Becoming a Governor

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

School governors are the largest volunteer force in the country currently numbering over 250,000. Governors are legally responsible for ensuring that the school is committed to and achieving a sustained programme of improvement, thereby enhancing the outcomes for all its children. It is hard to think of any more worthwhile, challenging and satisfying project to be involved in.

You don’t need to have an ‘insider's’ knowledge of education to make an important contribution to the work of the governing body. We try to recruit governors with a diversity of experience and a range of different skills as this makes us more effective. New governors receive training and are supported in their role. Ide Governors all have Lead Governor Roles which means that they are responsible for overseeing one or more aspects of school management.


Time Commitment Required of School Governors

About 3 hours, three times a term preparing for and attending meetings of the Full Governing Body or its committees. There is also a Governance Day (Away Day) at the end of the summer term.

Effective governance is dependent on good attendance at these meetings and as such this must be prioritised and planned for (dates are published for the whole year in advance)


A minimum of one visit per term, liaising with senior leaders, other staff, parents and children as appropriate to provide them with the evidence they need to present a reasoned judgement about the progress made in achieving the priorities for improvement set out in the Schools Improvement Plan (SIP) that are encompassed within their Lead Governor Role. The findings of each visit are summarised in a report that is distributed to the rest of the governing body.


A few hours each year checking on the updating and implementation of the policies assigned to them within their lead governor role.


Class Link Meetings (This role is optional for parent governors and those working full time but can be undertaken by these governors if they wish) This involves visiting their linked class by invitation once a term to get to know the teacher and the children and get some understanding of the work they are doing.


Attending school events - as many as can be fitted in to show support for the school‘s work.


As well as having the time to carry out the role, some essential attributes and skills of good governors are to be:


Devoting the required time and energy to the role and being ambitious to achieve the best possible outcomes for young people. Prepared to give time, skills and knowledge to developing themselves and others in order to create highly effective governance.


Of an independent mind, able to lead and contribute to courageous conversations, to express their opinion and to play an active role on the board.


Possessing an enquiring mind and an analytical approach and understanding the value of meaningful questioning.


Providing appropriate challenge to the status quo, not taking information or data at face value and always seeking to improve things.


Prepared to listen to and work in partnership with others and understanding the importance of building strong working relationships within the board and with executive leaders, staff, parents and carers, pupils/students, the local community and employers.


Understanding the value of critical friendship which enables challenge and support. Self-reflective, pursuing learning and development opportunities to improve their own and whole board effectiveness.


Able to challenge conventional wisdom and be open-minded about new approaches to problem-solving; recognising the value of innovation and creative thinking to the governing body’s and school’s development and success.

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