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Governor Visits Policy

Governor Visits Policy for Caversham and New Bridge Nurseries

The governing body has a duty to oversee the direction and policies of the school, to monitor its standards and be held to account for its conduct and performance. Visiting the Nursery School is the best way to learn how they function so that the governing body’s first-hand knowledge can be increased, informing strategic decision making. Visits should generally relate to the priorities determined by the School Development and vision Plans. The governing body should plan visits to cover a wide range of activities and each visit should be agreed and have a clear purpose.  Governors should arrange in advance their visits with the Head Teacher, who has the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Nursery.


The Purpose of Governor Visits

For Governors to:

♦ Recognise and celebrate success

♦ Develop relationships with the staff

♦ Get to know the children’s activities and purpose

♦ Understand the environment in which staff teach and work

♦Develop their understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage and see it working in action

♦ Monitor policies in action

♦ Inform decision making

♦ Find out more about resource needs

♦ Understand the range of Nursery activities and purpose


For staff to:

♦ Understand better the roles and responsibilities of governors

♦ Get to know governors

♦ Share knowledge about learning and teaching to help governors understand

♦ Highlight the need for particular resources


Governor visits are not about:

  • A form of inspection to make judgements about professional expertise of the staff. (Judgements about teaching and learning are made by the Head Teacher and Deputy Head through regular observation and feedback with staff).
  • Checking on progress of own children
  • Pursuing a personal agenda
  • Monopolising the staff time

Planning Governor Visits

Any visit should be discussed with the Head Teacher or Deputy Head. Visits will be recorded in the school diary and at committee meetings. Governors with specific responsibilities are encouraged to meet with the Head Teacher termly in connection with their responsibility. Other governors are encouraged to visit at least once during the year.


Possible Activities/Focus for a Governor Visit

♦ Tour of the Nursery

♦ Attendance at planning meetings

♦ Attend Nursery School sessions

♦ Meeting with Co-ordinator team leads

♦ Attendance at staff meetings

♦ Attendance at training sessions for staff and parents

♦ Focussing on a key aspect of the Early Years Foundation Stage

♦ Observing a session

♦ Visiting or supporting a school performance or event

♦ The condition and maintenance of the premises

♦ Attend lunches


Visit Guidelines:

Before the visit:

  • Arrange the visit with Head Teacher or Deputy Head
  • Arrange the date, time and duration of visit
  • Discuss the purpose
  • Discuss if note taking should be allowed – respect the decision


During the visit:

  • Get involved with the children
  • When appropriate, ask questions; be courteous not critical
  • Keep an open mind, be flexible and go with the flow
  • Follow the Nursery’s security procedures
  • Avoid getting drawn in to any discussion on personal or general staff grievances
  • Avoid distracting staff from their primary role by asking too many questions
  • Remember it is a visit, not an inspection
  • When visiting during the day governors should be aware of safeguarding and confidentiality issues in their interactions with staff and children and parents
  • During the visit Governors should be aware of Nursery policies and procedures and observe the rules/guidelines.


After the visit:

  • Discuss what you have observed with the Head Teacher or Deputy Head. Use the opportunity to clarify any issue you are unclear about
  • Thank the staff for supporting you in your role as a governor. Be open, honest and positive.
  • Discuss your observations with the Head Teacher or Deputy Head
  • Agree with the Head Teacher or Deputy Head when you will report on your visit to the governing body.
  • Use the attached visit report to write a short summary ‘as a lay governor’ of what you learned during the visit and the overall impression that was made. This will be easier if the visit had a focus.
  • Circulate the draft to the Head Teacher and any staff involved for them to check accuracy and clarity. Be prepared to amend it. Aim to achieve a report that is agreed by those involved.
  • Share at a governing body meeting
  • File a copy in the governor visits folder in the Nursery  Staff Governors to feedback to Committee annually, on the usefulness and involvement of Governors for previous and future years.
  • Governor Visit Report
  • This policy should be reviewed every three years by the Admissions and Personnel Committee taking account of staff views.
Visit made by:                                                               On:
Purpose of visit: (Previously agreed with the Head Teacher)

Links with the school development plan:

Observations/comments: (e.g. what you saw; what you learned; what you would

like clarified; how long the visit lasted)

Any key issues arising for the governing body
Follow up action

Head Teacher: