Last reviewed 11 February 2014

The Department for Education has published an expanded edition of the Governors' Handbook. It features the following changes re the role and legal duties of governing bodies in maintained schools, academies and free schools.

  • An acknowledgement of the benefits of governing more than one school.

  • A more detailed explanation of what it means for governors to play a strategic role.

  • The expectation that governors should determine the scope and format of Heads’ reports.

  • Updated text on Ofsted's School Data Dashboard.

  • New guidance on the role of academy trustees as charity trustees and company directors.

  • A new section on governors’ personal liability.

Governors are encouraged to focus on three core strategic functions.

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

  • Holding the Head to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Further reading is signposted from within each section of the handbook for those who would like more detailed information. Links are provided to relevant regulations, guidance and resources.