What governors do

School governors are people who wish to make a positive contribution to children’s education.

Anyone with an interest in education can be a governor. Governors are volunteers who work to further the school’s development.

The governing body consists of people from the school’s community, parents, school staff and representatives of the council. Certain schools have foundation governors.

Together with the head teacher they set the future direction for the school and decide how the school’s budget should be spent.

Governing bodies make decisions collectively on matters such as:

  • performance targets
  • school policies
  • school’s development plan
  • respond to Ofsted inspection recommendations

Governors monitor the impact of policies and oversee the use of the school’s budget. They hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints.
Governors provide the head teacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions and respect the head teacher’s position as professional leader of the school.

Governors also promote effective ways of teaching and learning when setting the school aims and policies. They do this together with the head teacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management of the school. Heads are chosen by governors - and most heads choose to be governors themselves.

The time you devote can vary widely, depending on how involved you become and what needs doing. Being a governor involves more than just taking an interest, though this is a crucial part of the job.

The governing body usually meets at least once a term. You would probably also sit on one or 2 committees dealing with:

  • curriculum
  • resources, including finance, staffing and premises

A governor can also have responsibility for working alongside the school on areas such as SEN, safeguarding and diversity.