What does being a governor entail?

Two years ago I was elected as a parent governor and I have to admit, I didn’t really know what to expect. I went for the role mainly because I believe in being active in my local community and wanted to support my children’s school.

Being active and prepared to get involved is an important part of being a governor. Having the time to get involved, attend meetings and respond to all the governor related emails is essential too. Being comfortable in the role of a critical-friend is key.

Time wise the position requires about 10-30 hours per term. 4-6 hours of this would be spent in meetings (usually held 7.30-9.30pm on a weekday evening). Another 10 hours might be spent per term reading reports, responding to emails and possibly completing a task you’ve been given – like reporting on Health and Safety, redrafting the school visits policy or reporting on communication between parents and staff. And then there are optional networking events and training. This term I am going on training on finance and Ofsted. These also usually take place locally in the evening.

New governors are expected to do an all-day induction training usually held locally on a Saturday. This training helps answer a lot of questions (What is a governor, what do we do, what is our role within the school?).

As a governor you are also given a link area and encouraged to do a school visit 1-3 times a year. A governor’s role in such a visit is not to judge the teaching but it might be to focus on an aspect of learning, perhaps a curriculum area or a strategy.

If being a governor sounds like a challenge you might want to take on there are currently vacancies on Thorn Grove’s Board of Governors. Join us for coffee on Fri 13th November after drop off to hear more about our work or contact the school office or you can read more on the Governor’s page on TG’s website. If you’ve got time and skills to offer why not consider joining us on the board?

Becky Ridgewell, October 2015


The National Governor’s Association describe the role of a school governor as follows:

To contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school by:

• Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;

• Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and

• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

To read more about the strategic role of a governor follow this link