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Become a school governor

School governors are volunteers who make sure schools provide the best possible education for students.

Most employers will encourage you to become a school governor as you'll gain skills and experience transferable to the workplace. Being a school governor is a public duty, so you'll be entitled to reasonable time off, although this may be without pay.

Who can become a school governor?

You can become a school governor if you're over 18 and:

  • Want to help children reach their full potential
  • Interested in education
  • Enthusiastic and ready to learn
  • A team-player
  • Comfortable asking questions
  • Ready to spend time attending meetings, reading papers and getting to know your school

You don't need any special qualifications to become a school governor. Schools are looking for people with energy, experience and fresh ideas, and you'll be offered support and training.

How to apply

You can apply to become a school governor at any time.

  1. Download the application form.
  2. As part of your application, you'll be asked to declare that you don't meet any of the grounds for disqualification. Read the grounds for disqualification in the guidance notes.
  3. Email your completed form to
  4. Successful applicants will be notified by email or telephone. Your application will be retained on file for 6-12 months and considered by the appropriate board when a vacancy arises.
  5. Before being appointed, you'll be asked:
Apply to become a school governor (224kb pdf)

What does a school governor do?

As a school governor, you'll work with the headteacher and school staff as part of a governing board. Your role will include:

  • Working as a team to support and challenge the school's senior leadership
  • Attending meetings of the governing board
  • Serving on a committee such as Resources, Curriculum or Admissions
  • Representing and promoting your school
  • Taking part in training or development to enhance your knowledge and skills 
  • The option to take on a role such as chair or vice chair

Our schools are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we'll expect you to share this commitment.

How much time will I need to commit?

School governors usually stay in the role for 4 years. 

The time you commit will vary depending on the school, its needs, and whether you decide to take on a role with more responsibility, such as chair or vice chair of the governing board.

At minimum, you'll be expected to:

  1. Attend at least 1 full governing board meeting each term. Find school term dates in the borough
  2. Serve on at least 1 committee such as Resources, Curriculum or Admissions. Committees meet at least once every term.
  3. Spend time getting to know your school well.
  4. Take part in training to support your skills and knowledge.

Where and when will meetings be held?

Meetings will usually be held at the school in the evening, outside school hours. They'll run for 1-2 hours.

Which schools need governors?

There are vacancies for school governors across the borough, including primary, secondary and special educational needs schools. Find a school in the borough.

What are the responsibilities of the governing board?

The governing board has 3 core functions. Together, you'll make sure:

  • The vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined
  • The headteacher performs his or her responsibilities for the educational performance of the school
  • The school's financial resources are used properly and effectively

The Governance Handbook offers further guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards.

What training and support is available?

The borough has a Governor Support Team who provide the following support:

  • An induction pack
  • A newsletter every term
  • Information about statutory functions - what's legally required of you as a school governor
  • A professional clerking service, including administrative support and information management
  • Termly briefings for the chair of the governing board

The Governor Support Team provide a training programme with Rochdale Education and Learning (REAL) Trust.

What types of governors are there?

There are different types of Governors and they're appointed in different ways. All governors have the same roles and responsibilities once they're part of the governing board.

  • Parent – elected by parents at the school
  • Co-opted – appointed by existing members of the governing board
  • Local Authority – appointed by the Rochdale Borough Council
  • Staff – elected by teaching and non-teaching colleagues at the school
  • Foundation – appointed by the relevant Diocese - in church schools only
  • Partnership - appointed by existing members of the governing board

Data protection - how we deal with your personal information

The personal information you provide as as part of your application will be used to facilitate the governor appointment process and to monitor the effectiveness of our policies and procedures.

Your personal information will be stored securely with restricted access and treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

We won't share your personal information with any other third parties, unless there's a legal requirement to do so. We may need to occasionally share your personal information with third party organisations that provide services on behalf of us. In these cases, information we share will be either:

  • Anonymous.
  • Where it isn't possible to be anonymous it'll be kept to the minimum required.

Related pages


01706 925161

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.45pm.

HR and Governor Support Team
Early Help and Schools Service
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU