The role of chair is a demanding one. The chair will need to know how to develop the strategic role of the governing body, how to ensure that it operates as a critical friend for the school, how to conduct meetings efficiently, how to establish effective working relationships with staff and other governors and how to promote the school in the community. Also, since Catholic schools have a distinctive character, which is rooted in Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church, the chair needs to have an understanding of the values underpinning Catholic education.
It is important therefore for the governing body to plan ahead so that there are plans for a smooth transition when the time comes for a change of chair:
- Would it be sensible to have a chair and two vice-chairs to share the load and train up a possible chair for the future?
- Would someone be willing to act as chair if they were able to access training?
- Is the governing board making best use of every member’s skills? Is work spread out fairly?
- Could greater use be made of the vice-chair(s), e.g., taking on particular jobs such as committee chair, mentoring new governors, attending some meetings/briefings on behalf of chair, chairing some items on agenda?
• Discuss the skills required to be a chair or vice chair and review descriptions of roles of chair and vice chair.
• Discuss the length of term of office (2013 Regulations state that “Prior to the election of the chair and vice-chair, the governing body must determine the date on which the term of office of the chair and vice-chair will end.”).
For more information, see
“Succession breeds Success”, http://www.thegovernor.org.uk/freedownloads/successionplanning/Succession%20breeds%20success.pdf
“The right people around the table”, Chapter 5 http://www.nga.org.uk/News/NGA-News/Mar-2017-Aug-2017/New-recruitment-guide-%E2%80%98The-right-people-around-the.aspx
“The Chair’s Handbook” published by the National Governance Association , Chapter on Leaving the chair and succession planning, http://www.nga.org.uk/Publications/The-chair-s-handbook.aspx