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Roselyn House School / The RHISE Service

Governance Policy


This Policy aims to set out the Board system, structure and process outline for governance at Roselyn House School.

Since the School’s last Ofsted in 2019 when it was thought that the Leadership and Management would improve by ‘seeking external advice to support senior leaders in improving the quality of provision and moving the School forward into its next stage of development’, there have been lots of changes in terms of structure which has been driven from the pandemic recovery and consultation with staff, students and families alike. This has led to a more cohesive approach to whole school and the need for seeking external advice.

Following on from the School having separate Bubbles, through which Group Leads were established, there has been greater communication both internally and externally and the need to report back to establish accountability across the whole School.

The School is split across two sites, the main School building and The RHISE Centre, which is home to Roselyn House Sixth Form and also specific individualised, support programmes for students who are not able to access the main school site. The School is owned by two Directors who are also the Headteacher, Miss S Damerall and Deputy Head, Miss K Willacy of the School. The Headteacher being based at the main School and the Deputy Head at The RHISE Centre.

There are 3 Group Leads established, two based at School, Mr J Birkenhead (Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator) and Miss K Holmes (Assistant Headteacher) and one at The RHISE Centre, Mrs Higgins (RHISE Co-ordinator). Mr Birkenhead as Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator oversees, along with the Headteacher, the Curriculum, Timetable Planning and communication with Parents/ Carers.

Mrs R Smith, the School Business Manager works alongside the Headteacher and all Group Leads in the day to day running and Policy implementation of the school. They work with external agencies and arrange quality assurance reviews and visits with external professionals.

We are supported externally by:-

Peninsula for Health and Safety and HR

Judicium for GDPR

Markel Liability Insurance

Essere Therapy

Shine Therapy

SENDOs from various local authorities:-

          Lancashire – Tracy Scotland

          Rochdale – Louise Dews

          Warrington – Elizabeth Shephard



NAHT (Lancashire Club Secretary - Karen Stephens) .

There are two additional members of SLT, Mr Lancaster and Mr Dickinson.

Despite being spread over two sites and minimal cross over, the Group Leads ensure that there is a ‘whole school’ approach and consistency across the groups which is communicated to staff daily through group emails and briefings, Monthly INSET and other trainings/ meetings.

This Policy takes into account guidance set out in DfE Governance Handbook 2020 and Governance: Structures and Role Descriptors October 2020. It also takes into consideration the specific needs of the structure of Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service and how we encourage everyone who is part of the School to have a voice in its development. The School has been and continues to be shaped by the specific needs of our students and is flexible in managing those needs as they may change over time. We have, since the start of the pandemic, included everyone in consultation around changes that have had to be brought about and also how our future may be shaped. Our governing board has staff, students, Parents/ carers, LA representative and interested others as part of its members. It is a form of self-governance which gives ownership to our students and their families to be part of what is theirs.

These consultations along with improvement planning form the basis of the school’s evaluation planning and actions for moving forwards.

At Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service we believe that effective Governance should:

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

  • Hold leaders to account for the educational performance, safety and welfare of the school and its students, and the effective and efficient performance management and wellbeing of staff; and

  • Despite the school being a Limited Company should be accountable that money is well spent on the resource’s students need

We believe that our Governing Board should be

  • Ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of students, staff, parents, carers, multi-agencies and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.


The DfE defines effective governance on six key features:

  • Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy.

  • Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance.

  • People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity.

  • Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

  • Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements.

  • Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance.


At Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service we have strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy through:

  • A clear and explicit vision for the future which has been achieved through collaboration and consultation. This has student progress and achievement at its heart and is communicated to the whole School

  • Strong and clear values and ethos which are defined and modelled by everyone and embedded across the School and adhered to by all that work in it, or on behalf of it

  • Strategic planning that defines medium to long-term strategic goals, and development and improvement priorities which are understood by all in the School

  • Processes to monitor and review progress against agreed strategic goals and to refresh the vision and goals periodically and as necessary including at key growth stages or if performance of the organisation drops

  • Mechanisms for enabling the governing board to listen, understand and respond to the voices of parents/carers, students, staff and local communities

  • Determination to initiate and lead strategic change when this is in the best interests of young people and the school, and to champion the reasons for, and benefits of, change to all stakeholders

  • Procedures for the board to set and manage risk appetite and tolerance; ensuring that risks are aligned with strategic priorities and improvement plans and that appropriate intervention strategies are in place and risk management is embedded at every level of


The Group Leads along with the School Business Manager, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher meet weekly with an agenda which covers actions from previous meetings, Action Planning, Group reports, Quality of education report, Wellbeing of students and staff, Safeguarding and Health and Safety, Quality Assurance, Headteachers report, Focus reports and AOB.

There are Termly SLT meetings to summarise the Term.

We expect everyone at Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service to be accountable to drive up educational standards which is led by the Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator, Mr Birkenhead. Financial Health is monitored by the Directors and School Business Manager. Staff and Student Council are able to request budgets for approved resources; using the correct procedures to justify the expenditure. This is achieved by:

  • Rigorous analysis of pupil progress, attainment and financial information with comparison against local and national benchmarks and over time- information can be found on the website, Student Learning Support Plans.

  • Clear processes for overseeing and monitoring School improvement and financial health, and the board being able to provide constructive challenge to the Directors.

