School governors play a significant role in the life of any school. Their responsibilities include
The Governing Body of the school is made up of a mix of staff and members of the wider community. There are a total of 12 governors, as follows
Each of the various categories of governor prescribed in the Regulations has its own eligibility criteria and means of appointment.
Once appointed or elected, all governors must operate in the best interest of pupils, not as representatives to lobby on behalf of themselves or others. Their task is to govern the school. This means focusing on the core functions of providing strategic leadership, holding the headteacher to account and making sure the school’s money is well spent. This is a demanding task for which all governors need to have, or develop, relevant and appropriate skills.
The Regulations create an explicit requirement that all appointed governors have the skills required to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school. The specific skills that governing bodies need to meet their particular challenges will vary. It is, therefore, for governing bodies and other appointing persons to determine in their own opinion, having regard to this guidance, what these skills are and be satisfied that the governors they appoint have them.
They may interpret the word skills to include personal attributes, qualities and capabilities, such as the ability and willingness to learn and develop new skills.
The term of office for all governors is four years with the exception of the Headteacher who only ceases being a governor when they resign their position as head of the school.
The tenure of the chair and vice-chair of the governing body is two years. The position is through nominations and election by fellow serving governors.
The tenure of the chair of each committee is one year. The full governing body, at the beginning of each academic year, elects the chair and vice-chair of the Finance Committee. Chairs of other committees are agreed by members of each committee in the first meeting of each academic year or the first meeting of the committee.
Other parents at the school elect parent governors.
Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.
Schools must make every reasonable effort to fill parent governor vacancies through elections. However, the Regulations make provision for the governing body to appoint parent governors where not enough parents stand for election,
Governing bodies may only appoint as a parent governor a parent who has, in their opinion, the skills to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school.
Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors. An election will be held as soon as an eligible candidate is identified.
The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office.
The governing body appoints co-opted governors. They are people who, in the opinion of the governing body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body.
The local authority can nominate any eligible person as a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set. Local authorities should therefore make every effort to understand the governing body’s requirements and identify and nominate suitable candidates.
An individual eligible to be a staff governor at the school may not be appointed as a local authority governor.