Terms of reference

(agreed on 9th November 2009)


To propose Terms of Reference for the Nursery Governance Committee for the academic year 2009/10.  

A quorum of the committee is 3 members.

1.  Title of Committee Nursery Governance Committee

2.  Status of Committee: Standing committee of the School Council.

3.  Responsibilities delegated to the Committee by the Council:

3.1    The provision of an independent assessment of the School's arrangements for internal control, risk management, financial accountability, value for money and governance of the Nursery.

3.2     The review and approval of local policies and procedures; ensuring that these are consonant with over-arching School strategies and policies and that regulatory and statutory requirements are satisfied.

3.3     To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place in respect of child protection and welfare.

3.4     To review the curriculum and programme of activities for children, to ensure that these will promote their educational, social and emotional development.

3.5     To ensure that appropriate strategies are developed to promote stakeholder engagement and to review the ways in which the Nursery invites and acts on feedback, including complaints.

3.6     To approve and monitor quality assurance measures in relation to statutory duties, good practice and peer review and/ or benchmarking.

3.7     To review the Service Development Plan for the Nursery: to set appropriate performance indicators and to monitor progress in achieving Plan targets on at least an annual basis.

3.8     To monitor the suitability and safety of the physical environment.

3.9     To ensure appropriate mechanisms for the reporting and investigation (or referral for investigation) of incidents, accidents/ near misses, suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, possible breaches of health and safety legislation within the Nursery, and statutory reporting (e.g. of notifiable diseases).

4.      Authority delegated to the Committee by the Council:

4.1     Authority delegated to the committee to make recommendations to the Council:

4.1.1 The Committee shall make recommendations to the APRC and FGPC as to the level of resources required to provide an appropriate and safe level of service, and priorities for investment/ divestment.

4.1.2 The Committee shall as necessary, having monitored the Nursery's risk procedures to ensure they are functioning effectively, make recommendations to the Council regarding the effectiveness of risk procedures.

4.1.3 The Committee shall recommend to the Council any additional measures required aimed at improving administrative support, financial accountability and staff development / CPD.

4.1.4 The Committee shall recommend to the Council any actions required in response to complaints, adverse incidents, near misses, health and safety compliance recommendations, Ofsted reports or similar.

4.1.5  The Committee shall have the opportunity to review Ofsted Inspection Reports without any officers of the Nursery in attendance.

4.2     Authority wholly delegated to the committee to act on behalf of the Council:

4.2.1 The Committee shall exercise general oversight of nursery policy, operations, administration, service development and proposals for new services.

4.2.2 The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring mechanisms for stakeholder consultation and engagement.

4.2.3 The Committee will be responsible for assessing the quality of provision against a range of identified measures.

4.3.7 The Committee shall seek to promote co-ordination between the Nursery and School support services, such as Finance, HR, Health & Safety, Legal and Compliance, and Estates and Facilities.

4.3.8 The Committee is authorised by the Council to investigate any activity within its terms of reference. It is authorised to seek any information it requires from any employee, and all employees are directed to co-operate with any request made by the Committee.

4.3.9 The Committee is authorised by the Council to obtain outside legal or other independent professional advice and to secure the attendance of non-members with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary, normally in consultation with the Secretary and Director of Administration.

5.      Arrangements for the Committee to report to the Council on the exercise of its delegated authority:

5.1    A report will be made annually to the Council, with exceptional reporting as required. The Committee shall make such arrangements as it considers appropriate to fulfil its responsibility to keep the Council informed of its work. Exceptional reports may be made to Council by the Committee Chairman at his/ her discretion.

5.2      The Committee shall respond to any requests for information initiated by the Council, Audit Committee, Finance and General Purposes Committee, Strategic Risk Committee, Academic Planning and Resources Committee or Council.

6.      Arrangements for the performance of the functions, duties and responsibilities delegated:

6.1     The Committee shall normally meet at least 3 times a year.

General Terms and Conditions applying to the delegation of powers by the Council to all committees

  • The committee shall comply with the terms of the delegated authority.
  • The Council may revoke or vary the delegation giving reasonable notice.
  •   It is the duty of each committee to keep the Council informed of its work as appropriate, or on request from the Council. Committees will be responsible for determining whether issues of significance they are progressing should be reported to Council for information/advice.
  • Committees may handle expenditure decisions within existing budgets, but all proposals from committees involving additional expenditure beyond approved budgets should be referred to the APRC or FGPC, as appropriate.
  • Committees may not change their annual objectives without the Council's approval.
  • Conditions as to quorum shall apply as decided by Council.