School governors can transform the lives of children and young people by improving education standards. Working as a team, governors support and challenge senior school leadership. Their professional skills and expertise are harnessed to make strategic decisions that improve the learning environment and future prospects for children in schools.

Ready to start your journey as a school governor?

Trustees and governors are, in my view, the unsung heroes of the system.

Sir David Carter, former National Schools Commissioner

What does a school governor do?

Governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable their school to run as effectively as possible, working alongside senior leaders and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to children.

Being a school governor is a commitment to attending governing body meetings which consider issues such as setting the school vision, mitigating financial risk and scrutinising educational outcomes. They are also involved in the school community, acting as critical friends to the headteacher and senior leaders.

Governors bring a wide range of skills and expertise from their professional lives to the governing board and schools benefit greatly from working with skilled volunteers, for example anyone with experience of finance, law, premises management or human resources. A governor with business know-how can transform the running of a school.

It’s very satisfying because the school seems genuinely appreciative of my work. The school was inspected again by Ofsted in January 2017 and achieved a rating of ‘good’. It was a great sense of achievement, we felt we had been along the journey together as a school and as a governing body.

Alastair Cowen, Governor at James Brindley School, Birmingham

Why become a school governor?

Being a school governor is a chance to experience leadership at board level at any point in one’s career. Governors balance the school’s budget, hire the headteacher and make strategic decisions. The role provides individuals with the opportunity to develop and hone skills such as negotiation, influencing and teamwork.

Volunteers need to be dedicated people who care about improving education, but they do not need prior board experience. It makes the role perfect for professionals looking to improve their business and leadership skills, give back to society and enhance children’s futures.

Ready to start your journey as a school governor?

Commitment

Term of Office

Most governor appointments are for a term of four years.

Travel

You decide the time period you are prepared to travel to and from the school.This could be up to 30 or 60 minutes, or more on occasion.

Liability

Governors are not individually liable. Liability is collective and held by the governing body as a whole.

Time per month

Our recent survey found that volunteers spend an average of 6.7 hours a month on governing duties.

Training and support

We are committed to ensuring newly appointed governors are up to speed and effective in their roles as quickly as possible. We provide a number of services to support you from the start:

eLearning

High-quality eLearning provision, with a suite of six free modules that are essential training for any governor in their first year.

Regular webinars

We hold monthly webinars on a variety of topics which provide governors with the opportunity to continue learning, ask questions, and take part in polls.

The Key

12 months’ free membership of The Key for School Governors. The Key is the trusted online information service that provides practical guidance and resources to help you to perform your role effectively.

Next steps

Apply

Complete our application form online. We will work with you to match you to a suitable governor vacancy in your local area.

Express interest

If you have further questions or would like to find out more, leave us your details and  a member of our team will be in touch!

FAQs

Read through our frequently asked questions to understand more about the opportunity.