Being a governor

Every school has a governing body, which plays an important part in the school’s life. The number of governors depends on the size and type of the school.  The governing body is accountable to parents and the wider community.

What does the governing body do?

A school’s governing body is responsible for making decisions that are in the best interests of the pupils.  Together with the headteacher, the governing body sets the school’s aims and priorities. 

The school is accountable to the governing body.  The governing body is responsible for the conduct of the school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement.  

The governing body: 

  • appoints and performance manages the headteacher
  • sets the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework
  • agrees the school improvement strategy, which includes setting statutory targets 
  • monitors and evaluates the work of the school
  • reviews the performance of the headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets, and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy
  • responds to reports from the school improvement service and Estyn as necessary
  • makes sure that parents are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate
  • makes information available to the wider community as required

There are at least three meetings of the full governing body every year, one each term, but many schools hold more meetings than this.  In addition, governors are expected to serve on various committees.  These committees undertake a lot of work to ease the burden on full governing body meetings.  Some committees meet fairly regularly, while others meet as and when required.  There may also be other calls on your time, such as school visits and open days.

Who can be a school governor?

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a school governor - you don't have to be a parent with a child at the school.  However, every governing body includes parent governors, and it can be a rewarding way of being involved in your child's school.

There are certain reasons why someone is not allowed to become a governor. You can download a copy of the  exclusions criteria  here.

The most important qualities for being a governor are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education.  You don't need teaching experience, but it's useful to bring skills from other areas of your life.  Governing bodies often have members that come from a variety of backgrounds such as accountancy, law, HR, engineering, banking and health; but governors don't need specific skills.

General business knowledge such as an understanding of management systems, budget planning and HR functions can be useful for  many of the tasks governors have to undertake, but none of these are essential.   As a local authority, we have to make sure that training is available for governors, to make sure that they are properly inducted into their role, and are trained for specific tasks.  Find out more about the training that's available for school governors.

Being a governor is a fantastic way of enhancing your skills and experience in a rewarding role.  We will certify your role, which means you can use it to demonstrate your skills and experience when applying for other jobs.

How do I become a school governor?

We are always interested in hearing from people who think they have the commitment and skills to become a school governor.  We have a database of vacancies which we are continually aiming to fill.  We would also welcome applications from under-represented groups to ensure that all Governing bodies represent the diversity of their communities. 

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, please complete the form below and we will contact you with full details.  We will hold your details on file, and will let you know if a suitable vacancy comes up.  If you change your mind, and no longer want to be a governor, let us know and we will remove you from our database.

Register your interest in becoming a governor