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School Governance

School governors are volunteers who help run schools. They sit on the school’s governing board (often called a Local Governing Board) and work with the school to ensure it improves each year, by meeting regularly, visiting the school and committing to their own professional development.

We are always looking for volunteers. There are no qualifications required and anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor provided that they have the enthusiasm and willingness to learn, have time to give to the role and a capacity to work as part of a team.  We expect our governors to be supportive of our Christian values, however we seek people from different backgrounds with a wide range of professional and personal skills.

Commitments vary from school to school but generally governors can expect to spend 10-20 days per years on their governance role.

The governing board has three core functions:

  • To ensure the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • To hold executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • To oversee the financial performance of the organisation and make sure its money is well spent.

These core functions cover a host of responsibilities for which the governing board is accountable; for example:

  • Approving the school budget.
  • Performance managing the headteacher.
  • Recruiting a new headteacher when necessary.
  • Approving certain school policies (and ensuring all statutory policies are in place).
  • Hearing appeals for things like exclusions, staff disciplinary and grievance issues and complaints.

In Voluntary Aided schools, the governing board also has additional responsibilities for buildings, admissions, health and safety and the employment and dismissal of staff.

The Diocese and the Local Authority provide a wide range of training and support to enable governors to carry out their responsibilities effectively. For more information about training, please click here.

Every school has an Instrument of Government which sets out the constitution of the governing board.  The different categories of governors in church schools are as follows:

CategoryAppointed byNumber
Parent GovernorsElected by the parent body2 or 1 from each school in a federation
Staff GovernorsElected by the staff body1
Co-opted GovernorsAppointed by the governing board for their specific skills and expertiseAs many as governing board decide are required within the limits of the Instrument of Government
Local Authority GovernorsNominated by the Local Authority to be a link between the Local Authority and the school. Appointed by the governing board1
Foundation Governors (Link to Foundation Governors Page)Appointments are most commonly made by the Bishop, Diocesan Board of Education or Parochial Church Council.

VC/Foundation school – minimum of 2, maximum of 25% of total governing board.

VA school – sufficient to be in a majority of 2

HeadteacherMember of the governing board by virtue of their office1

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please send an email to or call the Governance Team on 01603 550150.