What do governors do?

Governors work as a corporate team to promote high standards and are responsible for ensuring the school provides a good quality education.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governors are accountable for the school's overall performance and for the decisions they have made. Raising educational standards in school is a key priority. This has the best chance of happening when there are high expectations of what pupils can achieve.

Governors also promote effective ways of teaching and learning when setting the school aims and policies. They do this together with the headteacher, who is responsible for the day-today management of the school.

Who is on the governing body?

Every school has a governing body. It will include:

  • Parents elected by other parents at the school (if you are a parent of a child in a Richmond school you will receive nomination papers to apply to be elected a sa parent governor when a vacancy arises on the governing body of your child's school).
  • Staff elected by their colleagues and the headteacher.
  • A local authority governor.
  • Community/co-opted governors who have skills that the governing body requires.

A governing body may also include representatives from the local authority, church, charitable trust or business interests. Special schools may have health authority or voluntary organisation representatives.

Governing bodies are responsible to all key stakeholders ie; pupils, parents, staff, the community and Ofsted. The number of governors will vary from a minimum of seven. Appointments are generally for a four year term of office.

The role of the governing body

The governing body’s main role is to help raise standards of achievement.

Other responsibilities:

  • It is accountable for the performance of the schools to parents and the wider community.
  • To plan the school’s future direction.
  • Selection of the headteacher.
  • Making decisions on how to spend the budget allocated to the school including on staffing.
  • Ensuring the national curriculum is taught and sets targets to secure a high standard of educational achievement.
  • Deciding how the school can encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral, emotional and cultural development.
  • Making sure the school provides for all its pupils, including those with special needs.

Updated: 2 June 2014