Being a governor is an enormously challenging and rewarding opportunity. The personal benefits can be summarised as follows:
- A sense of satisfaction through knowing children will benefit from your efforts.
- The opportunity to develop new skills and to strengthen existing ones.
- The opportunity to work with a wide range of people from a variety of social, culural and religious backgrounds.
- The opportunity to gain an understanding of, and experience in, key areas such as finance, personnel, target setting and strategic planning.
- The opportunity to gain an awareness of the education system as a whole.
- Through solving problems ranging from finance to site management; human resources to marketing; pupil welfare to curriculum development, every governor is guaranteed to broaden their skills and knowledge in some ways and this can be enhanced through training offered by local education authorities and other external bodies. All decisions are made with the consensus of the whole governing body which brings into play the softer skills of teamwork, communication and tolerance.
- There is also the very real sense of adding value and giving children the best possible opportunity in life. The additional opportunity for personal and career development cannot be underestimated.
Under The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2003 a governor must:
- be aged 18 or over at the time of his/her election or appointment. Pupils may be governors but few are likely to be eligible;
- not hold more than one governorship at the same school;
- not be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983;
- not be bankrupt;
- not be subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under the Company Directors Act 1986, a disqualification order under Part 2 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, a disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or an order made under section 492(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under county court administration order);
- not have been removed from the office of trustee for a charity by the Charity Commissioners or High Court on grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement, or removed under Section 7 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 from being concerned in the management or control of any body;
- not to be disqualified from working with children;
- not be included in the list of teachers or workers prohibited or restricted from working with children or young people;
- not be disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State;
- not have been sentenced to 3 months or more in prison (without the option of a fine) in the 5 years before becoming a governor;
- not have received a prison sentence of 2.5 years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor;
- not have at any time received a prison sentence of 5 years or more;
- not have been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the 5 years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor;
- not be appointed clerk to the governing body;
- submit to any request by the clerk to the governing body to make an application under section 113 of the Police Act 1997 for a criminal records certificate.
Please note that checks by the Criminal Records Bureau are carried out to ascertain whether you are ineligible to serve on the governing body of a school because either:
- You are disqualified from working with children by Section 35 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000; or
- You contravene one of the conditions imposed in the school governance regulations.