Frequently asked questions about becoming a school governor:
What are the main duties of a school governor?
The main responsibilities and duties of a governor include:
- promoting high standards of educational achievement;
- setting appropriate targets for pupil achievement at Key Stage 2;
- taking general responsibility for the conduct and strategic direction of the school;
- managing the school’s budget;
- making sure that the curriculum is balanced and in line with the National Curriculum, and reporting on National Curriculum assessments and examination results;
- determining the staff complement and pay policy for the school;
- participating in the appointment of the Head and Deputy Headteacher and other staff and regulating staff conduct and discipline; and
- drawing up an action plan after an inspection.
How much time does a school governor have to devote to the role?
This is basically at your discretion, but generally:
- the governing body meets twice per term with meetings lasting on average about 2.5 hours;
- the sub-committees/working parties meet twice per term with meetings lasting approximately 1.5 hours and governors usually become active on 2 sub-committees/working parties;
- there may be other projects which you may choose to become involved in;
- you will be invited into the school for productions and open days; and
- there will be a small amount of preparatory reading prior to meetings.
How is the governing body made up?
At Little Sutton we currently have staff governors, parent governors, local authority governors, foundation governors and co-opted governors.
Why are there different types of governors?
The composition of governing bodies depends on the number and age range of pupils at the school and is based on DfE recommendations. The variety of governor roles exists to ensure that a cross-section of the local community becomes involved in the school’s activities.
The different categories of governor are as follows:
- parent governors – elected by parents/carers of registered pupils and must be parents/carers of registered pupils at the point of election;
- local authority governors – nominated by the local authority and appointed by the governing body if they provide necessary skills;
- staff governors – school employees elected to office by other school employees;
- co-opted governors – people from the local community who wish to work with the school. They are elected by the governing body; and
- foundation governors – appointed by the Foundation, in our case the Four Oaks Learning Trust for Excellence.
How long is a governor’s term of office?
Can you stand for re-election?
What do the sub-committees/working parties do?
In order to make the work-load manageable, the governing body appoints sub-committees or working parties to specialise in specific key areas. Recommendations and decisions made at this level are summarised and reported to the main governing body.
The sub-committees/working parties at Little Sutton Primary School are:
- Finance– responsible for the budget and financial management of the school, including its assets and premises;
- People– responsible for human resources issues within the school;
- Income Generation– focuses on fundraising for building projects, maintenance works, equipment etc. This working party reports to the Finance Committee; and
- Standards and Achievement– reviews policy in each subject area and ensures that current best practice in terms of the National Curriculum and teaching is in place.
Do governors receive training?
All governors receive induction training. Further training in relevant areas, particularly for governors undertaking specific governor roles, is also available. There is a budget to cover costs. Most training is conducted locally.
What specific roles can governors have?
- Safeguarding Governor – works alongside the school’s DSL to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s safeguarding arrangements, reporting any issues back to the governing body for action.
- SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Governor – works alongside the school’s SENDCo to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s SEND arrangements, reporting any issues back to the governing body for action.
- LAC (Looked After Children) Governor – works alongside the school’s LAC representative to evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s LAC arrangements, reporting any issues back to the governing body for action.
- Training/Skills Link Governor – ensures every governor develops the skills they need to be effective and make an active and valuable contribution to the work of the governing body.
- Collective Worship Governor – works with the headteacher to arrange collective worship in accordance with the Trust Deed of the school.