School Governor

The purpose of the post is to contribute to the work of the governing body in raising standards of achievement for all pupils. This involves providing a strategic view for the school, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability. The individual governor has a responsibility, working alongside other members of the governing body, to the staff and pupils of the school, the school’s wider community and where they are representatives, to their particular constituency (parents; staff; teachers; etc). Although some governors may represent particular constituencies they are not delegates of that group.

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing the strategic plan for the school
  • Determining aims, policies and priorities of the school
  • Together with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, determine the vision, aims and priorities of the school
  • Agree statutory and non statutory targets
  • Monitoring and evaluating the work of the school
  • Appointment of staff and ensuring the implementation of a range of personnel procedures
  • Management of the budget
  • Securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour
  • Ensuring that all children in the school have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is suitable to age, aptitude and ability, which prepares them for adult life
  • Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff

Tasks include:

  • Getting to know the school: its needs, strengths and areas for development
  • Attending meetings (full governing body, committees and working groups)
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Speaking, acting and voting in the best interests of the school as one perceives them
  • Representing the perspectives of constituencies, where appropriate
  • Respecting all governing body decisions and supporting them in public
  • Acting within the framework of the policies of the governing body and legal requirements
  • Committing to training and development opportunities
  • Support events at the school

What criteria are used when selecting a governor?

  • Interest or background in education
  • Appropriate availability
  • Good communication / interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Undertaking to participate in future training
  • A desire to support the school
  • Other relevant experience

What is the code of conduct?

Governor conduct is underpinned by the following key principles:

  • To act in the best interests of the school – this may require balancing short and long term issues, school and community issues, etc.
  • To work as a member of a team at all times and be loyal to collective decisions made by the governing body
  • To recognise that all governors have the same rights and responsibilities unless particular responsibilities are conferred on them by the full governing body
  • To understand that no governor can act alone except in exceptional circumstances prescribed in the regulations – the power of the governing body rests in it acting as a single body

Governors must:

  • Respect confidentiality
  • Listen to and respect the views of others
  • Express their own views clearly and succinctly
  • Take their fair share of work / positions of responsibility
  • Know, understand and work within the prescribed regulatory framework
  • Report any evidence of fraud, corruption or misconduct to an appropriate person or Authority

And should:

  • Prepare for meetings by reading papers beforehand
  • Take responsibility for their own learning and development as a governor, including attending training
  • Attend meetings promptly, regularly, and for the full time

DBS checking procedures

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 specifies that individuals acting as members of the governing body of an educational establishment (defined as either an educational establishment which is exclusively or mainly for the provision of full-time education to children, or a maintained nursery school) need to undergo a DBS check.

How long a term do Governors serve?

All Governors serve for 4 years from the date of their election or appointment. Parent Governors serve out their term even if their child leaves the school in the meantime. Teacher Governors and the Staff Governor end their term if they cease to be employed at the school.

How does the Governing Body carry out this work?

Even though they have overall responsibility, Governors cannot possibly be expected to carry out all this themselves. It continues to be the job of the Headmaster and the staff to carry out all the detailed work of running the School. The full Governing Body sets the policies it wants the School to follow and checks that this is done. There are a number of committees on which both Governors and staff serve and where the work of both groups can be brought together. Governors may choose which committees to join.

How much time will it take?

The Governing Body meets at school once a term in the evening for about two hours and all Governors are expected to attend. Most of the committees meet once each term, for about two hours and all committee members are expected to attend. In addition most Governors take a general interest in the school and attend school events and activities like Open Days, concerts, stage productions, etc. Link Governors make their own arrangements to meet with departments about once a term.

How are Parent Governors elected?

Parents are asked to put their own names forward to be a Parent Governor or support the nomination of someone else. If there are more than two nominations for each position an election by secret ballot is held, when all the parents of pupils at the school will have the opportunity to vote.

Who is qualified to stand for election?

Any person who is the parent or legally appointed guardian of a registered pupil at the school.

Who is NOT qualified to stand for election?

A governor must be aged 18 or over at the time of their election or appointment and cannot be a registered pupil at the school. A person cannot hold more than one governorship at the same school. A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor or associate member if he or she:

  • Is detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 during his or her period of office
  • Fails to attend the governing body meetings – without the consent of the governing body – for a continuous period of six months, beginning with the date of the first meeting missed
  • Is subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or an interim order
  • Has had their estate sequestrated and the sequestration order has not been discharged, annulled or reduced
  • Is subject to:

o   A disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under the Company

Directors Act 1986

o   A disqualification order under Part 2 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

o   A disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors

Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

o   An order made under section 492(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under a County Court administration order)

  • Has been removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity by the

Charity Commissioners or High Court on grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement, or under Section 34 of the Charities and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 from participating in the management or control of any body

  • Is included in the list of people considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children
  • Is disqualified from working with children or subject to a direction under Section 142

of the Education Act 2002

  • Is disqualified from registration for childminding or providing day care
  • Is disqualified from registration under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006
  • Has received a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months (without the option of a fine) in the five years before

becoming a governor or since becoming a governor

  • Has received a prison sentence of two-and-a-half years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor
  • Has at any time received a prison sentence of five years or more
  • Has been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the five years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor
  • Refuses to allow an application to the Criminal Records Bureau for a criminal records check.