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Becoming a Parent Governor

Becoming a governor is a rewarding way of making an important contribution to education.

It can help you develop your existing skills and learn new ones.

The role of the Governing Body

  • Set the school’s values, and strategic aims, agree plans and policies, and make creative use of resources
  • Monitor and evaluate performance, act as a critical friend to the Headteacher; to support and challenge them in managing the school
  • Ensure that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs.

Who can become a governor?

Anyone aged 18 or over can become a school governor. No specialist qualifications are needed and people from many different backgrounds volunteer for the role.

Enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are the most important qualities. You do not need to have a family member attending the school to become a governor.

The responsibilities of the Governing Body (A quick guide for new governors)

  • Establish the vision and ethos of the school
  • Set the strategic direction, policies and objectives of the school
  • Set/approve the staffing structure
  • Promote high standards and the personal development and well-being of all pupils
  • Set/approve the budget and achieve value for money
  • Reviewing progress against the budget and objectives
  • Hold the Headteacher to account, challenge and support senior staff 
  • Play a part in appointing staff
  • Have a good understanding of the quality of provision within the school and how the school performs
  • Evaluate the work of the school and ensure a high quality of provision
  • Review the School’s Improvement Plan and Self-Evaluation 

The composition of the Governing Body

The Governing Body is made up of: 

  • Staff representatives (2)
  • Parent Governors (2)
  • Co-opted Governors
  • A Local Authority Representative (1)

The Governing Body makes it decisions based on the advice of 2 committees; Personnel, Finance and Premises, and Pastoral and Curriculum. It is accountable for the:

  • Use of public funds
  • Quality of education provided
  • Wider contribution to the community

You can find out more about becoming a school governor at the ‘School Governors’ One Stop Shop’ website (SGOSS).

Training and support for school governors

Training and development is an important part of becoming an effective school governor. Camden LA has regular training sessions for governors from its schools.

Time commitments for school governors

As a school governor, you will be asked to join one of the committees, to look at specific issues and attend a Full Governing Body meeting. You can expect to spend at least 4 hours a term (12 hours a year) attending these meetings. There are also key reposnsibilities for the school's performance shared around the governing body as a group.

Governor expenses

School governors work on a voluntary basis – they do not get paid. However, you may be paid for any expenses incurred while carrying out your duties, e.g. for travel or childcare.

Time off for volunteering as a governor

You may be entitled to ‘reasonable time’ off work if you are an employee and work in a qualifying occupation. To find out which occupations qualify for time off, read the employees section in ‘Time off for public duties’. Your employer does not have to pay you for your time off, but may choose to do so.

Apply to become a school governor

You can apply to be a school governor:

  • Directly to the school
  • Through Camden Local Authority Crowndale Centre, 218 Eversholt St, Camden NW1 1BD. Tel: 0207 974 1525)
  • By filling in the application form on the School Governors’ One Stop Shop (SGOSS) website