Element B: Setting the strategy


The line between governance and management

It is important that governors understand where the line lies between their strategic responsibilities and the management responsibilities of the headteacher and senior leaders. Stepping over that line is inappropriate and can make the headteacher’s job harder.
More detailed guidance can be found in What governing bodies should expect from school leaders and what school leaders should expect from governing bodies, a joint guidance document from the Association of School and College Leaders, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Governors’ Association (available here)

Creating the strategy

Every school needs to have a long-term strategy, based on a shared vision. It is the job of the governing board, working with the headteacher and senior leaders, to agree a strategic plan for the coming three to five years. It is then the job of the senior leaders to turn the strategic plan into a school development plan, updated each year, and to implement this in practice with the support and scrutiny of governors.


The school’s vision should, in a few sentences, describe what the school will look like in three to five years’ time. It is not to be confused with the school values and/or ethos, which describe the manner in which the school operates. The vision should:
  • be ambitious but achievable
  • take into account where the school is now
  • describe what pupils will have left the school having achieved – in terms of attainment, progress and being prepared for the next stage of their education and life beyond the school
  • take account of stakeholders’ views
  • be agreed and owned by the governing board.

Published: 10/01/2017, by Sam Henson
Last Updated: 10/01/2017, by Sam Henson