What a school governor is and what they do

A school governor is a volunteer who works with the headteacher and other governors to set the strategic direction, vision and values of a school. They're responsible for overseeing its performance, finances and policies. They also ensure it meets the needs of all its students and the wider community. Find out about becoming a school governor.

Every school has a governing body. They work with the headteacher to set the future direction for the school. They also decide how the school spends its budget. They've a duty for making sure the school provides good quality education and for raising pupils’ attainment. They do this by:

  • setting strategic direction
  • ensuring accountability
  • monitoring and evaluating school performance
  • acting as a critical friend

Governors govern rather than manage. Their role is one of direction and focus. They make decisions together on matters such as:

  • performance targets
  • school policies
  • the school's plan

The provide support and advice to the headteacher, but their role is also to challenge them. This is done by gathering views, asking searching questions, and making sure decisions are in the best interest of the school.

Governors report to parents on the school's achievements and respond to inspection findings. They also hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints.

Barnsley Governors Association

The Barnsley Governors Association (BGA) is an independent, democratic and non-political association of school governing bodies in the Barnsley MBC area. BGA also works collaboratively with BMBC School Governor Services and other partners and stakeholders to support, promote and improve school governance. Collectively, they're committed to raising attainment, achievement and aspirations for all children and young people in Barnsley.


Keep yourself up to date with the latest newsletters.

Documents and links