Why Become a Governor
You might become a school governor:
- because you care about the education that children receive
- because you want to make an important contribution to your local community
- because you enjoy a challenging and rewarding role
- because you are keen to help all children do better at school
- because you want to help to strengthen the link between schools and their communities
Who are governors?
A governing body is made up of people from different groups, including parents, teachers and other staff, the local authority, people co-opted from the local and business community, and usually the Headteacher. Schools with a religious character also have foundation governors.
A governor’s term of office usually lasts for three to four years – you will be amazed at how quickly the time goes! (Our governors serve a term of office of 4 years.) The size of the governing body varies from school to school and ranges from nine to 20 members – our Governing Body has 10 governors, plus our Clerk.
What do governors do?
- are responsible for the strategic management of the school
- oversee the school’s aims, values and ethos
- promote high standards of educational attainment
- set targets for pupil achievement
- ensure compliance with the national curriculum
- take general responsibility for the conduct of the school
- manage the school’s budget, including deciding how many staff will work there and their pay
- participate in the appointment of the leadership group
- regulate school conduct and discipline
How much time does it take?
Governors act as a team but the amount of time that each of them can give to the role will vary. Some people will be able and willing to give a lot of time throughout their service as a governor. Others will find that the amount of time they can give increases or reduces during that period. But if you are serious about helping your school to help children, then you do need to:
- be willing to prepare for meetings – there can be a lot of papers to read.
- attend meetings – the governing body must meet at least once a term, but you probably will be asked to serve on at least one committee. How often this meets will vary, but it is usually once or twice a term.
- be able to get to meetings – these are usually during the evening (we hold most of our meetings at 4 pm and they last around 2 hours), but may be earlier during the day time.
- participate – if you cannot prepare for, and attend, meetings you will not be able to help the school
- visit the school when it is in operation – most governors will visit a class once or twice a year
- undertake (free) induction training – delivered by the Local Authority Governor Services team, to help you understand your roles and responsibilities
Can I take time off work?
Employers are legally bound to give staff reasonable time off to carry out their duties as a governor. Some allow paid time off work.
What will I get out of being a school governor?
You will get:
- the knowledge that you have played a part in improving children’s education and supported the school’s staff
- a chance to develop new skills and to practise existing ones, such as chairing meetings, speaking in groups, asking questions, making suggestions, appointing staff, and monitoring the budget
- a chance to help other members of the team, perhaps because they are new, are not used to committee work or need help in learning about the school and about school governance.
If you would like any more information about becoming a governor at New Heights High School, please contact our Chair of Governors, via the School Office.