Committees: what they are and what they do

One way that boards manage their workload is by delegating tasks to smaller groups of governors or trustees. Understand the types of committee and the rules on their constitution.

Last reviewed on 7 November 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3699
  1. The reason for committees
  2. Types of committee
  3. Rules and restrictions on delegation
  4. Constitution and membership

The reason for committees

Governing a school is a big responsibility and there are many tasks involved. Committees can be an effective way to manage it all.

The governing board as a whole is still responsible for all of its duties, delegated or not. Committees are responsible for keeping the rest of the board in the loop on their delegated areas of responsibility. This includes:

  • Updating the board on any issues or problems the committee is working on
  • Describing the committee's accomplishments
  • Detailing any decisions the committee has made

Types of committee

Standing committees

These are created to cover regular functions. The most common committees include:

If you're in a maintained school, you're not required to have any standing committees. Some boards operate without committees – this is called the 'circle model'.

Trusts with an annual income of more than £50 million must have a dedicated audit and