So You Want to be a Governor?

So you want to be a Governor?
Etwall Primary School encourages all members of the school community to be a School Governor - we advertise our vacancies on the school web site, school newsletters and also in the Etwall Express.
The role of a governor
The role of a school governor is to contribute to the work of the governing body in raising standards of achievement for all pupils. This involves:
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
The individual governor has a responsibility, working alongside other members of the governing body, to the staff and pupils of the school and the school's wider community.
Governors must have an interest in our children's future, be willing to contribute and make a difference, respect the need for confidentiality and be able to work as part of a team. Governors must act with integrity, objectivity and honesty and in the best interests of the school.
What governors do
Governors are volunteers who attend meetings and work to further the school's development. Together with the headteacher, responsibilities of governing bodies include:
  • developing the school's strategic plan;
  • determining aims, policies and priorities;
  • setting targets;
  • monitoring and evaluating;
  • deciding the number of staff;
  • overseeing the use of the school's budget;
  • securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour.
Governors provide the headteacher with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience. They ask searching questions and respect the headteacher's position as the professional leader of the school.
How much time it takes up
The amount of time each person gives to the role will vary. However you will need to be willing to:
  • Prepare for meetings. There will be papers that need reading;
  • Attend meetings. The governing body meet twice per term. Meetings are normally during the evening but may also be during the day.
As a full-time worker will I still have time to be a school governor?
Many governors are in full-time work and most governing body meetings tend to take place in the evening. However, you would need to check carefully the number of meetings you would be expected to attend and when they usually take place. Also bear in mind that you might want to spend time getting to know the school in other ways and joining in its activities, which may take place during the daytime.
Support for governors
As a new school governor you can receive a nationally designed induction programme covering roles and responsibilities; and subsequent training on a wide range of activities.  Each governing body has a clerk to provide administrative and procedural support.
Specific advice is available:
email: governor.support@derbyshire.gov.uk
Tel: 01629 535769
Local Authority Governors
Derbyshire County Council are actively looking for interested parties to fill the role of LA Governors at schools across the county. Please look at the documents below for further information or contact Governor Support for further information.
Diversity of our Governors
As a school we recognise that a diversity of thought, voices and perspectives is essential to good governance and the effective running of any organisation. We collect diversity information from our governors and, depending on current data, can use this to:
  • target recruitment to address gaps in experience and diversity
  • develop and adapt board practices to ensure full participation
  • prioritise training and awareness-raising in identified areas
  • address potential ‘blind spots’ through seeking wider advice and perspectives on current and upcoming opportunities, challenges and risks
Our governing body is representative of both our school families and our wider community. It is represented by governors of a range of ages, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and physical ability. However, we are unable to publish this information as it would mean that individual members of our governing body are identifiable.

We also consider diversity to mean the diverse skills and knowledge that our board possess as well as the diversity of their protected characteristics. We are fortunate to have a board which consists of a variety of knowledge, skills and experiences including backgrounds in education, business and finance, HR and industry. Together they make sound, knowledge based decisions for the efficient running of the school and children’s education.