Each maintained school in Wales has a governing body. The membership and procedures of the governing body are determined according to the 'Instrument of Government' of the school. A governing body is made up of a number of different categories of governors which are set out in the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005.
Two or more governing bodies may form a federation pursuant to the Federation of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2014. In addition a maintained school may form a joint committee with one or more other maintained school for the purpose of collaborating in the exercise of its functions pursuant to the Collaboration between Education Bodies (Wales) Regulations 2012.
The governing body of a maintained school is responsible for the conduct of the school. In discharging its functions the governing body must promote the well-being of pupils at the school, comply with the instrument of government and the terms of any trust deed (if any) (see section 21 of the Education Act 2002).
It is a statutory requirement that a governing body has a school development plan pursuant to the Education (School Development Plans) (Wales) Regulations 2014. A school development plan is intended to assist the governing body to exercise its responsibilities in a way which promotes high standards of educational achievement.
The role of the governing body can be contrasted with that of the head teacher. In general terms the head teacher is responsible for the day to day running of the school. The respective roles and responsibilities of the governing body and the head teacher is set out more fully in the School Government (Terms of Reference) (Wales) Regulations 2000. Those Regulations provide amongst other things that the governing body must exercise its functions with a view to fulfilling a broadly strategic role in the running of the school. The Regulations provide that the head teacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.