Information from the National Governance Association (www.nga.org.uk)
What do governors do?
School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher. In some schools the site is owned by the Governing Board. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools and it is governors who work with the Head Teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.
Each individual governor is a member of a Governing Board which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the Governing Board; decisions are the joint responsibility of the Governing Board.
The role of the Governing Board is a strategic one. Its key functions are to:
- set the aims and objectives for the school
- set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
- set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
- monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the Head Teacher (a critical friend)
The Head Teacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the Governing Board.
Who can become a governor?
Almost anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor. There are no particular qualifications or requirements other than a willingness to give time to the role and a capacity for working with other people. There are different types of school with different categories of governor.
The types of state schools in England are:
- voluntary controlled
- voluntary aided
- trust – a type of foundation school
- academies, free Schools & City Technology Colleges (CTCs) – independent state funded schools
There are also different categories of governor:
- local authority
The type of governor you will become depends on your situation; however all governors have the same roles and responsibilities once part of the Governing Board.