How to become a Governor

School governors and associate members are people who want to make a positive contribution to children's education.

Governors and associate members are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards.

There are no particular qualifications or requirements to volunteer to be a governor or associate member. However, governing boards will probably be looking for some of the following:

  • Individuals who are enthusiastic about contributing to improving the outcomes for all pupils and inevitably the local and wider community
  • Individuals who are aware there is a commitment involved ie time
  • Individuals who may have some specialist knowledge/experience that they can bring ie accountant, health and safety, a knowledge of educational establishments
  • Individuals that bring their own perspective, they are not there to represent others views
  • Individuals who work as part or a team
  • Individuals who are willing to ask questions
  • Have a willingness to learn
  • Accept mat there may be a need to upskill by attending training
  • Understand that there is a requirement for a DBS check
  • Accept and appreciate the importance of confidentiality
  • Understand that all governors have the same roles and responsibilities once part of a governing board
  • Someone over the age of 18 years

Associate members are not Governors, and so do not have a vote at full governing board meetings. However, they are entitled to attend those meetings and to be sent the papers for them The definition of associate member is wide and pupils, school staff and people who want to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise (for instance, finance) can be appointed as associate members.

There are different categories of governors and at certain times governing boards will have vacancies they need to fill. Schools use a number of ways to advertise vacancies such as posters in shops. Post Offices. Libraries, Leisure Centres, school website. school newsletters etc, keep an eye out for those. If you are a parent at a school look out for letters in school bags!

Alternatively there is no reason why you could not inform a school that you are interested in becoming a governor or associate member directly. The governing board would then have your expression of interest for any future vacancies you may qualify for.

Inspiring Governance is an organisation funded by the Department for Education. They offer a facility where a governing board or an individual can register their vacancy or interest which is then held for a 'match making' process. You can contact them by email or call them on 0207 566 4880.

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