The Governing Board

What Governors Do

The Governance Handbook, published by the Department for Education (DfE), outlines the role of the governing board.

These are:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

It has a number of statutory responsibilities, most of them falling within one of these three areas. In particular, it is responsible for supporting the school in providing a learning and teaching environment that safeguards children, promotes their health and well-being, and encourages high expectation and achievement, as well as for setting the school’s statutory policies, and monitoring them in operation.

The governing board works at all times in close collaboration with the headteacher, who is herself a governor of the school. The DfE has published advice on The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013. The guidance says "the board of governors should operate at a strategic level, leaving the headteacher and senior school leaders responsible and accountable to it for the operational day-to-day running of the school."

At present, the full governing board meets six times in the school year.  Each governor takes an interest in at least one area of the school’s work such as special educational needs and disabilities; early years; safeguarding and child protection; health and safety.

The clerk to the governing board arranges (in conjunction with the headteacher and the chair of governors) and publishes the agendas for meetings of the governing board, and prepares and circulates minutes of all meetings. They also circulate training opportunities for governors, and advise governors on legal and procedural matters.

How to Become a Governor

If you are interested in becoming a governor, then you can contact the clerk to the governing board to find out if there is a vacancy. You can also let the headteacher know of your interest.

When a parent governor vacancy exists the Clerk to the Governors writes to all parents asking for nominations. If the school receives more than one nomination a ballot is held and parents are invited to vote for their preferred candidate.

Once appointed the Clerk to the Governors provides the new governor with an information pack and an introduction to another governor who acts as a mentor.

What qualifications do governors need?

There are no formal qualifications. Schools need volunteers with experience of life. The one essential requirement is an interest in, and commitment to, the education of children. Governors are ordinary people, drawn from many areas of society. They need to be able to devote time to getting to know the school well and be available to support and challenge it.

A governor must be a good listener, and someone who is able to read and take in information easily. A governor must be able to:

  • raise questions and take part in discussion and decision-making
  • be discreet, open minded and fair
  • be a source of ideas and a good communicator
  • be enthusiastic about the work of the school
  • be prepared to work as part of a team.

Length of Service

The usual term of office is four years. However, governors are volunteers who can leave at any time and can similarly be re-appointed or re-elected.

Support for Governors

A great deal of professional advice and support is available to help governors with their duties and responsibilities.

  • East Sussex Governor Services provide a comprehensive induction programme.
  • Governors are also supported by the headteacher, the chair of governors and senior staff employed in the Children's Services Authority.
  • National Governor organisations run by governors for governors, including a wide range of advice and guidance for governors online including the National Governors' Association.

For more information about becoming a governor please click here for more details.

Contacting Governors

Governors are happy to have an informal conversation with parents/carers and always welcome parents’ feedback, but are unable to discuss the operational management of the school and will direct you to the headteacher. If you are unsure who the governors are, either ask in the school office or go to the governors’ section of the school website and select 'Who's Who', alternatively you can email them at

We are always interested to hear parents’ views but should you have a concern or complaint you should follow the school procedures – please click here for the school Complaints Policy & Procedure.

We try to make sure that at least one governor is present at each parent consultation evening so they can greet parents on their arrival at the school and engage in a dialogue with them.