  • Effective oversight of the performance of all other employees and the framework for their pay and conditions of service

  • A regular cycle of meetings and appropriate processes to support business and financial planning- The Directors and School Business Manager work closely with Whittles Accountants and Appletree Financial Services in order to manage accounts effectively for the school/ business.

  • Effective controls for managing within available resources and ensuring regularity, propriety and value for money- our resources are needs lead and can be requested via students EHCP/staff.


Our Governing Board is made up of SLT, School Staff, Students from School Council, Parents/ Carers, Local Authority and interested people who we believe should have the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity who:

  • Understand the purpose of governance and the role of non-executive leadership and have all the necessary skills, as outlined in the department’s Competency frameworks: for governance and professional clerking, to deliver it well.

  • Include an effective Chair with the ability to provide visionary strategic non-executive leadership.

  • Provide sufficient diversity of perspectives to enable robust decision making

  • Are recruited through robust and transparent processes against a clear articulation of required skills, which are set out in a role specification.

  • Use active succession planning to ensure the governing board, and the whole school, continues to have the people and leadership it needs to remain effective and provide support for the Directors.


Our Governing Board Chair is also the school Business Manager, Mrs Smith who ensures that there are structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities:

  • There are appropriate committee structures that reflect the scale and structure of the school and ensure sufficient and robust oversight of key priorities.

  • There is clear separation between strategic non-executive oversight and operational executive leadership, which is supported by positive relationships that encourage a professional culture and ethos across the school.

  • Processes for ensuring appropriate communication between all levels and structures of governance and to students, parents/carers, staff and communities – particularly to ensure transparency of decision-making.

  • Published details of governance arrangements including the structure and remit of the board and any committees, which are understood at all levels of governance and leadership and are reviewed regularly.


Our Governing Board shows compliance with statutory and contractual requirements, through:

  • Awareness of, and adherence to, responsibilities under education and employment legislation.

  • Regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 (statutory guidance) to ensure that key safeguarding and safer recruitment duties are undertaken effectively.

  • Plans to ensure that other key duties such as inclusion, special education needs and disability (SEND) are undertaken effectively across the organisation.

  • Understanding of, and adherence to, responsibilities under the Equalities Act, promoting equality and diversity throughout the organisation including in relation to its own operation.


We evaluate and monitor to improve the quality and impact of governance through:

  • Processes for regular self-evaluation and review of individuals’ contribution to the Board as well of the Board’s overall operation and effectiveness.

  • Documentation which accurately captures evidence of the board’s discussion.


Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service Governing Board Structure

  • The Headteacher

  • Chair/ School Business Manager

  • At least one Group Lead

  • One Teaching Assistant

  • One Teacher

  • Two students from school council

  • One or Two Parents/ Carers

  • One Local Authority (SENDO) or

  • One external interested other (if necessary)


Decision Making

The Governing Board should play a strategic role and avoid routine involvement in operational matters.

Role of Governor

Each individual Governor is responsible for contributing to the Board’s discussions and in meeting its three core functions. Boards may choose to, and in some cases should, appoint specific governors to link to specific areas e.g. safeguarding, special educational needs and disability (SEND).

It may be necessary to discuss agenda issues with student Governors first and then ask them to leave the meeting depending on the content being discussed.

Parent/ Carer Governors

The role of a Parent Governor is not as a spokesperson for the views of parents. They are the same as any other Governor on the Board, providing a ‘parental viewpoint i.e. representative parents rather than representatives of parents.


It is the Headteacher, not the Governing Board, who is responsible for the operational and day-today running of the school. One of the Headteacher’s responsibilities is to provide information to the Board so that the Board can meet its three core objectives.

Staff Governors

The role of a Staff Governor is the same as any other Governor, strategic leadership, but also includes providing a ‘staff viewpoint’. It is important for prospective Staff Governors to fully understand the nature of the role prior to appointment. Staff Governors are not a spokesperson for the views of all staff, nor will they be held to account in relation to their staff role by the governing board.

Local Authority Governor

A LA Governor is a representative of the Local Authority. The role of a LA Governor is the same as any other Governor, including providing a ‘LA viewpoint’, and they should participate in the same way as other Governors. They are not required to be affiliated to a political party, although they should be aware of local issues. It may not always be possible for LA Governor to attend but an external interested other (possibly Therapist) may attend in their place.

The Chair

The Chair, is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the Board and has a vital role in setting the highest of expectations for professional standards of governance. It is the chair’s responsibility to give the Board clear leadership and direction, keeping it focused on its core functions.

The chair should encourage the board to work together as an effective team, building its skills, knowledge and experience. The Chair should ensure that everyone is actively contributing relevant skills and experience, participating constructively in meetings, and is actively involved in the work of committees.


The following processes of governance are in place:

  • Weekly Group Lead Meetings.

  • Termly SLT Meetings.

  • Quality Assurance Reviews/ Visits/ Meetings for:

Teaching and Learning Assessment, Safeguarding, Pastoral/ Welfare, Safety, Health and Environment, School Improvement

  • SENDO Meetings and student review- LA Monitoring Visits.

  • Social Care Meetings- and monitoring visits.

  • Headteachers/ SBM Meetings

Human resources, Clinical/ Therapy services, Information Technology, Commercial and Finance, Buildings and Property

  • Directors Meetings.

  • Student Council Meetings.

  • Group staff meetings.

  • Whole school monthly INSET.

  • Full Day INSET.



S. Damerall

June 2022

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