Apply to become a governor

Every school has a board of governors to represent the public in the running of the school.

Governors bring perspectives from ordinary life and work to school staff and the local authority to help secure the best possible education for children in the school.

To be eligible you must:

  • be 18 or over at the date of the election or appointment
  • have not been paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive 12 month period at the time of election or appointment as a parent governor
  • have not failed to attend governing body meetings without the consent of the governing body for a continuous period of 6 months, beginning with the date of the first meeting missed without the consent of the governing body
  • have not been removed from office as an elected governor within the last 5 years
  • not be the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order, interim bankruptcy order, debt relief restrictions order, interim debt relief order
  • have not had your estate sequestrated and the sequestration has not been discharged, annulled or reduced
  • have not been removed from the office of a charity trustee or trustee for a charity by an order made by the Charity Commissioners or the High Court on the grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement
  • not be the subject of a disqualification order or undertaking under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
  • not be included in the list of people considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people
  • not be disqualified from registration for child minding or providing day care
  • not be disqualified from working with children or subject to a direction under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • not be barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • 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 or since becoming a governor
  • not have received a prison sentence of 2 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 have refused a request by the clerk to make an application to the criminal records bureau for criminal records certificate
  • have the right to live in the UK


Governors are responsible for:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff
  • overseeing financial performance by making sure money is well spent

The role

A school governor takes on the following commitments to help make sure the school is well managed:

  • attend and participate in governor meetings on a regular basis (generally 6 times a year with additional committee meetings)
  • spend some time getting to know your school and attending training and workshops
  • sit on appointments panels that handle staff and pupil discipline issues or complaints against the school

GOV.UK has guidance on the roles and duties of governing bodies.


The benefits of being a governor include:

  • personal development
  • learn new skills including HR, finance and management
  • improve the education in your community
  • potential employers may look favourably on applications from school governors

Some employers grant time off for carrying out voluntary duties.

Choosing a school

We collaborate with Governors for Schools to connect volunteer governors with schools that will benefit from their skills and experiences.

Governors for Schools is a leading education charity that works to place skilled volunteers as governors and trustees on school and academy boards. The charity is committed to diversifying the governance landscape, working to appoint volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds.

They provide volunteers with a range of informative resources to support them in their roles, including eLearning modules, webinars, and more.


Anyone who is committed to helping children achieve their full potential will find that their skills, experience or perspective will be useful.

If you are over 18 and have an interest in raising standards in education, being a governor can be an enjoyable and stimulating way to spend a small amount of time each month.

You can apply by completing the online form:

Last updated 12 May 2023