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Become a school governor

School governors are volunteers who work together with the headteacher and the local authority to improve education and other outcomes for all pupils.

You could become a school governor if you are aged 18 or over and:

  • Want to make a positive difference to the education of local children
  • Can get on with other people and work as part of a team
  • Have some time to spare to attend meetings and to read necessary papers
  • Are ready to learn and open to new ideas
  • Are willing to put something into your local community

You don't need any formal qualifications, you'll get full training and support to make sure you are fully equipped to carry out the role successfully.

If you would like to be a school governor, or are interested in finding out more, contact us on 01257 516147 or email governors.central@lancashire.gov.uk.

What we expect from governors
How to apply
Contacts

What we expect from governors

Effective governors do not need educational expertise but do need to be committed to their school, willing to ask questions and act as a critical friend. They also need to be able to work as an enthusiastic member of the governing body team.

You do not need specialist knowledge or training to become a governor. It is your lay and community experiences that the governing body requires. However you will become knowledgeable by being a governor and this can help you to participate more fully in your local community or even open up opportunities for you personally, for example involvement in a Parents Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA), voluntary work within school or an awareness of new employment opportunities.

Realistically, as a school governor, you will need to attend one full governing body meeting each term. You will also be asked to serve on at least one committee which will probably meet once or occasionally twice a term. So that is about three meetings per term.

You will need to get to know your school well (if you don't already) preferably by visiting when the school is in session and the pupils are in school. However this may not always be possible and some governors keep in touch with school life through after school events such as fundraising or charity events, Parents Teachers and Friends Association meetings, sports days, school parties and holidays.

How to apply

There are different categories of governor. The procedures for appointment or election depend on the category and the date when the governing body was constituted.

Some people cannot become governors, find out more about the grounds for disqualification.

The categories of governor are:

Parent governors

Parents, including carers, of pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as parent governors. They are elected by other parents.  If not enough parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors.

The law does not allow elected members of the local authority, or people who work at the school for more than 500 hours in a year, to become parent governors.

The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a parent governor at the school.

Staff governors

Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Both teaching and support staff employed to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship; volunteers are not eligible.

The headteacher makes arrangements for holding an election if there is a vacancy for a staff governor at the school.

Local authority governors

Local authority governors are appointed by the local authority (Lancashire County Council) or nominated by the local authority and appointed by the governing body.

Anyone who is eligible to be a staff governor cannot be appointed as a local authority governor, but any other eligible person can.

If you think you might like to become a local authority governor, you should
contact Governor Services Central Team, or complete the local authority governor application form.

Community governors

Community governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted before 1 September 2012. Governing bodies constituted on or after that date have co-opted governors.

Community governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. Community governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work in or live close to the school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.

People who are registered pupils at the school, eligible to be staff governors at the school, or elected members of the Local Authority, cannot become community governors.

If you are interested in becoming a community governor at a particular school, you should contact the chairman of governors at the school. We may also be able to advise, send us your expression of interest and we will be in touch with you.

Co-opted governors

Co-opted governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted on or after 1 September 2012. Governing bodies constituted before that date have community governors.

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body and are people who the governing body believes have skills which will contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

There is no restriction on the categories of people who can be appointed as co-opted governors.

If you are interested in becoming a co-opted governor at a particular school, you should contact the chairman of governors at the school. We may also be able to advise, send us your expression of interest and we will be in touch with you.

Sponsor governors

Sponsor governors are only in schools with governing bodies constituted before 1 September 2012.

Sponsor governors are appointed by, and at the discretion of, the governing body. If the governing body wants to appoint sponsor governors it must seek nominations from the sponsor(s). Sponsors are people who give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind, or who provide services to the school. The governing body can appoint a maximum of two persons as sponsor governors (4 in secondary schools).

Foundation governors

Foundation governors are only in voluntary schools and some foundation schools. They are appointed by the body or bodies named in the Instrument of Government. They are appointed to preserve and develop the religious character of the school, if it has a religious character, and to secure compliance with the trust deed. Normally, foundation governors serve for a four year term of office.

If you are interested in becoming a foundation governor at a church school, you should contact the appropriate diocese.

Partnership governors

Partnership governors are only in foundation schools which do not have a foundation or trustees. They must be members of the community served by the school who are committed to the good government and success of the school. The governing body is responsible for seeking nominations for and appointing partnership governors.

There are very few foundation schools in Lancashire. For more information, contact the area Governor Services teams.

Contacts

Governor Services

Central Team

Lancashire College
Southport Road,
Chorley,
PR7 1NB

Tel: 01257 516 150
Email: governors.central@lancashire.gov.uk

Area Team North: Lancaster, Wyre, Lytham, St Annes, Fleetwood, Poulton and Preston

Lancaster Area Office,
PO Box 606,
White Cross Education Centre,
Quarry Road,
Lancaster,
LA1 3SE

Tel: 01524 581136
Email: governors.north@lancashire.gov.uk

Area Team East: Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle, Burnley and Rossendale

c/o Lancashire County Council,
44 Union Street,
Accrington,
BB5 1PL

Tel: 01254 220507
Email: governors.east@lancashire.gov.uk

Area Team South: Leyland, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Chorley

Lancashire College,
Southport Road,
Chorley,
PR7 1NB
Tel: 01257 516 141
Email: governors.south@lancashire.gov.uk

External contacts

Department for Education 
The DfE website for school governors, providing information on all aspects of school governance.

Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies
The voluntary association for school governing bodies in Lancashire.

National Governors' Association
A national independent voluntary organisation for individual governors

Diocesan contacts

Lancashire Methodist District

Blackburn Diocese 

Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District

Bradford Diocese

Lancaster Diocese

Liverpool Diocese

Manchester Diocese

Salford Diocese