Welcome to your Lancashire

School Governors

Should I be a School Governor?

Lancashire has over 650 schools requiring some 9,800 governors.

We want to recruit people who care about children's education, which include:

  • parents
  • grandparents
  • local business people and employers
  • people who contribute to school life
  • community group members from churches, mosques, playgroups, youth clubs, sports clubs, etc.

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What support will I receive?

As a governor you will receive lots of support from the headteacher of your school and the other staff and governors. Lancashire Governor Services Team will support you with advice, information and the opportunity to take part in training and conferences.

The governing body has a clerk to help prepare and organise the meetings in conjunction with the chair of governors and headteacher. They will send out agendas and supporting papers and then minute the meetings. Clerks to governing bodies also give advice during and between meetings.

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How much time will I need?

Realistically you will need to attend one full governing body meeting each term. You will also be asked to serve on at least one committee which will probably meet once or occasionally twice a term. So that is about three meetings per term.

You will need to get to know your school well (if you don't already) preferably by visiting when the school is in session and the pupils are in school. However this may not always be possible and some governors keep in touch with school life through after school events such as fundraising or charity events, Parents Teachers and Friends Association meetings, sports days, school parties and holidays, etc.

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What knowledge do I require?

You do not need specialist knowledge or training to become a governor. It is your lay and community experiences that the governing body requires. However you will become knowledgeable by being a governor and this can help you to participate more fully in your local community or even open up opportunities for you personally, eg involvement in Parents Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA), voluntary work within school, an awareness of new employment opportunities.

A comprehensive programme of training courses for governors is offered by the Lancashire Governor Training Team, to support you in your roles and responsibilities.

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Who can be a Governor?

Governing bodies are made up from parents, school staff, members of the community, and people appointed by the local authority. In some schools the community representation is provided through foundation or partnership governors.

The regulations relating to governor appointments changed on 1 September 2012, and the details of the appointment processes which apply depend upon whether the governing body was constituted or reconstituted before or after that date. For information about the process at specific schools, contact the headteacher or the Governor Services area teams.

Some people cannot become governors. Reasons for disqualification are listed in Disqualification from Holding a Governorship.

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Parent Governors

Parents, including carers, of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as parent governors. They are elected by other parents at the school.  If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors.

The law does not allow elected members of the local authority, or people who work at the school for more than 500 hours in a year, to become parent governors.
 
The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a parent governor at the school.

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Headteachers

The headteacher has a place on the governing body, unless they choose not to be a governor. The headteacher's position cannot be filled by anybody else.

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Staff Governors

Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Both teaching and support staff employed to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship; volunteers are not eligible.

The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a staff governor at the school.

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Local authority governor

Local authority governors are appointed by the local authority (formerly local education authority) or nominated by the local authority and appointed by the governing body.
Anyone who is eligible to be a staff governor cannot be appointed as a local authority governor, but any other eligible person can.

If you think you might like to become a local authority governor, you should contact Governor Services Central Team, or complete the local authority governor application form.

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Community Governors

Community governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted before 1 September 2012. Governing bodies constituted on or after that date have co-opted governors.

Community governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. Community governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work in or live close to the school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.

People who are registered pupils at the school, eligible to be staff governors at the school, or elected members of the LA, cannot become community governors.

If you are interested in becoming a community governor at a particular school, you should contact the chairman of governors at the school.  We may also be able to advise, send us your expression of interest and we will be in touch with you.

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Co-opted Governors

Co-opted  governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted on or after 1 September 2012. Governing bodies constituted before that date have community governors.

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body and are people who the governing body believes have skills which will contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

There is no restriction on the categories of people who can be appointed as co-opted governors.

If you are interested in becoming a co-opted governor at a particular school, you should contact the chairman of governors at the school.  We may also be able to advise, send us your expression of interest and we will be in touch with you.

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Sponsor Governors

Sponsor  governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted before 1 September 2012.
Sponsor governors are appointed by, and at the discretion of, the governing body. If the governing body wants to appoint sponsor governors it must seek nominations from the sponsor(s). Sponsors are people who give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind, or who provide services to the school. The governing body can appoint a maximum of two persons as sponsor governors (4 in secondary schools).
 

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Foundation Governors

Foundation governors are only to be found on the governing bodies of voluntary schools and some foundation schools. They are appointed by the body or bodies named in the Instrument of Government. They are appointed to preserve and develop the religious character of the school, if it has a religious character, and to secure compliance with the trust deed. Normally, foundation governors serve for a four year term of office.

If you are interested in becoming a foundation governor at a church school, you should contact the appropriate diocese.

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Partnership Governors

Partnership governors are only to be found on the governing bodies of foundation schools which do not have a foundation or trustees. They must be members of the community served by the school who are committed to the good government and success of the school. The governing body is responsible for seeking nominations for and appointing partnership governors.

There are very few foundation schools in Lancashire. For more information, contact the area Governor Services teams.

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© 2014, Lancashire County CouncilPhone: 0300 123 6701 email: enquiries@lancashire.gov.uk