Writing your own policies matters

Thursday 09 February 2017

Policies. Just the word alone can reek of boring documents, and yet they are vital in demonstrating that a school understands its responsibilities.

Some policies will be more relevant to one school than another, but together they demonstrate a school’s commitment to looking after its pupils well.

All will need to be updated with every new piece of educational legislation or guidance. It’s one of those things; you just have to get used to it.

And yet there are schools that buy pre-written policies off the shelf, replacing “School X” with their own school’s name. Don’t do it! By not writing your own policies, you are not engaging with the issue at hand. By delegating it to a presumed authority is laziness. And it does not indicate that governors are familiar with the policies.

Also, a policy that is relevant to School X might not be relevant to the circumstances at your school. An inspector will see through this immediately and – worse – if you fail to replace every mention of School X with your own, it is clear that your school’s commitment to the welfare of its charges is absent.

As tiresome as it might seem, it is vital that every governing body drafts its own policies. Every governor should be encouraged to contribute to it or, at the very least, to sign it off as proof that it has been read and understood. Anything else is a dereliction of duty.