Teach First teachers

Being a school governor

Being a school governor

"I'm really enjoying being a governor. It's a great way to put my educational knowledge to good use, allows me to stay connected to schools and is allowing me to develop skills that will be useful later on."

Aidan Hempson-Jones, 2012 Ambassador 

What does it involve? 

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools, as well as appoint the head teacher and deputy headteacher. School Governors hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources. 

Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board. 

The role of the governing board is a strategic one; its key functions are to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)

Why should I become a school governor?

Volunteering as a school governor is a fantastic way to develop leadership skills, gain further insight into the sector, school strategy and management and to network with leaders within the field. It’s also great way to re-engage with the educational landscape if you’re no longing working in the classroom.

  • Make a positive impact on the education of thousands of children and work towards making better schools
  • Learn new skills and share your expertise in areas such as: project management, influencing and negotiation, decision-making, problem-solving, budget control, recruitment, admin and marketing
  • Get a better understanding of your local community and the education system
  • Provide your unique perspective to help schools find the best solutions
  • Work with a wide range of people with varied skills and experience

What are the next steps in becoming a school governor? 

If you're interested in becoming a school governor, please follow the simple steps below:

  1. Review the above information about the role and hear from fellow ambassador experiences. 
     
  2. You can then seek governor roles on various sites including 
  3. You can also visit your local school to see if they have any governor vacancies so that you can support your local community.

What support is available?

Teach First have been working closely with the National Governors Association to design and develop this new Governor Development and Support Module

Any school governor or school can access free development and resource via the Schools for Governors e-learning modules. They have also launched a campaign in London to increase the number of employability link governors.

If you are placed as a school governor via Schools for Governors, you will also have access to support from the Key.

Any school governor placed through Inspiring Governance will also have access to further support and learning with the National Governors Association. This includes:

  • dedicated telephone and email support to walk you through your first year
  • NGA’s Welcome to Governance induction guide for governors in both multi-academy trusts and maintained schools
  • access to NGA’s online guidance centre containing a wealth of resources
  • free training through NGA’s e-learning induction programme (8 themed modules)
  • membership of the Young Governors’ Network for volunteers under the age of 40

Find out more about the support available (PDF, 661kb).

For those who are placed directly through a school, you can check out local authority training sessions, which provide development in key areas to ensure you are fully equipped to be effective in role. 

The Wellcome Trust has also developed a resource for School Governors to support effective Career guidance within school.

Who can I contact with questions?

Please contact the Networks team if you have any questions.  

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