Becoming a school governor

If you're interested in improving children's education, are over 18 years of age and have the time, you could become a school governor.

Headteachers are always keen to attract people from their community who can bring energy, experience and fresh ideas to their school.

Governors can be parents, school staff, and representatives from the council. Most schools also have co-opted governors and some schools have foundation governors.

The church, charitable trusts or businesses may also be represented on school governing bodies.  Governors of special schools may include health or voluntary organisation representatives.

Different types of governors

Co-opted governors

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the governing body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

Parent governors

Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Subject to disqualifications, any parent which includes a person with parental responsibility, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors have valuable knowledge and perspectives about the school to bring to bear in discussions and decisions and guarantee that there is always a link between governance and the parent community.

Governing bodies may only appoint as a parent governor a parent who has, in their opinion, the skills to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school.

Staff governors

Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment.

Local authority governors

Any person eligible to be a governor with the right skill set to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school can apply for a vacancy.  Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but approved and appointed by the governing body.

An individual eligible to be a staff governor at the school may not be appointed as a local authority governor.

Foundation governors

A foundation governor is someone who, in the opinion of the person entitled to appoint them, has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school, and would be capable of achieving the purpose for which he/she is appointed which is securing:

  • in all cases, that the school’s character (including religious character where it has one) is preserved and developed; and
  • that the school (if it has a foundation) is conducted in accordance with the foundation’s governing documents.

Foundation governors are either appointed, or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold.

Partnership governors

A partnership governor is nominated if they have the skills needed to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

Where the school has a religious character the appointment is made by the appropriate religious body. Where the school doesn't have a religious character, nominations are made by the parents of registered pupils at the school and such others in the community served by the school as they consider appropriate (for example, staff, community organisations and other local bodies).

What you need to become a school governor

You don’t need any special expertise to become a school governor, but you could have what it takes if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you want children to get the best from school
  • you’d like to put something back into your local community
  • you’re interested in people
  • you’re prepared to work as part of a team
  • you have time to get to know your school, go to meetings and read papers
  • you’re comfortable asking questions
  • you’re open to new ideas and ready to learn

Become a governor

You can find out more details about how to become a school governor and make a difference.

If you're interested in taking on this important and challenging role, please email Include in your email which school and/or area of Barnsley you'd like to serve as a governor.

In order to become a school governor you'll need to have a DBS check. You'll also be need to attend induction training and agree to the governors code of conduct.

If your school has signed a service level agreement for governor services support with school governors services, you'll be able to register for free a governor app. This will give you everything you need to support you in the role on your mobile device, including:

  • downloading documents for meetings
  • useful resources
  • current statutory guidance
  • the ability to share information with your fellow governors via the noticeboard.

The information can also be accessed online through a dedicated website.

You'll be expected to serve for a term of four years, but you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.

There are currently 10 local authority vacancies as well as vacancies for other types of governors.