The Role of a School Governor
Each Governing Body sets its own pattern of meetings. They are legally required to meet at least once in each school term, but may meet as often as required in excess of that and to hold an annual meeting to discuss the annual report of the governing body.
In addition to this, governing bodies will establish sub-committees to perform specific tasks, which meet as and when required. The main role of the governing body is to work with the school in raising standards and performance; this will include supporting the head teacher and staff as well as sometimes challenging them, sometimes known as the role of "critical friend". It will make important decisions on how the school will be run and will have to be answerable to the parents and the wider community for their actions.
Governors work together with the head and staff to
Agree the aims and values of the school
Make decisions on the school's budget, expenditure and staffing levels
Appoint and dismiss staff (including the head teacher) and set standards for their behaviour, taking disciplinary action where necessary to ensure the national curriculum is taught
Ensure individual pupils' needs are met, including special needs, monitor and review the school's progress and approve school development plans
Produce an action plan following a school inspection
Produce an annual report on the work of the governing body
Give information about the school
Establish and maintain positive links with the local community
Types of Governor
There are four categories of school Governors:
1. Parent Governors:
These are elected by other parents and must be the parent of a child in the school. The school will let parents know when a vacancy occurs. If there is one space on the governing body for a parent and one parent registers an interest, they will automatically be elected onto the governing body. If more than one parent registers an interest, voting slips will be distributed to all parents. Each candidate will be given the opportunity to say on these voting slips why they feel they should be elected as a parent representative. The person with the most votes received is then elected onto the governing body.
2. Staff Governors:
These respresentatives are elected by other members of staff.
3. Local Authority (LA) Governors:
These are representatives appointed by the local authority.
4. Community Governors:
Community representatives are invited to join the Governing Body and are elected by the other members of the governing body.
Governors are nominated or elected by the bodies they represent, except co-opted governors who are invited to serve by the governing body itself. All governors serve for four years from their date of appointment. If a governor resigns within that time, their nominating body is required to nominate or elect a replacement as soon as possible.