Becoming a School Governor
Thank you for your interest in becoming a school governor. We hope that the information we have provided helps you in making your decision.
Many kinds of people become governors of schools. They all have a particular reason for serving on the governing body. The composition of a GB is regulated by Welsh Government and varies according to the category of school and the size of the school. All schools have governors in the following categories:
Parent governors – elected by parents of pupils at the school
Teacher governors – elected by teachers at the school
Local Authority governors – appointed by the LA
Governing bodies will also have some of the following governors, depending on the type of school:
Community governors – appointed by the GB itself
Additional community governors – representing the local town/community council
Representative governors – in Special Schools only
Foundation governors – appointed by the Foundation connected with the school, usually the Church
Staff governors – elected by the non-teaching staff of the school
Associate pupil governors (secondary schools) – appointed by the School Council
Because there are conditions attached to many categories of governors, this information may be of most use to those considering becoming parent, community or Local Authority governors who can apply to be considered for the position on a GB.
To be a parent governor you must have a child who is a pupil at the school whose GB you are on. Parent governors are elected as representatives of the interests of parents of pupils currently attending the school and to give the perspective of a parent on decisions the GB may be making. Parents are informed of a vacancy for a parent governor position by letter distributed by the school. Information may also be shared with parents in other ways. If you wish to know when the next vacancy becomes available at your child’s school, please contact GSSAdmin@pembrokeshire.gov.uk
A parent governor can continue to serve as a governor until the end of their four year term of office, even if their child leaves the school during that period.
Local Authority Governors
Local Authority (LA) governors are appointed by the LA which maintains the school. LA governors may present the LAs views but they are not delegates of the LA and they cannot be mandated by the LA to take a particular view.
These governors are invited by other governors to join the governing body and are appointed by the Governing Body. Community members bring their own experience or skills to the Governing Body and can act as a link with the community in which the school serves. Community governors usually live or work in the community of the school area and are committed to the good government and success of the school.
Skills and Experience
Governing Bodies and the LA should aim to appoint governors with specific knowledge, experience and skills to ensure that the GB has access to a broad skillset overall. Some of the key areas a GB may be interested in are:
- Challenge and accountability
- Financial management
- Health and safety
- HR and recruitment
- Interpreting data
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Strategic planning
A GB, by law, has to meet at least once per term. This meeting is likely to take between one and two hours. Some schools have their meetings at the end of the school day, others in the early evening. Occasionally, a GB may need to meet more often than this. You are also likely to be on a committee which, again, is likely to meet once per term. You must also set aside time to prepare for meetings by reading paperwork in advance and should also be prepared to attend other school events and, occasionally, to visit the school during the working day, by arrangement with the Headteacher. You may also be asked if you are available to serve on a statutory committee to deal with a pupil exclusion or a staff disciplinary matter. Fortunately, these are rare.
As you probably know, all governors are unpaid volunteers, so you may need to check with your employer about being allowed time off for meetings. It is very important that, as well as the skills, you have the time and commitment to give to the GB. The GB is a team and is reliant on all members contributing fully.
If you are still interested in becoming a school governor, please read the other sections before completing the online application form. We particularly welcome applications for the position of LA and community governors to broaden the pool of people from which appointments can be made, even if there is currently no vacancy at a school near you. We will keep your information on file until a vacancy arises at which time we will share it with those making the appointment.
Information on how GSS handles data is available.
To discuss the role of school governor further, please contact:
Governors’ Support Services