School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education.

Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.

Here at Emmbrook Infant School, we are fortunate to have a Head Teacher who embraces the contribution of the governing board and who continues to inspire, motivate and lead her team following our Outstanding Ofsted rating.

Strategic Leadership

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. They appoint the Head Teacher and deputy Head Teacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the Head Teacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources. The National Governors’ Association offer an excellent role description here.

Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board and decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.

The role of the governing board is a strategic one with three key functions:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
  • Holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school, set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives, monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives and act as a source of challenge and support to the Head Teacher.

The Head Teacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing board.

Governing Committees

To help focus governor contributions, we have adopted a three committee structure from September 2017. Each governor serves on one committee at least, some will choose to serve on more than one.

Governor Performance and Details

It is important that the governing board is transparent and accountable for the progress of the school. We are therefore happy to share the following specific data to identify who serves, in what capacity and how they have contributed. Attendance data is updated twice per academic year.

Governor Communications

We will communicate with parents by contributing to Mrs Gillard’s monthly newsletter and will attend parents’ events throughout the year.  We also send out a survey to parents every year to support our decision making when planning for the future of the school.  If you wish to communicate with us about any whole school issue then the school office will pass on your message to the Chair of Governors and we will attend to it promptly.

Who Can Become a Governor?

Almost anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor. There are no particular qualifications or requirements, other than a willingness to give time to the role and a capacity for working with other people. All governors will be DBS checked. The term of office is usually four years. There are different types of school with different categories of governor.

The types of state schools in England are:

  • Community (Emmbrook Infant School)
  • voluntary controlled
  • voluntary aided
  • foundation
  • trust – a type of foundation school
  • academies, free Schools & City Technology Colleges (CTCs) – independent state funded schools

There are also different categories of governor:

  • parent
  • staff
  • foundation
  • partnership
  • local authority
  • co-opted

The type of governor you will become depends on your situation; however, all governors have the same roles and responsibilities once part of the governing board.

How Do I Get Involved?

The EIS Governing board are always thrilled to hear from people wanting to get involved and contribute as a governor. We can always be reached via the School Office, or by writing to the school office addressing your letter to the Chair of Governors, or by emailing Dr Kate Benson, Chair of Governors at