A governing body

  • works closely with the head teacher
  • makes decisions collectively as a team
  • often delegates decision making to committees or to individuals, for example, to the head teacher
  • conducts most of its business through meetings, making use of relevant papers and guidance, and advice from the head teacher.

Governing bodies are made up of

  • parents elected by other parents with children at the school
  • the head teacher, if the head teacher chooses to be
  • teachers elected by other teachers
  • non-teaching staff elected by other non-teaching staff
  • people nominated by the local education authority
  • people chosen by governors from the local community
  • people chosen for their particular skills

In church and some other types of school, people appointed by the church or foundation.

Governors act as a team and, as such, the amount of time that each of them can give to the role will vary. Some people will be able and willing to give a lot throughout their time as a governor. Others will find that the amount of time they can give increases or reduces during that period. But if you are serious about helping your school to help children, then you do need to

  • be willing to prepare for meetings: there can be a lot of papers to read
  • attend meetings: the governing body must meet at least once a term, but you probably will be asked to serve on at least one committee. How often this meets will vary, but it is not unusual for one committee to meet each half-term
  • be able to get to meetings which, quite often, will be during the evening but which may be early or during the day
  • participate: If you cannot prepare for, and attend, meetings you will not be able to help the school effectively.


Governors Services
Haringey Education Partnership
Hornsey School for Girls
Inderwick Road
N8 9JF

Tel 0203 967 5093/5097
Email or