Information For Prospective Parent Governors

Governors are volunteers who work closely with the Headteacher and the school’s senior leadership team to ensure that the school provides the best possible education for all children. Governors are generally parents, professionals and members of the community from all walks of life, who bring varied skills and experience to support the leadership of the school.

What do governors do?

The governing board provides strategic leadership and accountability in schools. It has three key functions:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Governors or trustees set the aims and objectives for the school or group of schools and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. In action, this means:

  • Appointing and performance reviewing the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay

  • Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent

  • Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community

  • Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary

  • Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment

  • Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school 

Governors and trustees should also be committed to their role and to young people; confident in having courageous conversations; curious with an enquiring mind; able to challenge the status quo to improve things; collaborative to build strong relationships; critical to improve their own work and that of the board; and creative in problem solving and being innovative.

Who can become a school governor?

Anyone aged 18 or over can be a governor (but there are some exceptions) and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is plenty of training available to help you learn about education. Schools needs and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on their governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.

As a governor, you will be able to:

  • develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment

  • use your own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations

  • develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment

  • make a valuable contribution to education and your community

  • support and challenge the school so that it improves for students and staff

  • bring your unique experiences, perspectives and insights in to decision-making in the interests of the school community