Information Relating to School Governors
of a School Governor
Your local school highly values the role played by all its
stakeholders. Being a school governor is an important way in which
you can help your local school.
School governors are responsible for making
sure the school provides the best possible quality education for
the children and young people of Neath Port Talbot. Together with
the Head Teacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management,
they set the school's aims and policies as well as carrying out a
number of other important duties including, deciding how the
school's budget is spent, appointing and dismissing of staff, and
forming policy on the school's curriculum.
If you were to become a school governor,
advice, support and training in carrying out the role is given by
our Governor Support and Training Officers.
The term of office for a school governor is
normally four years. Being a school governor is demanding but
rewarding and a good way of putting something into your local
community. You don't have to be a parent of a child at the school,
but if you are, you can also know that you are having a direct
influence on the quality of your child's education.
The role and responsibilities of the governing body
The governing body’s roles and
responsibilities fall into three key areas
- Setting aims for
policies, plans and targets for improvement to match those
- Monitoring and
evaluating the impact of the policies.
relevant but probing questions in a supportive, honest and trusting
the impact of the policies and plans.
- Holding the
headteacher and staff to account for the performance of the
- Accounting to the
parents and others for the work of the governing body in deciding
the strategic direction of the school.
- Setting the terms
of reference for those individuals, committees and working parties
to which the governing body delegates tasks.
In addition to working alongside fellow
governors you will also come into contact with school staff, the
Diocese (for governors in Roman Catholic and Church in Wales
schools), inspectors from Estyn, your Development Officer, Primary
Support Officer and other officers from the Local Authority.
The single most significant person the
governing body will be working with is your school’s headteacher
who, as lead professional, has the knowledge and access to
information which governors need to work effectively.
Governors and headteachers have broadly
defined areas of responsibility within their school.
The governing body works with the
headteacher to provide vision and a strategic
The headteacher is responsible for the
operational management and ensuring that agreed policies are
You will also have the opportunity to work
with other staff in the school from time to time.
For example, you may want to know more about the teaching of
English in the school which may mean discussions with the member of
staff who has lead responsibility for the subject
What are my personal responsibilities?
As a governor you will always act as part of a
team with collective responsibility. You may be relieved to know
that so long as decisions can be shown to have been taken in good
faith neither the governing body nor individual governors
have any legal liability.
However, you may be asked to take on a task on
behalf of the governing body. For example, to sit on an appointment
panel, or help monitor a particular aspect of the school’s work.
Remember that individual governors have no authority to act on
behalf of the governing body unless they have been specifically
asked to do so.
It is very important that governors make every effort to attend
as many meetings as possible since at least half the governing body
must be present to ensure binding decisions can be made. If
something comes up preventing you from getting to a meeting let
your clerk know the reason as early as possible. A governor can be
disqualified if they fail to attend meetings over six months
without giving apologies or where the governing body rejects their
Much of the work of the governing body is done
through committees. Speak to your chair to ensure you play a part
in the committee which would benefit most from your individual
talents and skills.
You must allow sufficient time to read meeting
papers before the meeting to ensure you are clear about the
Be ready to ask informed
You may find it helpful to make a note of them
on your paperwork. Never forget that you are not there to rubber
stamp the decisions made by others. Make sure you make a
contribution and have your say.
Many of the discussions in which you will be
involved will need to be considered confidential for one reason or
another. It is essential that all governors take this
responsibility very seriously. Regulations require that signed
minutes of meetings are made available on request. The governing
body will need to decide what information if any can be released
Presenting a united front
For the good of your school, the governing
body must present a united front at all times. Lively debate is a
healthy part of the decision making process during meetings, but it
is the responsibility of all governors to support a decision once
it has been reached, even if the vote went against you. The
governing body’s monitoring will show if an agreed action does not
have the required positive impact on the work of the school.
What can I contribute?
My skills and experience
There is no formal requirement for a governor
to have any particular knowledge or experience, but all governors
will need to be committed to:
● The desire to secure the best possible
education for young people.
● Acting with fairness, tact, diplomacy and
● Equal opportunities.
● Working as a member of a team.
● Participating in training, development and
● Having a positive attitude towards resolving
How to Become a School Governor
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a
governor and what it involves please contact our School and Family
Support Team on 01639 763600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Training Programme
Once you have settled into your role, you will
need to enrol on governor training sessions.
Liaise with the training governor or clerk to
discuss what training you might need and what is available
Governors are also able to book and attend a number of
training sessions in other locations that might be more suitable to
you across the ERW region. ERW local authority partners are: Neath
Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys and
Ceredigion. A list of all the available training sessions across
the region is available on the ERW website: www.erw.wales
Please don’t hesitate to contact the
Governor Training Officer if you would like any guidance on what
training might suit you.
Governor Training Programme 2015 - 2016
Where to go for help
The Local Authority offers a range of support
Training. Tel : 01639
Tel: 01639 763600
Governors Wales: www.governorswales.org.uk
Tel: 0845 6020 100
ERW (Education through Regional Working)