Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It allows you to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community, and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. As a governor you will be able to:

  • Use your own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations
  • Develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment
  • Make a valuable contribution to education and your community
  • Support and challenge the school so that it improves for pupils and staff
  • Bring your unique experiences, perspectives and insights to help make decisions in the interests of the school community

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school or group of schools and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. This means:

  • Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
  • Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
  • Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary
  • Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
  • Looking at data and evidence to ask questions, and have challenging conversations about the school
  • Appointing and reviewing the performance of the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay

Skills

Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is plenty of training available to help you learn about education.

Schools benefit from a range of professional knowledge on their governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.

It is also important that you have time to commit to the role. School governors typically attend 6-12 meetings per year, as well as making school visits and having background reading and training.

Find out more

For information about current school governor vacancies in Portsmouth see the Portsmouth Together website or email schoolgovernor@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

Case studies

Guy Cordran says...

I have enjoyed an interesting and fulfilling career at IBM for the last 25 years. One of the things that gives me real satisfaction is IBM’s long-standing commitment to local communities, which is what led me to volunteer as a school governor over 12 years ago.

I’ve been able to bring many of my business skills and experiences to the role and being a governor has provided me with many opportunities I’d never imagined. I’ve had new experiences, developed new skills, met new people and taken on challenges far removed from my day job.

Every year I know I’m directly influencing the experiences and life chances of over 300 young people. Last year, the school where I volunteer got its second consecutive “Good” inspection rating by Ofsted which was a milestone in a 6-year journey of improvement. It was a great sense of achievement for both the school and the governing body.

As with any voluntary role, you are committing your time, your skill and your enthusiasm to make a difference by getting involved. In my view it is definitely worth it and the school is genuinely appreciative of my work. Being a school governor has been one of the most fulfilling roles I’ve done.