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Page last updated on 03/2/2014
School Governing Bodies 

Each school has a governing body which comprises members of the local community, parents, teachers, staff and representatives of the Local Education Authority. Governing Bodies of Church Schools (Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled) are also represented by the church authority.

When vacancies arise for parent governors, information is circulated via "pupil post" and to be eligible to be nominated as a parent governor, a person must have a child registered at the school for which the Governing Body is responsible. The term of office for governors is for four years and a parent governor can, if he / she so chooses, serve the full term of office even if his / her child is no longer a pupil at that school.

Governing Bodies are required by law to meet at least once a term but can meet more frequently in order to discuss specific matters.

Who are School Governors?

Every school has its own governing body which is be responsible for the overall management of the school. The actual size of the governing body depends on the size of the school; the membership is determined by law, and each is made up of different types of governors. They may include some or all of the following:

Parent - elected by the parents of children currently attending the school. Such governors must have a child at the school at the time of the election.

Teacher - members of the school's teaching staff, elected by the teachers.

Staff - members of the non-teaching staff, elected by the non-teaching staff.

LEA - appointed by the Local Education Authority. Typically, these governors possess a specific and useful skill or are known for their community work and interest in education.

Headteacher - may choose to be a governor or opt to remain independent. Whichever is the case, the headteacher has the right to attend all meetings of the governing body.

Community - appointed by the governing body, these governors may possess particular skills or come from a specific group within society such as the business community. An additional community governor representing the minor authority is included in primary schools governing bodies.

Foundation - essentially the same as community governors, these are appointed to the governing bodies of voluntary schools.

What are Annual Parents Meetings?

Governing Bodies are required by law to prepare a report which summarises the actions taken by them. The report is presented to parents at the Annual Parents Meeting where an opportunity is afforded to them to discuss with the Governors the content of the report and to ask any questions concerning the running of the school.

What Qualifications do Governors Need?

There are no formal qualifications needed to become a school governor. The one essential requirement is an interest in, and commitment to, the education of children. Governors have to be over 18 years of age and the term of office is four years.

Governors are ordinary people, drawn from many areas of society. They need to be able to devote time to getting to know the school well and to be active and available in their support for it. Having common sense and a desire to serve the community are also important.

Normally no one may be a governor of more than two governing bodies.

What is expected of a Governor?


  • Attend a meeting of the full governing body at least once a term.
  • Attend committee meetings as required.
  • Read reports and background papers prior to meetings.
  • Attend the annual meeting of parents.
  • Attend other occasions such as concerts, open evenings, sports day.


  • Show an interest in children and their education and participate in many of the school's activities.
  • Attend governors' meetings.
  • Readiness to accept responsibility.
  • Get to know the staff, the pupils and their work.
  • Offer support and expertise.


  • Follow educational news and debates.
  • Attend training sessions.


  • Work co-operatively and creatively with others.
  • Use personal qualities and expertise in the interest of the school, its pupils and teachers.

  What are the Types of Schools?

Primary : Ages 3 - 11 years. Some schools divide into Infant and Junior.

Secondary : Ages 11 - 16 years or 11 - 18 years.
Special : Schools for pupils with special educational needs.
Voluntary : Some schools have been founded by the Church or educational trust and are described as Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled, usually but not always linked to the Church in Wales or the Roman Catholic Church.

How to express an interest in Becoming a Governor?

In one or all of these ways:-

  • Download the form via the link on the right hand side of this page, complete and return to the address specified. 
  • Contact the school in which you have an interest, its Headteacher or Chairperson of Governors.
  • Approach your local County Councillor.


Contact Details
Governor Support Unit,
The Department for Education and Children,
Building 2,
St David's Park,
Job's Well Road,
SA31 3HB

Tel: 01267 246448