‘Effective governance begins with effective governors’
- Governance and school leadership needs to blend into a powerful force for school improvement and high pupil outcomes.
- The Ofsted inspection framework means that governors must demonstrate shared responsibility for challenge and support for the school leadership team and also recognise that they themselves are part of that leadership team.
- Governing bodies are a collection of individuals who bring different skills, knowledge and expertise to governance but with a common motivation to be involved.
There are more than 2,500 governors involved in 166 schools in East Sussex. Maybe you could join them?
This is a challenging and rewarding role for anyone who wants to help children do better at school, cares about the education children receive, and wants to strengthen links between schools and their community.
Every maintained school has a governing body which is made up of:
- parent governors, elected by other parents with children at the school
- staff governors, elected by school staff
- Local Authority governors, recommended or appointed by the Local Authority
- community or co-opted governors, chosen by the governing body from the community, including local businesses
- foundation governors in church schools and some other types of schools, appointed by the church or related organisations.
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.
How long do governors serve?
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.
What help and support is available?
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 programme of support including induction training.
- Governors are also supported by the headteacher, the chair of governors, other governors and the clerk to the governing body.
- National Governor organisations run by governors for governors, including a wide range of advice and guidance for governors online.
- Online training via Educare and GEL.
Access to The Key for Governors (online information, help and support specific to the role of Governor).
School Governor Disqualification Criteria
Whilst schools are keen to welcome applications from all areas of society, there are certain criteria that have to be met before your application can be accepted.
Criteria relating to working with children
You must not be:
- disqualified or restricted from working with children or young people
- included in the list of people considered by the Secretary of state as unsuitable to work with children
- subject to a direction under section 142 of the Education Act 2002
- disqualified from registration for childminding or providing day care
- disqualified from registration under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006
- subject to a disqualification order under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
Criteria relating to bankruptcy and insolvency
You must not have had:
- your estate sequestrated if the sequestration order has not been discharged, annulled or reduced;
You must not be subject to:
- a bankruptcy restriction order, an interim bankruptcy restriction order, a debt relief order or an interim debt relief order;
- a disqualification order or a disqualification undertaking under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
- a disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002;
- an order made under section 492(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986
Criteria relating to prison sentences
You must not have:
- received a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months (without the option of a fine) in the five years before becoming a governor or since becoming a governor;
- received a prison sentence of two and a half years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor;
- at any time, received a prison sentence of five years or more
Criteria relating to general restrictions
You must not:
- have been removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity from participating in the management or control of any body by the Charity Commissioners or High Court on grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement, or under Section 34 of the Charities and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005
- have been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the five years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor
- already hold a governorship of the same school* Please note that if you are applying for re-appointment, this information relates to the period when your current term of office ends
You must be:
- over 18 years old
- willing to allow an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau – CRB) for a criminal records certificate.