Who are school governors and what do they do?
There are over 300,000 school governors in England and they form the largest volunteer force in the country. Their role is to work with the headteacher and senior leadership team in raising school standards. Duties include setting policies & objectives, approving the school budget and appointing & supporting the headteacher. Governing bodies work as a team – decisions are not made by individuals. Governors come from all walks of life and fall into different categories – staff, parent, community, foundation and authority governors.
Do I need to have a child at a school?
You do if you are applying for a parent governor role, but otherwise you just need to have enthusiasm, an interest in the welfare of children and a willingness to learn. You must also be prepared to contribute to discussions and offer challenge and support to the headteacher.
What is the time commitment?
Governing bodies usually meet together once or twice a term. There are also committee meetings to attend (eg curriculum, personnel, premises or finance). If you do have a particular expertise, this is where your skills could go to good use. You may also volunteer to be a ‘link governor’, to work alongside a member of staff who has a specific responsibility – eg Special Educational Needs. The time commitment varies between governors and schools, but you can expect to spend around six to eight hours per month on your duties.
Is training provided?
Brighton & Hove’s Governor Support Team provides phone advice and guidance to clerks and governors, as well as induction and further training – all this is free of charge. There are also regular briefings to update you on national and local developments.
What’s in it for me?
You will gain some valuable experiences that will have an impact on your personal and professional life. You will meet new people, develop teamwork skills and learn more about how schools work. You could gain experience of budget setting, interviewing for staff or developing policies. If you eventually become a Chair of Governors, we provide support and training to develop your leadership skills and confidence.
Above all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a real difference to the development of children, young people, their school and the community.
What should I do next?
For an informal chat and to find out which schools have vacancies, contact:
Brighton & Hove Governor Support Team
Telephone: 01273 293511 or 293507