The wider opening of schools – advice for Governors

The possible re-opening of schools from the 1st June has been dominating the news in the past week.  Senior Leaders are having to grapple with the benefits of opening for the well being and continued education of pupils, but also the worry of if it is safe to do so, and how can they implement social distancing?  As governors, your support of the Headteacher and other Senior Leaders during this time is essential, and you need to be clear on your roles and responsibilities.

Governors should not be involved in operational decision making, but always looking at the bigger, strategic picture.  There are numerous items that may need to be discussed by governors in the coming weeks but remember you are there to provide challenges on the robustness of the strategy, decision making, procedures and policies.

Here are some suggested topics you might expect to be reviewing and monitoring in regard to re-opening your school:

  • Risk management strategy
  • Communication & consultation strategy
  • Curriculum delivery strategy
  • Safeguarding
  • Staffing & staff wellbeing
  • Health & Safety

As you move through the annual cycle of review & monitoring, try to keep in mind whether items are essential to be discussed now, or whether they could be postponed until next term. Make sure that reports or monitoring that you request to be carried out adds value to the ultimate aims of the school or trust and doesn’t increase the pressure on your staff who are trying to do the best job they can in these strange and unusual times.