School Governors

Who are school Governors and what do they do?


School Governors come from every walk of life. There are over 300,000 school Governors in England and they form the largest volunteer force in the country.

Each individual Governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual Governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.

The role of the governing body 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 Headteacher (a critical friend).

The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.

Be a Governor


School Governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.

Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance.

The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing body.

There are different types of school with different categories of 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.

The Governors’ role is not about fundraising, neither it is about cheerleading for the school – though Governors might do both those things. School Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and are involved in the appointment of other staff. In some schools the site is owned by the governing body. 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.

If you think you have what it takes to be a school Governor there are a number of ways of finding schools that have vacancies:

  • You can contact your local school to ask if they need a new Governor.
  • You can contact the School Governors One Stop Shop, which recruits Governors nationally by following this.
  • You can contact your local authority.

Types of school and categories of Governor


There are a number of different types of state schools in England:

  • Community.
  • Voluntary controlled.
  • Voluntary aided.
  • Foundation.
  • Foundation trust – a type of foundation school.
  • Academies & City Technology Colleges (CTCs) – independent state funded schools.

There are also different categories of Governor:

  • Parent.
  • Staff.
  • Community.
  • Foundation.
  • Partnership.
  • Local authority.

Who are appointed in different ways.

Within limits, governing bodies are free to determine their own size and membership. Regulations specify how many Governors schools should have in total (between 9 and 20) and also what proportion of Governors in each category the different types of school should have.

Governor meetings and attendance

Attendance register 2017 – 2018

Attendance register 2018 – 2019


Governor Committee Membership

Committee membership