Role of a Governor

What is a School Governor?

School Governors are drawn from all walks of life and bring different types of experience to contribute to the governance of the school.

The first question to ask yourself as a potential governor is: Are you interested in the education, welfare and opportunities provided for children and young people?

If the answer to the first question is yes, then have you got enthusiasm and time to spare? If so, you could consider volunteering as a school governor.

Governors give their service voluntarily and no formal qualifications are necessary although there are eligibility criteria.

Governors are ordinary people, aged over 18, with a special commitment to the education and wellbeing of children.

Terms of office will be a minimum of one to a maximum of four years.

There are typically five types of Governors:

staff governors 

Staff governors normally fall into two categories: Teaching Staff and Support Staff.

Staff Governors are elected by staff who are paid to work at the school.

This category will also include a reserved place for the Headteacher.

parent governors 

Parent governors are drawn from parents or carers/guardians of children at the school.

Parent governors normally serve for a period of 4 years and are elected by the parents or carers/guardians of children at the school.

From time to time the school will send home a letter notifying parents that there is a vacancy for a parent governor and seeking nominations.

If there are more nominations than there are vacancies, then there will be a ballot at which point all parents and carers/guardians get to vote for the candidate of their choice.

As a parent governor, elected by parents, the role is to bring a parental perspective to the governing body’s decision making rather than represent the parental constituency.

co-opted governors 

Co-opted governors are people drawn from the local community and elected by the governing body. You will not find this category of governor on voluntary aided (religious) school governing bodies.

If you would like to find out more about being a co-opted governor either at this school or another, you can either find out about applying to be a Greenford High School governor or visit the Ealing School governors and clerks page for further information on Ealing schools’ governance. The Ealing School Governance Unit will be able to tell you of schools who are looking for co-opted governors.

It will be helpful when making contact to provide some brief background information, including:

  • Your reasons for wishing to become a school governor.
  • Whether you have any particular skills and / or knowledge which you could bring to a governing body for example:
    • Financial
    • Building Works
    • Health and Safety
    • Management
    • Legal
    • Human Resources

The Governing Body will need to establish that you are either a local resident or have an involvement in the community served by the school. If not, it is always helpful to explain your interest in that particular part of the borough.

partnership governors 

The governing body appoints partnership governors after a nomination process.

It would be normal for the governing body to request parents of registered pupils at the school, staff, community organisations and other local bodies, as the governing body thinks is appropriate, to put forward names of suitable persons to serve as partnership governors.

After a vetting / interview process the successful candidate(s) are then elected at a meeting of the full governing body.

Those not eligible to be partnership governors are parents of registered pupils at the school, persons paid to work at the school, elected members of the Local Authority and those employed by the LA in connection with education functions.

local authority governors 

Within the London Borough of Ealing, Local Authority governors are nominated by the Local Authority.

If you would like to find out more about being a Local Authority Governor please contact the Ealing Schools workforce and governance team on 020 8825 5444 or email