Service Level Agreements

An annual service agreement between our family of schools and the Guildford Diocesan Board of Education.

EsLA 2020-21

EsLA 2021-22


Kate Woodhouse
Schools Governance & Clerks Advisor
Ed. Team. 01483 484900
Sarah Bolton
PA to the Director of Education
DD. 01483 484900
Jonathan Gambier
Deputy Director of Education
DD. 01483 484906

Governance | Strategic Leadership

Foundation Governors

It is the specific responsibility of the Foundation Governors to ensure that the foundation of the school or academy is sustained and developed. It is the role of the Foundation Governor to put all decisions and discussions within the context of the Christian foundation of the school. The Foundation Governor will also be able to bring to the school or academy its strategic relationship to both the local and diocesan church community and through this to the local community in a wider sense, and vice-versa.

The Governing Body is a corporate body that has responsibility for the governance of the school or academy and have a duty to undertake the core elements of governance. The role of the Foundation Governor has the remit of being a representative of the founding church and of the Trustees. All governors must also bear in mind the principles of the Church of England, of the Trust Deed and of the Ethos Statement of the school or academy in relation to the core elements of governance The spiritual care of the school or academy community is very important.

Why do we have Foundation Governors? In short, it is a requirement of the Trust under which Church of England schools were established. Local churches or patrons undertook to build schools for the education of the children of their local communities, and endowed them with a Church of England Foundation. They have special responsibility to ensure that the guiding principles of the founding church are incorporated into all aspects of the governance of the school, the terms of the Trust Deed governing the school are adhered to Every Church of England School or academy has a Trust Deed which stipulates the principles and legal conditions under which the institution was established and should be run. At the majority of Church of England schools or academy the Trust Deed will dictate that the buildings are used for educational purposes only (there are exceptions and anomalies) with a clause specifying use by the local church on particular days or occasions.

Who can be a Foundation Governor? Foundation Governors are normally appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education and/or the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and sometimes by a separate trust or person. A Foundation Governor does not need to be a member of the PCC or on the church electoral role.

However they do need to be:

  • Ideally, an active member of a Christian worshipping community willing to uphold the faith and beliefs of the Church of England within the academy;
  • Committed to education in a Christian context;
  • Enthusiastic and active in promoting the academy’s distinctive Christian foundation

What is involved in the appointment of a Foundation Governor: Nominations for Foundation Governors are usually completed by the local incumbent.

Our Education Team provides administrative assistance with this process. If you require further support please do contact Kate Woodhouse, our Governance and Clerks Adviser who will be pleased to assist.

New Foundation Governor - Introduction and Welcome

This session is a ‘welcome’ from the DBE team for Foundation Governors new to role.

Click here to book on to the session.

The inclusion of Foundation Governors on the governing bodies of both Aided and Controlled schools is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Church schools. In many ways, Foundation Governors are identical to other governors but have the additional responsibility of ensuring  the continuation of the distinctively Christian character and ethos of the school.

This session will let you

  • Consider further the distinctive perspective of Foundation Governors 
  • Understand some history of the origin of VA and VC schools and how they differ
  • Acquire an overview of the support offered by the DBE
  • Meet some of the DBE team and understand their roles
  • Share thoughts and ideas with fellow Foundation Governors also new to role.

This course is led by members of the DBE team and repeats at Church House, Guildford, each term.

Governing Body - Full Review

This service is a full external Governing Board review. Our review options are intended to identify existing strengths and areas for improvement.

The aims are to help:

  • Become more skilled, focused and effective
  • Be confident that there is a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities, with the right range of skills and experience to meet the needs of the school
  • Provide an appropriate balance of challenge and support in holding leaders to account for the quality of education provided to all pupils
  • Have a greater clarity in your vision for the school and how you can achieve this with the leadership team

The way we work: We follow the NCTL (National College for Teaching and leadership) process for external reviews which examines governance in relation to the 3 core functions of

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for schools performance
  • Over seeing financial performance and making sure money is well spent with a fourth indicator of effective governance practice.

What the review involves:

  • Initiated contact by the Education Team.
  • Specialist support with Diocesan Associate or Professional Partner.
  • Our Diocesan Associate or Partner will contact you to agree time and date for the review.
  • Prior to the review, our specialist will draft timetable indicating what needs to be covered in the review and approximate timings, being mindful that scheduling of the various activities can be arranged to fit alongside school commitments and the availability of key staff and governor.

A guide for timing for the review is 2.5 days.

Governance Review - Bespoke and Supported Self-evaluation

We also offer a more tailored approach which involves some of the elements outlined above or supports the board in a self-evaluation exercise. Our Education team can provide additional bespoke direct to school support for your Governing Body and Leadership Team. Further in-school training sessions can be put in place if for Governors in their school setting if required.

Our approach: In partnership with your Chair of Governors and Headteacher we look with you at what is needed and agree a focus for support or training. For NLE and SLE specialist support, we work with your Governing Body and Leadership Team to put in place Professional Partners specific to need.

What the bespoke support involves:

  • Initiated contact by the Education Team and Diocesan Associate or Professional Partner.
  • Agreed Focus
  • Our Diocesan Associate or Partner will contact you to agree time and date for the support.

Fees below are a guide for support by the hour. Some brokered fees may vary according to type of review and specialist support required.

WGB In-School Training

This is bespoke training appropriate for whole governing bodies.

Our approach: We will agree a date and time for the support that is convenient to you and identify a named consultant to work with you. This will be confirmed in writing. Our Education Team, Diocesan associate consultants and professional partners are all practitioners with appropriate and relevant experience in their specialist area.

The School and Chair of Governors should contact the Education Team or their Diocesan AC SIP in advance of booking this service to discuss the type of training required. The focus will be agreed and confirmed prior to the training taking place.

What the training involves:

  • 2-3 hour direct in-school training with the Governors
  • Resources and materials included