Becoming a governor

An Introduction to School Governance in Wales – the governor journey

Produced in partnership with Governors for Schools and Cardiff University, this module is designed specifically for those interested in becoming a governor and for those who have recently commenced their school governor journey in schools in Wales.

An excellent governing body is vital to a school’s success – why?

  • governors are responsible for the appointment of the headteacher and deputy headteacher
  • governors decisions directly affect the education and wellbeing of pupils
  • governors can really make a difference in improving standards throughout the school

A governor is someone who:

  • is appointed or elected for a four-year term;
  • commits interest, enthusiasm and time to being a governor;
  • can attend at least one governing body meeting during each school term and may be asked to attend committee meetings (most meetings usually take place late afternoon or during the evenings);
  • familiarises themselves with work of the school, including visiting the school, and keeps up to date with the progress and work of the school;
  • works as a team, deciding on things jointly and sharing responsibilities for the decisions they make;
  • focuses their contribution to governing body decisions upon what is in the best interests of pupils at the school, helping each pupil to develop their full potential;
  • supports the school but also challenges and asks questions about how the school works and the standards it achieves, bearing in mind the governing body’s own responsibility to promote high standards of educational achievement;
  • is willing to learn and attend training courses (including induction and data training) arranged by the LA, which are free of charge, and which will improve skills and contribute to personal development.

What we hope you will get out of being a governor – what are the benefits?

  • having a very real part to play in ensuring the pupils at the school get the best possible education;
  • satisfaction of raising standards;
  • achieving value for money for the school;
  • giving something back to the community;
  • a sense of purpose and achievement;
  • training and support in order to help you fulfil your duties and responsibilities;
  • new skills which may be useful elsewhere – team work, financial and strategic planning, recruitment and interviewing skills – and that’s just for starters!

Here is Jenny from St John the Baptist VA School, Flintshire on what it means to her to be a governor in Wales.

Have a read of Faye Gracey’s Reflections on serving as a Governor at Ysgol Treganna, Cardiff

Have a look at this video clip from some Cardiff University staff who are serving as school governors

And finally …

  • The strength of a governing body lies in its ability to attract and rely upon members from a wide variety of backgrounds, share out the duties amongst its members, and be able to take decisions as a group.
  • No one governor is responsible for the governing body, not even the chair of governors.
  • All governors share the responsibility of making the governing body effective and efficient by setting the remit of the body and its committees, being well-informed and attending the meetings.

Free Governor Recruitment Service

Governors for Schools is a charity which finds, places, and supports skilled volunteers as governors on school governing bodies. We work with a range of partners, including universities, volunteering sites and local businesses to find volunteers who are looking for opportunities to use their skills to support education in the local community.

Who is the service for?
We support all types of state-funded schools, higher education colleges, pupil referral units (PRUs) and state-funded nurseries in finding governors free of charge. If you have a vacancy on your governing body, you can register your vacancy with us for free. We’ll connect you with suitable local volunteers who are looking to become governors.

How does the service work?

  1. Register your governor vacancies online. Here you can specify the desirable skills or expertise you’re looking for in volunteers.
  2. The local area manager will find volunteers in your school’s local area who best match your requirements.
  3. If both you and the volunteer are interested in moving forward, we’ll make an introduction via email. We’ll provide you with an outline of the volunteer’s skillset, as well as information on why they wish to become a governor.
  4. You can then arrange a meeting with the volunteer at the school or online to talk more about the role.
  5. If the volunteer is a good fit for your governing body, you will follow your usual appointment process.

Diversity on governing bodies
A diverse governing body is a stronger governing body, reflecting school communities and the wider country. Read more about how we’re working to improve diversity on governing bodies.

For any questions, or to find out more, please contact [email protected].

Take the next step

If you are interested in being a school governor, or finding out more:

  • Contact Governors Cymru Services for more information via [email protected]
  • Talk to someone who is a governor
  • Contact the headteacher, or chair of governors at your local school
  • Contact your local authority
  • Contact Governors for Schools

Information on Local Authority websites

Anglesey Blaenau Gwent Bridgend Caerphilly
Cardiff Carmarthenshire Ceredigion Conwy
Denbighshire Flintshire Gwynedd Merthyr Tydfil
Monmouthshire Neath Port Talbot Newport Pembrokeshire
Powys Rhondda Cynon Taff Swansea Torfaen
Vale of Glamorgan Wrexham

© Governors Cymru Services

Contact Us

01443 844532 / 029 2075 3685 [email protected]
Sam MacNamara – 07943 887275 / Jane Morris – 07957 969708