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Governing board self-evaluation in 4 steps
Follow these steps and use our resources to support your self-evaluation, including a skills audit, templates to evaluate your board’s performance and a template to set actions for development. You can also use our 360° feedback form to review your chair's performance.
Step 1: Audit your governors' skills and knowledge
Our audit is based on the Department for Education's competency framework for governance. It asks governors to rate their confidence against a series of statements. The results can inform your decisions about:
- Setting actions for governor training and development (in step 4 below)
- Who you recruit in the future
Step 2: Get feedback from stakeholders
Use our questions to get an idea of what you can ask senior leaders, staff, parents and pupils about your governing board.
The questions cover:
- The skills, knowledge and visibility of the governing board
- Relationships with staff, parents and pupils
- School policies
- School improvement
- School performance data
- Management of financial resources
- Monitoring of the pupil premium grant
Work with your senior leadership team before sending out any questions to staff, parents and pupils. It’s likely your senior leaders will send out the survey, and will be able to recommend a good time to send it out.
If you want to use an online survey tool to send out your questions, find help to get started under 'online voting systems' here.
Step 3: Analyse your board's performance
Use these questions to analyse your board's performance across 3 key areas. For each question you’ll also find examples of possible sources of evidence to support your answers.
You can use these questions as a focus for discussion or share them with governors in a questionnaire to gather feedback.
As part of this step you should also consider any areas for development identified in your last Ofsted inspection and whether these are being addressed.
Step 4: Set actions for improvement
Once you've collected the evidence you need from the steps above, download our template and for each area of evaluation:
- Rate your board's performance
- Provide evidence for the rating
- Set actions for development
Setting targets for governors
Based on the targets you set for the whole board, you'll probably need to set individual targets for governor development as well.
Read more about creating a governor development plan in another article, which also includes a downloadable plan for your board to use.
Optional step: Review your chair's performance
This optional 5th step can be done anonymously, allowing all governors to speak honestly. Make sure you give the chair a heads up before adding this to your agenda (to prevent ruffling any feathers).
With our thanks to the following for their help with this article:
- Vicky Redding, a governance trainer and consultant who provides training, advice and support on effective school governance
- Ruth Agnew, an experienced governor services manager and trainer, with a professional background in human resources management. She is also a national leader of governance
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