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
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.
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.
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.
Individuals are eligible to be nominated and appointed as a partnership governor 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 does not 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).
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.
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
If you’re interested in taking on this important and challenging role, contact the school directly to see if there are any vacancies, or consider one of the current local authority vacancies and fill in the appropriate application form below. If you need any help before applying, just get in touch.