Fulfilling the role of a school governor is a serious undertaking and enormously rewarding. Not only do governors bring their own knowledge and skills to the role, but, in learning how schools are run, they often develop their understanding of leadership.
Whilst expenses can be paid, and employers are required to provide time off (perhaps unpaid) it is essentially an unpaid role.
The governing body comprises people from the following cateogries:
- Parent governors - elected by parents
- Headteacher and staff governor representative
- Local Education Authority governor - selected by the LEA
- Co-opted governors - selected from the local community
All governors have the same roles and responsibilities once part of the governing body, there is no distinction or different rights once on the Governing Board. However Governors are expected to declare any conflicts and register their interests.
Parent and staff are elected by the parents and school staff respectively, however they are representatives of and do not represent their electorate; the local authority appoints governors to the governing body. They should keep in touch with other parents but make up their own minds on how to vote on any specific issue.
In addition the governing body can appoint its own community governors, and it is traditionally these posts which the governing body uses to cover skills gaps, hence these posts often being offered to governors from the business community. Increasingly local authority appointment panels also look to the skills set of their appointees.
Governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.
The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.
Governors are appointed for a term of 4 years. Parent governors can complete their term even if their child leaves the School.