Providing a high quality professional service to support and advise governing bodies in line with the DfE clerking competency framework
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that the clerk to the governing body is a key contributor to the effectiveness of the governing body. In the January 2017 the Governance Handbook explains that;
High quality professional clerking is crucial to the effective functioning of the board. The clerk should be the boards’ ‘governance professional’. Their role is not only about good and effective organisation and administration, but also, and more importantly, about helping the board understand its role, functions and legal duties and supporting the chair to enable and facilitate strategic debate and decision making. It notes that a fully effective clerk to governors can better support governing bodies in meeting their statutory obligations and likens the support of a knowledgeable and professional clerk to that provided by a company secretary. The clerk to the governing body is the key person responsible for providing procedural and legislative advice to the governing body and will ensure that clear governance structures with defined remits, particularly in relation to functions delegated to committees, are in place. A professional clerk has a clear understanding of the issues that governing bodies face and is able to provide advice in and outside meetings to ensure the governing body works in accordance with the legal framework. Bexley Governor Services offers an independent professional service to support and advise governing bodies on all kinds of legislative and procedural matters to enable them to carry out their role in supporting and challenging the school. By using one of our clerks the issues of internal confidentiality and conflicts of interest are avoided.
Services include preparing and distributing agendas, attending meetings, preparing minutes, maintaining governing body membership, pecuniary interests, safeguarding and attendance records, providing advice and support and keeping the governing body up-to-date on relevant issues around governance.
The service will adhere to Bexley Customer Service standards relating to telephone answering and response to letters and emails.
The Clerks within the Governors are;
• Trained under the DCSF and NCSL accredited Clerks Training Programme and in accordance with the Bexley agreed standards. In addition, Clerks attend regular briefings and are provided with up to date information about changes to legislation, procedures and statutory guidance. Clerks participate in professional development opportunities and share good practice identified from across Bexley and other local authority schools.
• Kept abreast of issues impacting on governing bodies locally as well as nationally,
• Able to provide advice and guidance on the conduct and procedures of meetings,
• Discrete with information gained,
• Able to provide professional advice on a wide and complex range of matters relating to the responsibilities of governing bodies,
• Responsive to the needs of individual governing bodies,
• Governors' meetings will be serviced in accordance with relevant School Governance
(Procedures) (England) Regulations and the Governing Body Standing Orders or the Articles of Association.
• Minutes will be prepared to meet the requirements of legislation and the expectations of Ofsted and the Audit Commission.
• Quality assurance assessments are undertaken to maintain standards of minutes and other written material and from time to time Head Teachers and Chairmen of Governing Bodies will be invited to complete a questionnaire on service improvements.