Governors in academies and schools are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of Retford Oaks Academy. Time and time again Ofsted has noted that the most effective schools and academies demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.
What do governors do?
Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in academies and schools and are involved in the appointment of the head teacher/principals and their deputies. In some cases the site is owned by the governing board. Governors who hold the main responsibility for finance and work with the principal to make decisions about balancing resources. Each individual governor is a member of a governing board [academy board], which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.
The role of the governing board is a strategic one; its key functions are to:
- set the aims and objectives for the academy together with associated policies and targets
- monitor and evaluate progress towards achievement of the academy’s aims and objectives
- be a source of challenge and support to the principal (a critical friend)
The principal is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the academy and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing board.
Who can become a governor?
Almost anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor. There are no particular qualifications or requirements, other than a willingness to give time to the role and a capacity for working with other people. Occasionally, governing bodies will look for people with particular skills, such as in finance or human resources, to strengthen the skills available to the governing board.
There are also different categories of governor:
- parent (elected by parents at the academy)
- staff (elected by staff at the academy)
The type of governor you will become depends on your situation; however all governors have the same roles and responsibilities once part of the governing board.
How do I become a governor?
If you think you have what it takes to be a governor, there are a number of ways of finding academies and schools that have vacancies:
- contact your local academy/school to ask if they need a new governor
- contact your local council
- visit the Inspiring Governance website
- visit the National Governors’ Association website
If you would like to discuss being a governor, or opportunities available at Retford Oaks Academy in particular, please contact the Clerk to the Academy Board, Jane Stocks at email@example.com