School Governor FAQs
Potential governors often ask one or all of these frequently asked questions…
Do I need any experience of education?
No. Each governor brings their own life experience and skills to the role and we value the diverse perspective this offers. Our school governors come from all walks of life with a variety of skills and reflect the diverse communities we serve.
Do I need to be a parent?
No. Just an interest in securing the best experiences and outcomes for our children and young people.
Do I need any specific skills?
Our governors come from all walks of life and reflect the diverse communities they serve. All governors bring different skills which may have been developed through work, volunteering or life experience. We are looking for people with a range of skills including any which relate to finance, marketing, HR, education, IT, communication, training, administration, health and safety, premises, safeguarding, working with children, law, graphic design, customer service, event management, construction …. and the list goes on. If you have skills, they will be valued and invaluable to education and the governing body!
Do I need to be a Christian?
You do not need to be a practising Christian to serve as a church school governor but you do need to understand and value Church of England education and be able to uphold the Christian Distinctiveness of the school.
What time commitment is required?
The National Governance Association estimates the average time commitment to be five to eight hours per month. This will obviously vary from governor to governor and will depend on your circumstances.
Some governors play a very active role across all aspects of governance whilst others closely target their input in specific areas. Either approach is equally valuable and valued.
For governance boards to be efficient and effective, there are some basic commitments required of all governors.
- Attending formal meetings – most governance boards meet at least twice a term. Meetings are normally held outside of office hours to enable maximum attendance, and meetings are usually scheduled an academic year in advance.
- Reading – papers will be circulated in advance of meetings and there is an expectation that all governors will have read them so that they are fully prepared for the meeting. Fully prepared does not mean that new governors are expected to be an expert on everything they read – basic questions are welcomed as they often highlight assumptions held.
Most governors will also:
- Attend committee meetings – governance boards usually have committees to deal with specific areas of work such as curriculum and resources. These may meet at key times of the year and usually before a full governance meeting.
- Visit the school – governors need to visit their school for focussed monitoring linked to school improvement and to experience the school in action. Schools will have a policy on visits and on how monitoring information is fed back to the governance boards
As a school governor, you have a right to reasonable time off work for performing your public duties, although this may be unpaid. Most governors will serve a term of office of four years although this varies, and you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.
How old do I need to be?
All governors must be 18 years old or over.
Is being a governor a paid role?
Serving as a governor is a voluntary role for which no payment is made. Governors can claim reasonable travel and other expenses in line with the school expenses policy?
What background checks apply?
We – and the schools we work with – are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
The appointment / election process will vary, but as a foundation governor the Diocese will take up references and you be required you to undergo an enhanced DBS check as part of the process.
Where can I find out more?
Our Education Team will be happy to talk through the role with you and answer any questions you may have. They can also put you in touch with other experienced governors. In addition, most governance boards will also be happy for you to observe a meeting before you commit to volunteering as a governor.