What does a school governor do?

The main responsibilities of the governing body are to:

  • set the strategic direction of the school
  • hold the headteacher to account
  • oversee the financial performance of the school

Typically, with school visits, reading and meetings, you might expect to spend 10-15 hours per term on the role. As well as the obvious benefits to schools of having strong governing bodies, there are also clear benefits to you as an individual.

Four good reasons to get into school governance

  1. You’re supporting your local community
    You have a role in improving the educational outcomes of tomorrow’s workforce.
  2. It can give you a professional advantage
    It’s a cost effective way to develop your business skills such as strategic thinking, performance management, recruitment and data analysis, and gives you lots to talk about in job applications and interviews.
  3. It gives you a sense of well-being
    Being part of a team working towards a shared goal to improve educational outcomes, can be really rewarding and give you a real sense of satisfaction.
  4. You’ll benefit from accessible support and training 
    We have recently launched this new, free School Governor Induction module, which is accessible anytime, on any device. It provides a great grounding in everything a new or prospective governor needs to know, presented in a highly engaging, interactive format.

A school governor’s perspective

Astrid Soiza work as an Assessment Regulations and Complaints Officer at LSE and is a school governor for SGOSS in her spare time. When asked about her experience, Astrid stated:

I have been looking for volunteer opportunities for some time and this seemed to suit me perfectly. Most of my career has been working in operational roles and I was looking to do something a bit strategic. I had been working at the university for several years and have always been interested in education, so being a governor through SGOSS was a chance to get involved in the field from a totally different perspective.

I was fortunate enough to be placed by SGOSS in an Outstanding School, so evidently some excellent work has been done before I arrived – schools don’t get an outstanding rating without an outstanding governing body. As governors, we get to bring an impartial, external perspective, and it’s very satisfying to be a part of solving these challenges and projects.

It’s incredibly rewarding – I’m relatively new, but I’ve already met some very interesting people, learned new skills and feel like I have a contribution to make. For me, it’s been a push to learn more, do more and get involved with my local community in a different way. I honestly feel that I have gained more from the School than they have from me at this point, and I hope this will make me a great governor over the next few years.

Your schools need YOU!

Schools in London, and across the country, are increasingly looking for motivated, skilled individuals to volunteer on their governing bodies. SGOSS is delighted to be collaborating with LSE to reach out to students, staff and alumni, to spread the word about the role of the school governor, and to share some of the benefits of getting involved.

The key skills that you are using daily on your course, or in your workplace, such as data analysis, and problem solving, are highly sought after by schools. You will form part of a team of committed individuals, with a broad skill base, working together to directly impact school strategy and, ultimately, lead to better outcomes for children.

To find out more about becoming a school governor, please see the role description on LSE CareerHub, visit the SGOSS website, email SGOSS on info@sgoss.org.uk or call us on 020 7354 9805.