School governors play a vital part in the success of schools. They are volunteers who work with the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team to improve standards in their school. Ofsted, the national body that inspects schools, have been placing increasing emphasis on strong governance as a key element in the effectiveness of a school. They provide both challenge and support to the Headteacher, taking the role of a 'critical friend'.
The core functions of the governing body are:
Governors act collectively, not individually, and meet six times a year, as well as attending different committee meetings.
Parent governors: Parents, including carers, of a child at the school, elected by the parent body.
Staff governors: Teaching or support staff, elected by the staff. The Headteacher is also a staff governor.
Local Authority governors: Appointed by the Local Authority from a political party or the community.
Co-opted governors: These are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. They are expected to be committed to the good governance and success of the school even if they do not work or live close to it.
Governing bodies may also appoint non-voting Associate Governors because of specific expertise and experience they can contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.