The school's Governing Body is responsible overall for the conduct of the school and must lead the school with a view to promoting high standards of achievement. It should fulfil its functions in a strategic way to:

  • Ensure the school's clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff and
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent

There is a wide range of expertise that can also be useful on a governing board: financial management and accountancy, organisational change management, legal, human resources, property/estates management, procurement and contracting services, project management, equal opportunities, special needs, quality assurance and service improvement, risk management, health and safety, marketing and public relations, IT and creativity.

Anyone aged 18 or over and living in the UK can be a governor. Governors do not manage a school day-to-day, but are required to oversee its long-term development. You don't need to have children or be a parent of a child at the school to become a school governor.

The average time commitment is 10 to 15 hours per term. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits.

Like magistrates or members of a jury, school governors have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties (this may be unpaid). School governors have a term of office of four years. However, as a volunteer you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.

You can find more information, advice and support on becoming a school governor on the Support for Governors website.

For guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, there is a governors' handbook available to download.

Contact your nearest school and talk to them about how to become a school governor for them. Alternatively, contact us to discuss where vacancies are available and how to proceed with an appointment. Call us on 01432 261584 or email  

Recruiting a head or deputy head teacher in a maintained school

Governors have an important role in the recruitment of senior leaderships posts in their school - in particular that of head teacher.

The school governing body must notify the Head of Learning and Achievement at Herefordshire Council of vacancies for:

  • Any head teacher post and
  • Any post of deputy head teacher which is to be filled 

and must advertise any such vacancy or post as appropriate unless there is good reason not to.

If you are a church school you will also need to contact your diocese or archdiocese about the vacancy that has arisen.

The following documents and guidance are available to support governors in their recruitment role: