School governors are one of the country's largest voluntary groups with around 300,000 contributing to strategic development and raising standards of achievement at more than 30,000 schools. The role of the governing body is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school.
Governors are asked to act with integrity, honesty and objectivity and give their time voluntarily to work as part of a team.
School governors are drawn from different parts of the community and can be parents and staff or from the LA, the community and other groups. This helps ensure the governing body has sufficient diversity of views and experience but does not mean governors of a particular category represent that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not represent the parents at the school and do not report back to them. Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body.
The Role of School Governors
The governing body’s role is now defined as being ‘largely strategic’. This means being mainly concerned with the overall direction of the school and policies rather than the detail of managing a school. The governing body agree the aims, objectives and policies for the school then monitor progress toward the agreed aims.The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.
School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the head teacher and are involved in the appointment of other staff. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the head teacher to make the difficult decisions about balancing resources.
The governing body has considerable discretion as to how to discharge its responsibilities but is required to constitute itself in line with the regulations and to appoint a chair and vice chair. The governing body may delegate certain responsibilities to particular governors or committees of governors, although in general, it is not compelled to do so.
Meetings of the full Board of Governors are held once a term. Committee meetings are arranged a minimum of once a term.