As an integral part of its educational vision for the holistic formation of children and young people, the Catholic Church expects Catholic schools (which includes academies and sixth form colleges) to promote and uphold high standards, including academic standards. In order to uphold these high standards and fulfil their responsibilities, it is essential that the governing body is as effective as possible.
Governing bodies should therefore conduct an annual self-evaluation, to identify for themselves their existing strengths and areas for further development. To enable governing bodies to comply with these requirements they must engage with their Trustees and Diocese, on a regular and ongoing basis.
The CES recommends that governing bodies use the model Self Evaluation Form that has been published which is available below.
The model Self Evaluation Form evaluates the following three core strategic functions of the governing body:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher or principal or chief executive (as appropriate) to account for the educational performance of the school or academy and its pupils, and for the internal organisation, management and control of the school or academy, including performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school or academy and making sure its money is well spent.
Canon law (Church law) also requires that Catholic schools (which includes academies) are "...at least as academically distinguished as that in the other schools of the area" (806§2) and the Governing Body should be mindful of this requirement in all that they do.
The overarching responsibility of a Catholic School lies in ensuring it is conducted in accordance with its Catholic character at all times. The model Evaluation Form reflects that and can be adapted to suit localised needs as required.
As such, governing bodies are advised to consult their diocese before the model Self Evaluation Form is adopted and completed to ensure compliance with particular diocesan policy.