School governors

Schools and colleges in England and Wales are overseen by boards of governors. Volunteer governors oversee the overall strategy, review the school’s performance, and scrutinise the school’s budget.

Governors play an important role in supporting the school and its community, helping to raise standards of education. Volunteering to be a school governor or trustee also provides a great opportunity for personal development, and for you to share your existing skills. Governors need to understand and interpret a wide range of data about the school, including performance and financial information. As a school governor, you will be able to support your fellow governors to help them to interpret statistical information appropriately and fairly.

How to get involved in England

Inspiring Governance is a scheme that matches people who wish to become governors at schools and colleges in England.

Over 250,000 people from a wide range of backgrounds currently volunteer as a school governor and many more are needed. School governing boards need people from different backgrounds with a wide range of professional and personal skills. There are no particular qualifications required and anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor or trustee.

Apply online to register your interest in becoming a school or college governor. If you have already joined Inspiring the Future to help promote statistical careers, simply log in, select ‘My Profile, ‘My Activities’ and add School Governor. Your profile will then appear in searches made by local schools looking for governors.The Inspiring Governance mapping tool allows you to view opportunities near you and schools can see that you are interested. Once appointed, you will receive free expert support and training from the National Governance Association, a leading charity that supports and promotes good governance in schools.

The Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools provides information for people interested in joining the governing bodies of schools in the independent sector.

Further opportunities for school governors are also listed in our page about becoming a charity trustee.

How to get involved in Wales

Local authorities are responsible for the election process for parent, teacher and staff governors in most schools in Wales. For some voluntary aided and foundation schools, the school’s governing body is responsible. Apply to your local council, or directly to your local school.

How to get involved in Scotland

All parents and carers of children attending a school are automatically members of that school’s parent forum. Most parent forums have chosen to set up a parent council to represent all of the parents. For further details see the ParentZone website or contact your child’s school.

How to get involved in Northern Ireland

Appointment to School Boards of Governors are managed by the Department for Education and the Education Authority. Boards are usually reconstituted every four years, when members complete their term of office and may be replaced. Information on the appointment and election of school governors is available from the Department for Education and Education Authority websites.

How to get involved in other countries

Parent and community participation in school governance varies from country to country. Contact your local school to enquire how to be involved.