Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance.
Being a school governor is demanding, but rewarding, and a good way of giving something to your local community. It is good personal development, you get access to training and experience and an enormous sense of satisfaction. If you were to become a school governor you would be one of between 9 and 20 people making up the governing body.
Schools are keen to attract people in the community to become governors; people who can bring energy, new experience and fresh ideas to the role of organising and managing a school. Governors need no formal qualifications or particular skills, but they do need to have time to dedicate to their role, to make good decisions and to make sure their decisions are followed up.
Together with the head teacher, governors set the future direction for the school and decide how the school's budget should be spent. Governing bodies make decisions collectively on matters such as performance targets, school policies and the school's development plan. Governors monitor the impact of policies and oversee the use of the school's budget. They report to parents on the school's achievements and respond to inspection recommendations. They hear appeals from pupils and staff and consider complaints.
Governors provide the head teacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions, yet respect the head teacher's position as professional leader of the school.