The role of a school governor is exciting, challenging and rewarding. School governors are people from the school's community who wish to make a positive contribution to children's education. They can take part in all aspects of school life and it's up to each governor how much they get involved.
Every school has a governing body of between 7 and 20 governors. The term of office for all categories of governor is normally 4 years.
There are currently vacancies for school governors throughout the borough. If you're interested, please complete the governor application form. Anyone over the age of 18 with an interest in education can be a governor, subject to certain restrictions (782kb pdf).
School governors are drawn from different parts of the community, such as parents, the staff, the Local Authority, the community and other groups. This helps to ensure that the governing body has sufficient diversity of views and experience but does not mean that governors of a particular category "represent" that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not act as a representative of the parents at the school and do not report back to them. Governor categories and appointment procedures (640kb pdf)
School governors are members of their school's governing body and individual governors are generally protected from personal liability as a result of the governing body's decisions and actions, provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith.
Individual governors have no power or right to act on behalf of the governing body except where the whole governing body has delegated a specific function to that individual or where regulations specify that a function is to be exercised in a particular way.
Although not a statutory requirement, many governing bodies have link governors for specific subjects like ICT, Numeracy and Literacy. Most governing bodies also have a Special Education Needs (SEN) and Child Protection governor. Each governing body and headteacher can plan its own guidelines on the role. Governing bodies review the remit and appointment of link governors annually (usually in the autumn term).
There are a range of roles and actions that the governing body or individual governors need to consider.
Governors: A few examples of what governors do are:
Governing body: The governing body has a range of duties and powers and a general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement including setting targets for pupil achievement, managing the school's finances, making sure the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, appointing staff and reviewing staff performance and pay and many more.
The governing body has considerable discretion as to how to discharge its responsibilities but is required to constitute itself in line with the regulations and to appoint a chair and vice chair. The governing body may delegate certain of its responsibilities to certain governors or committees subject to prescribed restrictions and must review the delegation of functions annually.
If you become a governor you'll be offered a programme of training at the beginning of each term. Each school budget includes some funding for governor training.
Download the Governors' Handbook for facts about who can become a governor, why, what they do, what's involved and more from the Department of Education website.