School governors

School governors

Governors are unpaid volunteers responsible for the oversight and strategic management of their school, including the curriculum, finance, premises, staff and pupils.

All of the Royal Borough’s maintained schools are required by law to have a governing body. There is no upper limit as to the size of the governing body and the minimum is seven. However, guidance states that governing bodies should be smaller rather than larger in size.

Types of governor

  • Parent governors - elected by the parents at the school
  • Staff governors - elected by the staff at the school (this does not include the head teacher who is an ex-officio)
  • Co-opted governors - co-opted by the governing body
  • Local Authority governors - nominated by the local authority
  • Foundation governors - appointed by the church authorities

Governors are elected by the parents or staff at the school, or are nominated by the Council, church authorities (in the case of church schools) or by the governing body itself. The Council makes its nominations to governing bodies by seeking nominations from the political parties represented on the Council.

The Council provides information and training for governors, free of charge, to assist them in carrying out their duties.

Becoming a governor

If you are interested in applying to be a school governor please complete the application form. If your skills match a school's requirements your details can then be forwarded to a school who are looking to fill a vacancy on their governing body.

Please return your completed application form to

School governors recruitment information

Would you like to be a part of the largest volunteer group in the country, working with others to provide the best for children and young people?

What is involved?

To be a successful governor, you need commitment, the time and desire to get involved in the school. You will be involved in making strategic decisions, setting priorities and monitoring progress. You will be expected to attend regular meetings, read relevant documentation, get to know the school through visits, attending events, meeting the staff and students, ask questions and attend training

"Being a Parent Governor is a very rewarding way to help in my children's school, learning new skills and taking part in the development of children's education and future. It's a privilege!" (School Governor)

The rewards of being a school governor

Governors bring a wide range of experience and interests from many walks of life, but they all have one thing in common – the desire to make a difference to the lives of children and young people.

Rewards include:
  • Knowing that your efforts could help to shape a better future.
  • Developing new skills and strengthening existing ones.
  • Helping to create a 21st century school, working in partnership with other schools and the wider community.
  • Working as part of a team, supported by colleagues, mixing with people from a range of backgrounds
  • Satisfaction from giving something back to the community by promoting the education, safety and well-being of students.

The role of the governing body

A school’s governing body plays a vital part in raising educational standards and outcomes by:

  • Working with the head teacher to create a safe environment in which students can learn, setting the vision, policies and priorities of the school.
  • Challenging and supporting the school.
  • Ensuring students’ moral, social, spiritual and cultural development.
  • Planning for the longer-term future, ensuring money is spent wisely.
  • Making sure the curriculum meets ALL pupils’ needs and that a wide range of extended services is accessible.
  • Involvement in appointing staff, including the head teacher.
  • Acting as a link between the local community and the school. governing bodies aim to reflect our diverse community. We are keen to increase the number of governors from black and minority ethnic background.

Who can become a school governor?

  • You do not need to be an expert in education, have children or any specific qualifications. Extensive training is available to equip you for the role, held locally and at convenient times.
  • You do need enthusiasm, commitment, spare time, an interest in the future of children and young people, and to be over 18 years of age.
  • Governing bodies need a balance of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills. Are you a good communicator? Can you negotiate, influence, work as part of a team? Have you experience within your local community or with parents?
  • You need to be able to listen, learn, challenge constructively and question.
  • Every maintained school has a governing body of volunteers who contribute their skills, energy and knowledge to ensure that the next generation gets the best from school. In return they have the opportunity to learn new skills and to be involved in making a difference.

Main categories of governor

There are several categories of governor, though not all are on every governing body. Most governors serve for a period of four years.

  • Parent Governors are elected by and from the parents and carers of students at a school.
  • Staff Governors are elected by and from teachers and staff at a school.
  • The governing body appoints Co-opted Governors.
  • Foundation Governors are appointed by the foundation bodies of voluntary aided (faith) schools.
  • Local Authority Governors are nominated by the Local Authority and are appointed by the Governing Body. Nominations are made based on the skills requested by the governing body.

For further details or to apply:

Email to arrange an informal chat about becoming a governor.

School governance guidance and legislation

The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances)

School teachers pay and conditions

Statutory policies 2014 [PDF] (file size 552Kb)

Associate member advice

Associate members are appointed by the full governing body and should be an agenda item at a full meeting It is for the governing body to decide how they wish to appoint – show of hands secret ballot etc.

The minutes should record their term of office and whether or not the associate member has been accorded limited voting rights (these are referred to below).

Associate member appointments

Governing bodies can benefit from being able to draw on expertise and experience from outside their formal governor membership. The governing body can appoint associate members to serve on one or more governing body committees and attend full governing body meetings. The definition of associate member is wide and pupils, school staff and people who want to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise (for instance finance) can be appointed as associate members.

Associate members are appointed as members of any committees established by the governing body. They are appointed for a period between one and four years and can be re-appointed at the end of their term of office. Associate members are not governors and they are not recorded on the Instrument of Government. Once appointed associates can attend full governing body meetings but will not have voting rights at such meetings.

The governing body can give limited voting rights to associate members at committee level at the time of appointment. Associate members cannot be given voting rights if they have not reached the age of 18 at the time of their appointment.

Associate members may not vote on any decision concerning:

  • admissions;
  • pupil discipline;
  • election or appointment of governors;
  • the budget and financial commitments of the governing body.


Last updated: 28 April 2022