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What governors do
Governors are strategic leaders within schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education.
The role of the school governor is demanding but very rewarding and is a great way to give back to your local community. Good schools need good governors.
The role of the school governor
Governing bodies have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and direction
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of the staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
Each individual governor is a member of a governing body and all decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body. As a governor, you will attend meetings, and be prepared to ask questions after having read the associated paperwork, as well as visiting the school. You will probably have a special responsibility assigned to you, for example, development and training, safeguarding or health and safety.
No one governor is expected to know it all. The strength of a governing body lies in its ability to: attract and rely upon members from a wide variety of backgrounds; share out the duties amongst its members and be able to take decisions as a group.
We suggest about 6 to 20 hours per term, often in the evenings. Chairs may need to commit to a greater amount of time per term.
Governing bodies have the freedom to organise their own structure but you may be involved in:
- prior reading of paperwork and the preparation of questions before meetings
- attendance at whole governing body and committee meetings
- visits in to school
- special projects
- staff and Headteacher recruitment
- reviewing policies and the school’s budget
- educational visits
The skills you need to become a governor include:
- commitment and interest in our children’s future and improving educational outcomes
- inquisitiveness to read paperwork, analyse and question
- the ability to assimilate information, make judgments and take decisions
- good inter-personal skills and the ability to work as a team
- although not essential, governing bodies may be looking for experience of areas such as education, finance, personnel, business, etc
Support and training
Your governing body will have an induction process for new governors. There is also plenty of training available locally covering all aspects of governance. The BLP host several governor hubs providing an opportunity for governors in similar roles, from different schools, to collaborate.
Benefits of being a governor
Being a school governor can be a very rewarding role. Here are some benefits that others have found:
- the knowledge that you are helping schools and pupils
- the satisfaction of giving something back to the community
- a sense of purpose and achievement
- new skills which may be transferable elsewhere
- broader horizons
- new friends and colleagues
- training and support in order to help you fulfil your duties and responsibilities
Reasons to volunteer
Being a school governor means being interested in getting the best education for the pupils at a school. They can also provide a strong link between the school and the local community, and an independent view to support the school on long term development and improvement.
Governing bodies meet five times a year and governors are also expected to get to know their schools through visits. There are a range of training opportunities available to help governors undertake their duties and develop their understanding of the key areas of school management.
Local Governors' roles and responsibilities
Governing boards of the BLP schools are made up from various types of governors. Some are elected posts and for others the appointment is made by the BLP board.
Many of our experienced governors have become board trustees using their wider experience and deep knowledge of our communities to serve all of our community. We are also looking to recruit suitably qualified individuals to become trustees of the BLP.