School governors

About school governors

School governors are volunteers who make sure schools provide the best possible education for students.

Most employers will encourage you to become a school governor as you'll gain skills and experience transferable to the workplace.

Being a school governor is a public duty, so you'll be entitled to reasonable time off, although this may be without pay.

What a school governor does

As a school governor, you'll work with the headteacher and school staff as part of a governing board.

Your role will include:

  • Working as a team to support and challenge the school's senior leadership
  • Attending meetings of the governing board
  • Serving on a committee such as Resources, Curriculum or Admissions
  • Representing and promoting your school
  • Taking part in training or development to enhance your knowledge and skills 
  • The option to take on a role such as a chair or vice-chair
  • Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people

Read the school governor profile at the National Governance Association

Types of governors

There are different types of governors and they're appointed in different ways.

All governors have the same roles and responsibilities once they're part of the governing board.

  • Parent – elected by parents at the school
  • Co-opted – appointed by existing members of the governing board
  • Local Authority – appointed by Rochdale Borough Council
  • Staff – elected by teaching and non-teaching colleagues at the school
  • Foundation – appointed by the relevant Diocese - in church schools only
  • Partnership - appointed by existing members of the governing board

Responsibilities of the governing board

The governing board has 3 core functions - to make sure:

  • The vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined
  • The headteacher performs his or her responsibilities for the educational performance of the school
  • The school's financial resources are used properly and effectively

The Governance Handbook offers further guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards. Find the Governance Handbook at GOV.UK