The role of the Governing Body and how to become a Governor

What is a Governing Body?

Every school and academy has to have a Governing Body which usually includes the Principal, a parent, staff, Trust and community representatives. All members of the Governing Body are volunteers and give up their own time for the school.

A Governing Body has an important function within the school. Its main aims are as follows: 

  • To provide a strategic view – working closely with the Principal helping to decide the Academy's strategy for improvements.
  • To act as a critical friend - supporting the staff but also asking challenging questions.
  • To ensure accountability - monitoring and evaluating the Academy's effectiveness and performance.

The Governing Body is committed to working for the benefit of the school and is always happy to receive your feedback. If you are interested in becoming an Academy Governor, or want more information about our role, please feel free to chat informally to any of our Parent Governors or contact me via the school office.

 What is a School / Academy Governor?

School and Academy governors are volunteers who help to run the school. Most schools and academies work with a group of governors - together they’re called the 'governing body'. They are involved in decisions about all aspects of managing the school – such as running buildings and budgets, supporting staff and setting standards of school discipline.

Governors also help to make big decisions about the Academy’s long-term goals. They support the Principal, but also ask questions and make sure the Principal is taking the academy in the right direction.

 Who can be a School / Academy Governor?

Anyone over 18 can be a school / academy 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 to be involved in your child’s school.

The most important qualities for being a governor are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. You don’t need teaching experience, but it isuseful to bring skills from other areas of your life.

 What does the role involve?

You will need to be able to work well in a team, as you will be making joint decisions on policy.

As a governor you’ll probably need to attend up to six governing body meetings during the year. These usually take place on an evening between 6pm and 8pm.  In addition, it would be expected that you visit the academy at least half termly so that you have experience and a genuine understanding of the academy.

How do I become a School / Academy Governor?

If you are interested in becoming a governor, talk to the current chair of governors who leads the board. When there’s a vacancy for a parent governor all parents will be informed, and you will have a chance to stand for election.

Before you put yourself forward, please talk to your employer. Many employers recognise the role of school governor as useful work experience and may offer paid leave as part of their initiative to give back to the community.