The 3 core functions for maintained boards

Get to grips with the 3 core functions: clarity of ethos, vision and strategy, holding executive leaders to account and overseeing financial performance.

Last reviewed on 16 May 2024
Ref: 44558
Contents
  1. The first core function: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. What do we mean by vision, ethos and strategic direction?
  3. Who's responsible for these things?
  4. What does this look like in practice?

This article sets out the 3 core functions of governance for maintained school boards. If you're part of a single or multi-academy trust, see our other article on the 3 core purposes of trust governance.

The first core function: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

The board's first core function is strategic leadership. 

This involves:

  • Setting the organisation’s overall strategic framework, including its vision and strategic priorities
  • Being responsible for setting and modelling its culture, values and ethos

This is set out in section 1.1 of the maintained schools governance guide.

What do we mean by vision, ethos and strategic direction?

Vision: a statement that clearly states what your school aspires to

Ethos: the culture and character of your school. It includes:

  • How people feel when they're there
  • The shared beliefs you all hold
  • The environment created in the school

Strategy: the specific actions you'll take to achieve your vision

The governing

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