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Becoming a Governor

Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England.

Schools need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor (but there are some exceptions) and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is training available to help you learn about education. Schools need and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on their governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.

As a governor, you will be able to:

  • Use your own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations
  • Develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment
  • Make a valuable contribution to education and your community
  • Support and challenge the school so that it improves for pupils and staff
  • Bring your unique experiences, perspectives and insights in to decision-making in the interests of the school community

The time commitment is approximately 6 to 8 hours per month during term time. This includes attending full governing board meetings, subcommittee meetings, carrying out governor visits and doing the necessary preparatory reading. A governor’s term of office is four years, although you can resign at any time if your circumstances change and you are no longer able to commit to the role.

Many employers appreciate that being a governor enables you to gain valuable skills that can be transferred to the workplace. As with magistrates, members of local councils and members of other statutory bodies, governors have the right to reasonable time off work for their duties, although this may be unpaid.

Governance is a voluntary role and therefore it is not paid, however the school does have a Governor Expenses’ Policy to enable governors to claim travel and other expenses should they wish to do so.

West Berkshire Council have a Governor Services Department which offers support and training to governors enabling governing boards to fulfil their responsibilities confidently and effectively.

'Determination, Respect, Teamwork'
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