Autumn Term

There are three focus areas for the autumn term visit:

1.Strategic planning

2.Quality of academic and other achievements

3.Quality of pupils’ personal development, including the arrangements for actively promoting the well-being of children, defined by the Children Act 2004 to include:

  • Physical and mental health and emotional well-being
  • Protection from harm and neglect
  • Education training and recreation
  • The contribution made by them to society
  • Social and economic well-being

In relation to well-being, the governance visit will review compliance with statutory and non-statutory guidance e.g. KCSIE, Health & Safety, National Minimum Standards (where applicable).

Matters arising from the last governance visit and recent inspections are also reviewed.

In advance of the visit:

  • Governors prepare by reviewing the annual progress and achievement report (APAR), the Self-Evaluation Form (SEF), and the School Development Plan (SDP), along with any other relevant reports and documentation.
  • The Head/Principal self-evaluates against a comprehensive checklist of welfare and compliance questions, identifying three areas of strength, and three areas for further development.

Spring Term

The focus in the second term is the quality of teaching and learning, which typically includes lesson observations, conducted in conjunction with the Head/Principal.

The quality and impact of continuing professional development (CPD) is also reviewed, along with approaches to assessment, and progress on the SDP.

Summer Term

The main focus is a review of the year, including follow-up of previous visits, and plans for the following academic year. Governors also review approaches to appraisal, plans for curriculum review, and any other new initiatives.

Appendix 2 (linked)


Regular Board meetings (typically nine per year)

Termly meetings of the Alpha Plus Council

Formal Governance visits to schools and colleges. See Appendix 2 for programme details

Twice-yearly Health & Safety inspections at every site by independent professional experts

Ad hoc school and college visits by Directors and senior specialist staff

Annual appraisal of Heads and Principals

Annual school/college budget and strategy meetings

Standard planning and reporting documentation, including:

  • Annual Pupil Progress and Achievement report (APPAR),
  • Self-Evaluation Form (SEF)
  • School Development Plan (SDP)
  • Annual child protection report

CPD and leadership training, supplementing the schools’/colleges’ own programmes:

  • Centrally organised CPD (e.g. child protection, HR, health & safety, educational visits)
  • Middle/senior leadership CPD programme
  • Induction for new Heads and Principals
  • Inspection training for Governors
  • Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment training (for all levels)

The intranet Portal, containing:

  • a wide range of policy and procedural guidelines and templates
  • electronic workflow, with review, status, and approval mechanisms
  • A-Z of Alpha Plus services and key contact information
  • A network of Portal administrators to establish quality assurance and peer-review

Networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities

Head and Principal meetings (termly)

Specific meetings/forums, e.g. Deputy Heads; Heads of Department, subject-specific pedagogy; Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND)

Annual Leadership Conference for Senior Leadership Teams

Governor attendance at a wide range of school and college functions – drama, art, prize giving, sporting, music performances etc.

A Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct, with annual affirmation by all staff (including Governors)