" There can never have been a more important time in our country’s recent history to be involved in education, and we need skilled and motivated governors who are committed to transforming our schools."
Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools
Anyone aged 18 or over and living in the UK can be a governor.
Governors do not manage a school day-to-day, but are required to oversee its long-term development. Ultimately, all governor responsibilities come back to this task and can be split into three core roles:
Support & Challenge - Ensuring Accountability - Championing Success
Asking the difficult questions and guaranteeing the school is responsible for its actions, using your skills and experience to support the school in acheiving its aims and recognising good performance.
Providing Strategic Management - Establishing a strategic framework - Monitoring & Evaluating progress.
Helping to set the schools's aims and objectives, analysing decisions and ensuring they are producing the desired results.
Making Executive Decisions - Allocate and Control the school budget - Appointing Senior Staff
From extra staff training to investing in new buildings or equipment, including responsibility of appointing a new Deputy Head or Head Teacher.
I’m not a parent.
You don’t need to have children or be a parent of a child at the school to become a school governor. To help ensure the right mix of talent and experience governors can come from all walks of life.
Different types of governor.
Governing bodies have representatives of school staff, the local authority, parents and members of the community. Despite representing different groups, all governors have exactly the same role and voting rights.
Community Governors are appointed by the Governing Body to represent community interests. They can be people who live or work locally and have local community, business and professional interests and experience.
Local Education Authority Governors
These Governors are appointed by the Local Authority LEA Governor Appointments Panel.
These Governors are appointed by the organisation, authority or voluntary trust which established the school to represent their interests. They are appointed to Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled schools. For example in a Catholic school the Church will appoint Foundation Governors, and they must preserve and develop the religious character of the school.
If a Foundation School has no founding body, Partnership Governors replace Foundation Governors. The Governing Body seeks nominations to vacancies from parents and others in the community with an interest in the School.
The Governing Body of a school may decide to appoint Sponsor Governors. These are individuals that represent an organisation that gives substantial assistance to the School, financial or otherwise, or which provides services to the School.
The Governing Body can appoint Associate Members to serve on one or more Governing Body Committee. These are not Governors, but are people with a particular area of experience or expertise that the Governing Body can benefit from. They have limited rights and responsibilities.
The average time commitment is 10-15 hours per term. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits.
School governors are like magistrates or members of a jury and therefore have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties (this may be unpaid). Check with your H.R. department for your company’s policy.
Term of office.
School governors have a term of office of four years. However, as a volunteer you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.
Governing bodies rely on a variety of experiences and perspectives. No prior knowledge is required. Training and support is available for new and existing governors and is free of charge. We recommend all new governors attend a governor induction programme.
The legal stuff.
Responsibility for actions and decisions lies with the governing body as a whole and not with individual members. In addition the governing body is required by law to be covered by an insurance policy. If you are becoming a governor at an academy the legal position is slightly different, but there’s nothing to be concerned about and we will provide you with all the relevant information.
If you would like to investigate becoming a governor here at Banks Road please do get in touch, we'd be more than happy to discuss how you could become part of our enthusiastic commited and dedicated governing body.