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The Role Of A Governor at Joseph Hood

The Role of a Governor


Governing bodies are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education.

Their main role is to support the Headteacher and Staff – the phrase often used to describe this role is ‘a critical friend’. They help them to set and reach targets and to strive for excellence across the whole spectrum of school life. They also challenge them and hold them to account where necessary.

Governors do not have powers as individuals, as any powers and legal rights are with the governing body as a group.


In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core functions:


  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school
  • Holding the Headteacher and senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

An effective governing body is a source of tremendous strength for the school and helps its leaders cope with major issues and handle change.








What do school governors do?


Governors have particular responsibly for:


  • Setting aims and planning for the future of the school
  • Agreeing targets to raise standards of achievement
  • Ensuring that the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils
  • Monitoring the school budget, including the expenditure of the Pupil Premium allocation
  • Staffing issues, including appointing and appraising the Headteacher and other staff, and determining salaries
  • Deciding and reviewing the school’s policies
  • Making sure all pupils have equal opportunities within the school and providing for pupils with special educational needs
  • Ensuring the school site is well maintained, safe and secure
  • Dealing with complaints about the school
  • Acting as a link governor on a specific issue, making relevant enquiries of the relevant staff, and reporting to the governing board on the progress on the relevant school priority
  • Listening to and reporting to the school’s stakeholders - pupils, parents, staff, and the wider community, including local employers
  • Considering all relevant data and feedback provided on request by school leaders and external sources on all aspects of school performance
  • Asking challenging questions of school leaders
  • Ensuring senior leaders have arranged for the required audits to be carried out and receiving the results of those audits


When required, governors serve on panels to:

  • Appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders
  • Hear the second stage of staff grievances and disciplinary matters
  • Deal with complaints about the school, in accordance with the school’s complaints policy
  • Hear appeals about pupil exclusions






Governing bodies do not

  • Inspect the school
  • Have involvement in the day-to-day running of the school
  • Authorise all expenditure
  • Decide which pupils will be admitted to the school
  • Decide how pupils are taught individual subjects
  • Act independently of the rest of the governing board; decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board


Who makes up the Governing Body at Joseph Hood?

Our governing body is made up of a variety of individuals to ensure a breadth of opinion, knowledge and skills.

Our governing body includes several categories of governor:

•             Parent governors - elected by parents and carers at the school

•             Staff governor - elected by the staff

•             Co-opted governors - appointed by the governing body

•             Local authority governor-  proposed by the local authority, appointed by the governing body

•             Headteacher - who is a governor by default.

•             Associate Members - invited by the governing body (Associate Members don’t have full voting rights)

There may be other categories of governor in other schools, depending on the type of school it is.

The initial term of office is four years, but governors can stay on for further terms if re-appointed. 


Governors are drawn from different parts of the community. This helps ensure the governing body has sufficient diversity of views and experience but does not mean governors of a particular category represent that group on the governing body. For example, parent governors do not represent the parents at the school and do not report back to them. Each individual governor is a member of a governing body, which is established in law as a corporate body.   Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing body. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing body. 


How often do Governors meet?

There is a Full Governing Body which meets every half term, a Finance committee which meets every half term and a Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding committee which meets at least three times a year. There is also a Pay and Performance committee that meets once a year. Alongside these committees there are working groups which look into specific tasks and recommend their findings to the FGB. Governors also attend some school events and make regular visits the school.


Governors need to:

  • Be fully committed to the role
  • Be discreet, open minded and fair
  • Be willing to raise questions constructively and participate in discussion and decision-making
  • Be prepared to participate in the life of the school
  • Have the time to attend governors meetings and training
  • Be open to new ideas and ready to learn
  • Act at all times with honesty and integrity and be ready to explain their actions and decisions to staff, pupils, parents and anyone with a legitimate interest in the school.


Contacting the Governing body

If you would like to contact the governors of the school at any time, please leave a message in the school office addressed to the governors’ clerk, Posey Furnish or email her at