Colleges are required to have policies and guidelines which ensure they follow best practice and that students, parents and other stakeholders understand what is expected of them. The Governing Body is responsible for policies that oversee the framework and best practice of governance, as well as policies that link to areas of legal and statutory responsibility.
All policies and policy documents should be standardised and detail which post holder is responsible for the document, when it was produced, what number the current version is, when it was approved and by whom, and when it due for review.
Governors responsibility towards policies and policy documents, is to ensure that they are in place, that they are up to date and regularly reviewed, that they are implemented across the college, that the impact of them is regularly monitored and that such detail on policies where statutory responsibility lies with the Board, is regularly reported to the Board. For non-statutory policies, the Governing Body can decide who approves them.
Key questions governors may want to ask when being required to approve policies are:
It is important to remember that the role of the Governing Body is strategic not operational, and therefore governors should be careful not to get too involved in the minutiae of each policy.
Policy Review Timetable & Template
Reviewing of policies can be delegated to a group of governors, committee or done by written resolution if the Instruments and Articles allow. To avoid confusion, it is useful to have a Policy Review Timetable (download below) for Board level policies and a Scheme of Delegation (download below) which clearly details who has responsibility for what, and at which level decision-making powers lie.
Scheme of Delegation & Template
A scheme of delegation sets out who is responsible for what decisions, as well as what has been delegated and to whom.
A Scheme of Delegation Template is available for download below: