Governance Resources

Governance Resources

On this page you will find various resources, e.g. glossaries, links to model employment policies, FAQs and jargon busters, to help governors carry out their strategic role in our schools.

Please click on the relevant link to find out more or access the stated document.

Key Guidance for Governors

Below you will find links to key documents that will support governors in carrying out their role and also in evaluating their effectiveness.  Further support can be found by visiting and searching the main government, and CES and websites.

diocesan governors handbook dfe governors handbook

dfe governance update – latest edition

  dfe page with links to key guidance and resources for governors in maintained schools

  dfe page with links to key guidance and resources for governors in academies

competency framework for governance competency framework for clerks 

maintained school governance: structures and roles  academy trust governance: structures and role descriptors

   ces guidance: governance of a catholic school  ces annual self-evaluation form

list of statutory policies ces: governors skills audit

National Governance Association LogoA very useful site, with lots of resources and information to support governors, is the website for the National Governance Association (NGA), it is well worth bookmarking (

OFSTED Guidance

OfstedA key role of the governing body is to ensure that the school is ready for any inspection by Ofsted or other external body.  Governors will be involved in any inspection so it is important they are aware of how the process works as well as being up to date with regard to the school’s current strengths and key areas for development.  Below are links to key Ofsted documents.  It is also good practice for at least one member of the governing body to subscribe to the Ofsted alerts service.  Via email or regularly checking the Ofsted blog.

SCHOOL inspection HANDBOOK  OFSTED EDUCATION INSPECTION FRAMEWORK   how ofsted inspects schools  guidance on using ofsted’s iSDR REPORTS  parent view: toolkit for schools

FAQs and Glossaries

Below we have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions linked to governance.

Faq – general faq – catholic schools

Below you will find links to a range of glossaries which aim to explain the various terms you may come across whilst undertaking your role as a governor.



CES Model Employment Policies


It is the expectation that diocesan schools adopt the relevant CES model employment policies rather than those produced by the local authority.  CES policies have been produced to ensure they reflect the school’s Catholic ethos and distinctiveness and unions will have been consulted as part of their formulation.

The following model policies are available and can be found using the above link.  Separate policies are provided for maintained schools and academies.When adopting or reviewing policies always check the CES website to ensure you have the most up to date version.

  • Disciplinary Policy and Procedure
  • Grievance Policy and Procedure
  • Sickness Absence Policy and Procedure
  • Capability Policy and Procedure
  • Appraisal Policy and Procedure (Teachers)
  • Appraisal Policy and Procedure (Support Staff)

Appointing Staff

One of the most important and impactful tasks of the governing body is appointing staff.  In voluntary aided schools and academies the governing body are the employers.  Below are links to various documents and websites to support governors in appointing staff, particularly senior leaders.

The CES have produced a User Guide on Model Employment Documentation (For Staff in Catholic Schools and Academies).   This User Guide brings together all the CES employment documentation. It explains the requirement for all the CES employment documentation that schools can use during application, recruitment and appointment and then throughout the life of the employment relationship. There is also a compilation of answers to frequently asked questions during the different stages of employment.


The links below will take you to the relevant section of CES website.

recruitment process

application forms  CES GUIDANCE ON contracts



employment policies

In the Diocese of Portsmouth we have produced our own appointment user guide, based on the CES guidance, to support our schools when appointing a headteacher.  Bishop Philip has produced a paper entitled, ‘Appointments to Key Posts within Catholic Schools’, which senior leaders must be provided with ahead of interview, together with the relevant CES contract, and will then be required to sign a declaration that they have had the opportunity to study both documents and have had the opportunity for any questions relating to them to be answered.

diocesan guidance on the appointment of a headteacher

appointment to key posts within catholic sCHOOLS applicant’s declaration

Guidance can also be found on the main government website.  The DfE have produced a useful document entitled, ‘Recruiting a headteacher‘.