about the expectations from the outset. Do have a look at any information from your Local Authority, along with Governors Cymru Services’ publication:

http://www.governors.cymru/sengovernor/

Having a governor with extensive expertise such as this would be invaluable to a school. It would be a good idea to set up a meeting with relevant staff and agencies as appropriate, to establish the parameters of how the governor’s expertise can be used effectively, as well as looking at how everyone can work together in the best interests of pupils. 

Discussing the questions and information that will be needed will be key to success, all in line with school policy and governor visits. The link governor can then submit a report to the governing body as an update.

http://www.governors.cymru/publications/2008/10/08/protocol-governor-visits/

Examples of useful questions (some are general) that can be asked are provided here:http://www.governors.cymru/media/files/documents/2020-01-03/Questions_to_ask_-_NLDB_Oct_2014.pdf

Please note that the roll out of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act will now commence in September 2021. Further information can be found below regarding specific roles and responsibilities.

https://gov.wales/additional-learning-needs-special-educational-needs

https://gov.wales/the-additional-learning-needs-code-and-regulations

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