Volunteering as a school governor is a great way to contribute to your community. Every school has to have a governing body by law.
Volunteering as a school governor
All schools must have a governing board. Governors' main role is to provide the strategic direction for the school. Volunteering as a governor is a great way to contribute to your community and use your skills and experience to improve the lives of local children and young people. In North Yorkshire we have over 4,000 volunteer governors who help to run their local school.
Governors come from all sections of the community - parents, school staff, business people, community representatives and the local authority.
You should be committed and interested and prepared to attend regular meetings. All schools work differently but governing boards must meet at least three times a year. Most governing boards meet four times a year and have committees which also meet at least once a term. There may be lots of papers to read and you will need to spend some time getting to know your school. North Yorkshire County Council offers training and support to all governors from induction through to chairing the governing board.
Most people can become governors however, you must be 18 or over but don't need any special qualifications or professional skills. As this position involves working with children and young people you will be asked to complete a disclosure and barring service application and declare yourself a suitable candidate by completing a statutory form. You will also be asked to provide references.
The role of the governor
As a governor you will work with the head teacher and other governors to ensure every child has the best possible education. You will set the schools plans for the future, hold the head teacher to account for the schools performance, as well as oversee financial performance to make sure the schools money is well spent. Governors also visit the school on planned 'monitoring' or 'observing' visits to ensure they understand the school's strengths and areas for improvement.
We will offer you training and the opportunity to attend governor school improvement network meetings once a term. These meetings provide a huge amount of up to date information and you can meet with other governors from across your area. The head teacher will be pleased to show you around the school to introduce you to staff and pupils. Our governor support team will help on any governance issues, and a range of online information is available from the Department for Education, the National Governors' Association, as well as on our schools website.