Skip to main content

School governors

Governing boards

The number of governors on a school governing board varies.

A governing board can choose to have a minimum of seven governors with no stipulated maximum number.

For Academies the number of governors on a governing board will be recorded in the Articles of Association.

Governors work together as one board, they have corporate responsibility and only act alone if delegated to do so by the whole governing board.

The work of the governing board is to provide strategic management for the school – what does this mean? Governors, alongside the Head teacher, set the aims and objectives for the school. They then oversee the policies for achieving those aims and objectives and finally set targets for achieving those aims and objectives.

Categories of governors

Categories of governors vary between types of school, but all schools and academies have parent governors and the Head teacher or principal has the right to be a governor. Governing boards may include:

  • Parent governors
  • Staff governors
  • Local Authority governors
  • Foundation governors
  • Co-opted governors
  • Partnership governors

Governing boards may also have:

  • Additional governors – appointed by the Local Authority to schools causing concern
  • Associate members – not governors but appointed to the governing board because they provide an area of expertise

See paper below detailing categories of governors and how they are elected or appointed.

Governing board meetings

The governing board must meet at least three times in a school year. These meetings are usually after school or in the evening and generally last around two hours. Meetings are also informed by the work of governing board committees, to which most governors belong.

The governing board usually elect a Chair and Vice Chair of Governors annually. The Chair is responsible for leading and facilitating governing board meetings.

The governing board appoint a Clerk to the governing board. The Clerk is responsible for organising the business, sending relevant documents and information to governors in advance of the meeting and then taking minutes of the meeting. Clerks also provide procedural advice to the governing board.

Become a governor

See our web page: Becoming a school governor.