Becoming a Governor

The roles and responsibilities of school governors have increased and developed in recent times as new legislation has been introduced.   The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 and the Competency Framework for Governance state that governors must ‘have the skills required to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school’.

No category of governor is any more important than another.

We would expect all boards to have an up to date skills audit in place and refer to this before embarking on any appointment process.  All appointments and re-appointments must be in line with the Instrument of Government for the board, and must follow the appropriate process for the category of governor:

Type of governor Appointment/election process Term of office*
Headteacher A governor by virtue of their employment, unless they choose not to be. Whilst in post.
Staff governor All eligible teaching and non-teaching staff at the school are able to stand for election, and vote in the election. As detailed in the Instrument of Government.  They would cease to be a governor if they leave the school before the end of the term of office.
Parent governor All eligible parents are able to stand for election and vote in the election. As detailed in the Instrument of Government, they are not required to stand down if their child leaves the school.
Co-opted governor Identified and appointed by the governing board. As detailed in the Instrument of Government.
Local authority governor Nominated to the board by the local authority, The board can accept or reject the nomination.  As detailed in the Instrument of Government.
Foundation/trust governor Appointed by the trust, diocese or other organisation associated with the school, as set out in the Instrument of Government.  Some foundation governors may be governors by virtue of their employment e.g. a local priest. As detailed in the Instrument of Government.


  •  With the exception of the head teacher and any other ex-officio governors, the default term of office is four years from the date of appointment.  The board can agree to shorter terms of office, but this must be clearly stated on the Instrument of Government. 

Process for appointment/election of governors

Staff governor election

Parent governor election

Co-opted governor 

Local authority governor – anyone can apply to become a local authority governor, provided that they do not meet any of the disqualification criteria.  The application form can be accessed using this link.  If you would like further information please contact  The completed application and references will be considered by a panel of local authority officers and if approved, a matching process will take account of the applicants stated preferences (e.g. phase) and the skills requirement as notified by the school, before making nomination to a board.  It is vital that boards keep the local authority informed of the progress of the nomination, and if accepted, the date of appointment.

Foundation/Trust governor – each trust, foundation or diocese will have their own way of identifying and appointing governors to your board.  You should ensure that the appointing body are notified of any resignations from this category of governor so that they are aware that they need to make an appointment to your board.