School Governors make important collective decisions and the governing body is answerable to parents and the community. The responsibilities of the governing body can be summarised as providing strategic management, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability. Specific responsibilities include:
- Promoting high standards of education and achievement
- Planning the school’s long-term future
- Setting the school’s aims and values
- Appointing senior staff including the Head Teacher
- Budgetary allocation and control
The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher.
The personal benefits of becoming a School Governor
Being a governor is an enormously challenging and rewarding opportunity. The personal benefits can be summarised as;
- A sense of satisfaction through knowing children will benefit from your efforts
- The opportunity to develop new skills and to strengthen existing ones
- The opportunity to work with people from a variety of social, cultural and religious backgrounds
- The opportunity to gain understanding in key areas such as finance, personnel, and strategic planning
- The opportunity to gain awareness of the education system as a whole
Through solving problems ranging from finance to site management, human resources to marketing, pupil welfare to curriculum development, every governor is guaranteed to broaden their skills and knowledge in some way, and this can be enhanced through training offered by Local Authorities.
As all decisions are made with the consensus of the whole governing body there is also the opportunity to utilise the softer skills of teamwork, communication and tolerance.
What are the different types of governors?
Governing bodies comprise representatives from the school staff, the Local Authority, the local community, parents and, in particular circumstances, members of churches and other interest groups.
- Co-opted GovernorsCo-opted governors are appointed by the governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the governing body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
- Local Authority (LA) Governors are appointed by the Local Authority that maintains the school and in some cases these appointments are made on a party political basis. SGOSS is able to advise on particular circumstances in each area.
- Parent Governors are voted onto the governing body by other parents and are usually parents of children who attend the school.
- Staff Governors are elected by staff within the school
- Associate Members are appointed in an advisory capacity by the governing body to enhance the experience or expertise of a committee(s). Associate members can attend full governor body meetings but have no voting rights.