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School governors

Every school has a governing body with several types of governor. Academies have a board of trustees.

On this page you can find out about what school governors and academy trustees do and the qualities you need to become one.

What school governors and academy trustees do

All governors and trustees work together to support and improve the school. Academy trustees have the same core responsibilities as governors, but more flexibility as some regulations do not apply to academies.

Their main work is to meet, talk and make decisions about:
  • setting the school vision and strategic priorities
  • raising standards of achievement
  • holding the school to account for the performance of staff and pupils
  • making sure money is spent wisely
  • appointing senior staff
  • improving the school environment
  • making sure all pupils have access to all education opportunities.
Governors also:
  • keep parents informed about their work
  • support school activities
  • visit the school on behalf of the governing body
  • promote their school in the community.

Types of school governor

The types of governor on a school governing body are:
  • parent governors, chosen by parents of children at the school
  • co-opted governors, chosen by the school governing body
  • authority governors, put forward by us the council
  • staff governors, chosen by school staff, including the head teacher
  • foundation governors chosen by the foundation organisation.

On an academy trust, company members or the trust board appoint the trustees.


Qualities of a school governor

You do not have to have formal qualifications, but your skills and experience will be taken into consideration. Commitment to the role is very important.
To be an effective governor and trustee you need to:
  • have an interest in education, schools and young people
  • be able to listen to other people's views, to discuss them and make a decision
  • be prepared to use your skills and experience for the benefit of the school
  • be willing to support the decisions the governing body takes
  • have time to play your part in the governing body’s work
  • be willing to learn.

How to become a school governor

To find out how to become a school governor in a Newham school, go to the Newham Partnership Working website.
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