How to become a Governor

Governors, work with the Headteacher, to provide strategic leadership and create accountability for educational and financial performance. Governors must ensure clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction. They must hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff. Governors oversee the financial performance of the school, making sure that the money is well spent. They make decisions collectively by consensus and do not interfere with the day-to-day running of the school.

Governors should be mindful of their responsibilities under equality legislation, recognising and encouraging diversity and inclusion. A governor should possess certain attributes and should be committed, confident, curious, challenging, collaborative, constructively critical and creative.

We have attached some frequently asked questions to this page. If you are interested and would like to find out more about joining us on the governing body, please get in touch through the following email or through the school office.

Chair.gov@cove-jun.hants.sch.uk

If you would like to apply, please follow the link to find the application form or ask at the school office for a paper copy.

Governor Application Form

If there are more applicants than places, the information you provide on page 2 of the form will be provided to parents for parent governor positions, so that they can vote for their preferred applicant. If there are two or fewer applicants, or if the application is for a local Authority or Co-opted position, places will be awarded subject to informal interview by the governing body.

Q & A for new Governors

What are the roles and responsibilities as a governor?
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and for the performance management of staff.
3. Overseeing financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.

What are the different types of governor?
Parent
Co-opted
Staff
LA
Headteacher

How much of my personal time am I expected to invest?
There are 10 full governing body meetings per school year which usually last around 2 hours. So, a governor can expect to spend around 20 hours a year in meetings. In addition, governors are linked to specialist areas and are encouraged to visit the school to monitor progress and to report back to the Governing Body. There is a free training package that can be done in one day or split into more convenient evening sessions. Other training is provided to assist with developing understanding of the work of the committees.
Outside meeting dates and monitoring visits what is the commitment?
Governors are asked to attend school functions such as prospective parents’ evenings, school fairs and school productions. This is entirely voluntary.

Do I have to attend every meeting?
We recognise that governors may not be able to make every meeting for a variety of reasons. However, to make it easier we have introduced a facility for governors to join meetings virtually.

What is a pecuniary interest – when should I declare?
This is where a governor might stand to appreciably gain financially or personally through being a member of the governing body or discussing agenda items put before them. A governor must declare this, when asked, at the beginning of each meeting attended. If the governor could be seen as having a permanent interest (e.g. if the governor is a school employee) they do not have to declare their interest at every meeting.
This does not prevent them from contributing to any discussion but allows for any remarks to be put in context.

Does this prevent me from becoming a governor?
No

I am busy at work, should I still consider becoming a governor?
Being a Governor can be personally rewarding and provides focus outside of work.
Personal development, training, a number of new skills are acquired that cross over into the workplace. Many companies actively encourage employees to do voluntary work in the community and some provide time off during the day for this purpose.

When should I visit the school?
Visits should be agreed with school beforehand. They may be in the form of helping a class on a school trip or more formally accompanying a subject manager whilst looking at an agreed focus area from the school improvement plan.
Please refer to our Governor Visit Policy for details.

How long am I committed to being a governor?
The normal term is for 4 years however this is not contractual and some governors do step down.

Do I need to be DBS checked? (Formerly CRB)
Yes. Currently all members of our governing body are DBS checked.

What is off limits?
Governors are a critical friend to the school and are there to support and challenge. Governors are not responsible for the day to day running of the school and should not attempt to interfere with the work of the Headteacher and staff.

Am I legally accountable?
Yes- governors are responsible for ensuring that the school delivers the curriculum as laid down by Parliament, that the school operates under proper financial guidelines and that all policies, as directed by Ofsted, are in place, monitored and regularly reviewed. Governors are accountable as a group rather than individually as all decisions are taken collectively.
For further reading, please follow the links to the Governance Handbook and the Governor Competency Framework published by the government in 2019 and 2017.

Governance Handbook and Governance Competency Framework