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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 you can transfer to the workplace.

Being a school governor is a public duty, so you're entitled to reasonable time off, although this may be without pay.

Who can be a school governor

You can become a school governor if you're:

  • Over 18
  • 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 be a school governor at any time. We'll keep your application on file for 6-12 months for when a vacancy arises.

  1. Read the grounds for disqualification - you'll be asked to declare that you don't meet any of these as part of your application.
  2. Complete the application form and email it to
  3. We'll notify you by email or telephone when a vacancy becomes available.
  4. Before you're appointed, we'll ask you to complete a form about any relevant convictions you have. You'll also need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Find out about DBS checks on GOV.UK.
Apply to become a school governor (206kb pdf)

What a school governor does

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

Read the school governor profile on the National Governance Association.

Meetings and time you'll need to commit

School governors usually stay in the role for 4 years. Meetings will usually be held at the school in the evening, outside school hours. They'll run for 1-2 hours.

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 one full governing board meeting each term. Find school term dates in the borough
  2. Serve on at least one 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.

Responsibilities of the governing board

The governing board has 3 core functions - to 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. Find the Governance Handbook on GOV.UK. 

Training and support

We have 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.

Types of governors

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 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

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