The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that the clerk is a key contributor to the effectiveness of the governing board.
“Professional-quality clerking is about much more than taking minutes to record the discussions and decisions of the board. It is also about providing governing boards with expert advice on governance, procedures and compliance and directly contributing to its efficient conduct. The voluntary nature of governance makes it all the more important that boards conduct their business efficiently to make the best possible use of everyone’s time. Professional clerking has a vital role to play in meeting the administrative and procedural requirements of boards and enabling efficient and effective discussion and decision making.”
Clerking Competency Framework, April 2017
Governor Services in Bexley offer an independent professional service to support and advise governing boards on legislative and procedural matters, thus enabling governors to carry out their strategic role supporting and challenging the school. Using a Bexley clerk avoids issues of internal confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
The clerk is the key person responsible for providing all aspects of advice; they will ensure clear governance structures in line with a school’s Instrument of Government or Articles of Association and Scheme of Delegation. Terms of Reference for Committees will be refreshed annually. Our clerks have a clear understanding of the issues that governing boards face and are able to provide advice before or during meetings to ensure the governing board work in accordance with the legal framework.
Services are provided in accordance with The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 and include preparing and distributing agendas, attending meetings, preparing minutes, maintaining governing board membership and delegation, pecuniary interest declarations, safeguarding and attendance records, providing advice and support and keeping the governing board up-to-date on relevant issues around governance. Tasks will be carried out in line with the Clerks Competency Framework.
Agenda and document circulation at least 7 days prior to any meeting
Minutes will be drafted for approval within 10 school working days after a meeting.
All document circulation will be via Bexley Services Network.
The service will adhere to Bexley Customer Service standards relating to telephone answering and response to letters and emails.
Bexley Governor Services Clerks;
Hold the DfE Clerking Development – The Professional Clerk award and will be working towards NVQ level 3 Accredited Clerk.
Attend regular briefings in order to keep up to date with information about changes to legislation, procedures and statutory guidance.
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 boards locally as well as nationally,
Provide advice and guidance on the conduct and procedures for meetings.
Work with discretion maintaining confidentiality
Respond to the needs of individual governing boards,
Support our Governor Training programme delivering topics that best demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of governance.
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 Headteachers and the Chairs of Governing Boards will be invited to complete a questionnaire on our service.