Governors

Who are Governors?

All over the country, school governors are helping Headteachers ensure the next generation gets the best from school. They are volunteers who help decide on the direction, focus and ethos of schools.

Governors represent people from many walks of life; school staff, parents, the local community and even the church or organizations connected to the school. This means that school decisions are made by people with a wide range of experience and views.

Governing bodies comprise various types of governor and can include:

  • parents elected by other parents at the school
  • teachers and non-teaching staff elected by thier colleagues
  • local authority appointed governors
  • members of the community co-opted by the governing body

What is the role of a School Governor?

Governors work as part of a team. They are responsible for making sure the school provides a good quality education. Governors govern rather than manage. They are there to give direction and focus by performing the strategic role. The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher. Governors will support and , at the same time, challenge Headteachers by gathering views, asking questions and deciding what is best for the school.

The governing body is answerable to parents and the wider community. Governors are required to play an active part in the decision making process of the school, getting involved in real issues. Governors make important decisions together on policies and strategies and have to stand by their decisions.

Governors discuss and have input on:

  • school policies
  • long term plans and the future of the school
  • how the school budget will be spent
  • how the school will try to reach performance targets
  • repair and maintenance of school buildings

What can Governors expect to be involved in?

  • Governing Body Meetings
  • Committee Meetings
  • Hearings and Appeals
  • School Visits
  • Staff Meetings
  • Training
  • Appointment of Headteacher and senior staff
  • Complaints from pupils, staff and parents

What will you gain as a School Governor?

Being a governor can be both challenging and rewarding. Governors get a great deal from the work and time they put in. It gives them an opportunity to:

  • make a real difference, and the chance to contribute to the good of the community, leading to real satisfaction and a sense of achievement
  • to work as part of a team. Work with people and pupils from a variety of social, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • to develop new skills and to strengthen existing ones
  • to gain an understanding of the decision making process of the school governing bodies and an awareness of the education system as a whole
  • to undertake a variety of learning opportunities provided by the School Governor Support Service on aspects of the role of governor
  • enjoy the personal satisfaction and sense of achievement of working to imporve the school
  • enjoy using your skills for the good of the local community

What skills do I need to be a School Governor?

There are no pre-requisite skills to becoming a governor. The ability to work as part of a team, a readiness to accept responsibility and the confidence to ask questions, listen and learn all form part of the role.

How much time do Governors give?

All schools are different and have individual needs. Normally governors serve for four years, but as volunteers they can leave at any time. Governors can normally apply to be re-appointed or re-elected if they so wish.

A governor’s main task is to attend meetings of the school governing body. These are normally once per term. Each committee also normally meets once per term.

There is a need for governors to prepare for these meetings, including pre-reading of material circulated prior to the meeting, and also keeping up to date on related issues.

Do you want to be a governor?

If you are interested in being a school governor, please contact school or talk to one of our governors. You could also contact the School & Governor Support Team on 01642 527687.

There is more information about being a governor available on https://www.stockton.gov.uk/children-and-young-people/information-for-school-governors/how-to-become-a-school-governor/ or www.dfes.gov.uk .