Chair of Governor's
Vice Chair of Governor's
Governors are regularly informed of our Investors in Pupils work in school through meetings and visits to school. Governors have classes that they are assigned to for the academic year so that they are able to get involved in school life and so that pupils have the chance to learn about the role of a governor. Governors are invited to attend School Council meetings and do so regularly.
The Governing Body at Ireland Wood is committed to making certain that all children are given the opportunity to fulfil their individual potential whilst at the same time learning to respect the needs of others. It works to ensure that, through the Head teacher and all the staff, the school is able to maintain high standards of quality and performance in the context of a caring, happy and safe environment. It considers that it has a duty of care for all within the school. It views partnership with parents, carers and others in the local community as vital and is keen to take account of the views of all concerned with the school including, of course, the children themselves. For more information, please see the attached document.
Information for prospective governors
Across the city there are thousands of members of our community helping to support school leadership teams by volunteering their time and expertise as school governors - but what is it about the role which encourages so many committed volunteers to apply?
All schools have a Board that provides strategic leadership. Boards have three core functions:
In a local authority maintained school the board is the Governing Board, who are usually supported by a number of committees.
Some schools are part of a multi academy trust where each school has a Local Governing Body which in turns reports to a Board of Trustees.
There are some differences in decision making authority between maintained schools and academies, largely around matters of finance, but otherwise governor roles are very similar.
Ensuring the school provides the best education for all its pupils should be at the heart of all governor business.
You do not need to be a parent of a child to be a school governor. The composition of a Governing Board or Local Governing Body includes several different categories of governor. These could include:
Regardless of category all governors share responsibilities and work as a team. Governors will be expected to work within an ethos of professionalism and high expectations which will be documented in a code of conduct which you will typically be asked to sign.
Individual governors alone do not carry responsibilities and have no power unless the Governing Board or Local Governing Body delegates a specific matter to them. Decisions are made in formal meetings by a consensus.
You should expect to be involved in:
You will not be involved in:
There are no formal qualifications required and, as a new school governor, you are not expected to come with a working knowledge of the education sector. These are some of the qualities and general requirements schools look for in a governor:
Skills and knowledge
No one governor is expected to know everything. The strength of a Governing Board or Local Governing Body relies in its ability to attract members from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some governors may have qualifications or professional skills that are particularly useful.
The Department for Education’s Competency Framework for Governance lists the skills required for effectiveness in setting the strategic direction of the organisation, planning and prioritising, monitoring progress and managing change and is a useful reference point for a Governing Board or Local Governing Body at the point of governor recruitment.
There are different operating models in different schools but being a governor involves far more than simply attending meetings. Schools operate over three terms, autumn, spring and summer, and the time commitment needed is between 15 and 50 hours per term depending on your role. This would typically include:
Governors are also expected to take an interest in the life of the school including attending some of its events during the academic year.
Being a governor is a public duty and governors have a right to reasonable time off work, although this may be without pay. You should ask your company what entitlement you have.
Governance regulations set clear expectations including that governors undertake whatever training or development activity is needed to fill any gaps in their skills to contribute to effective governance. All governors will be invited, by their school, to undertake induction training and should complete this as soon as possible to gain an understanding of the role. Further, and more specific training, is also available and should be accessed where necessary to complement other sources of development, such as speaking to staff leads in school to increase your knowledge.
The governor role will allow you to gain a fascinating insight into how schools work and how the education sector is changing and continues to change. You are guaranteed to gain an appreciation of the work of teachers and school leaders as well as the challenges schools face.
Being a school governor is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference, have an impact on education and positively influence children’s lives. There’s no denying that being a school governor is a challenge, but that’s a good thing - because it’s important. It may be that you are putting your professional skills to use in a new context or getting to grips with a whole new sector, but most people find being a governor is a very rewarding role.
It is usual for prospective governors to arrange a meeting with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors to understand more about the school and its priorities, and to have a short tour. During this visit, which might operate as an informal interview, you might be asked questions such as: