Governors are volunteers and are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable the school to run as effectively as possible, working alongside senior leaders and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to children
The governor role is strategic rather than operational. Governors don’t get involved with the day to day running of a school, instead supporting and challenging the school’s leadership team to drive school improvement.
Being a school governor is a commitment to attending governing body meetings which consider issues such as setting the school vision, mitigating financial risk and scrutinising educational, wellbeing, behaviour and attendance outcomes.
All governors are subject to a DBS check before starting and will be required to attend a short Induction to Governance course and annual Safeguarding training ( 1 hour). They are expected to undertake ongoing training to support themselves in their role. The school has a budget which allows for this.
The main task is to attend meetings and contribute to the work of the governing body. Meetings of the full governing body take place once a term and each sub-committee normally also meets once a term but some may meet more frequently. We have 5 sub committees: Finance & Resources, Personnel, Curriculum & Performance, Admissions and Governance & Assurance. Governors at Woking High typically sit on 2 sub committees. Meetings are usually held at either 8am or 6pm and generally last 1 ½ - 2 hours with additional time needed beforehand to read all the relevant documents.
Other involvement such as ad hoc panels , departmental visits , attendance at school events are not compulsory, but are recommended to maximise your impact as a school governor.
Who are the governors?
The Governors are a diverse group of volunteers, each bring different skills, experience and knowledge from a range of organisations and business areas but all having a common interest in and commitment to the school, its staff, pupils, buildings and the community of which it forms a part. Between them they represent the staff, local community, parents and senior leadership of the school
If you would like to read more about the role please click on the following link to the Department for Education Governance Handbook
DfE Governance Handbook Or if you would like to talk to one of the current governors please contact us.
A parent governor role is no different from any other category of governor. Although parent governors are elected by parents they are not delegates and parents cannot mandate them on how they should vote or what they should say in governing body meetings. They do not carry an obligation to express any views apart from their own and hold the unique position of having a parental viewpoint. They are not expected to gather the views of other parents and take them to the governing body (unless the governing body has specifically asked them to).
Staff governors are representative staff members rather than representatives of staff, bringing a staff viewpoint and perspective to discussion and debate. They act according to their own conscience and should follow the appropriate rules of governor protocol and confidentiality
They do not have a mandate to express any views other than their own. However, they should report in good faith any widely held staff views. They are not expected to gather the views of other staff and take them to the governing body or to vote as instructed by other members of staff or professional bodies.
Co-opted governors are individuals from the community who have the skills and experience which the governing body requires. Governors do not need to be experts in the field of education but will have: an interest in all the children’s futures, a desire to make a difference, a willingness to accept responsibility, and an ability to work in a team, ask questions, listen and learn.
A co-opted governor should always act in the best interests of the school and wider community and cannot be mandated to take a particular stance on issues.