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School governors and trustees

Could you help make a real difference to children’s life chances in Norfolk?

The role of school governors and trustees is a vital one.  In fact, school governors form the largest volunteer force in the country!  However, although this is a voluntary role it's certainly not an amateur one, with its key aim of improving the educational outcomes of children.

The key roles of governing/trust boards are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

The role of governor or trustee is primarily a strategic one, and requires many of the skills you may already have in other areas of your life, for example financial expertise.  Governors and trustees are appointed on the basis of a wide range of skills.  Each governing/trust board will be looking for skills which complement the rest of the team.

The role does not involve the day to day management of the school.  This is the role of the headteacher.

The time commitment varies, depending on the school and the how involved you want to be.  Here are some of the main expectations of the role:

  • Attending meetings of the full governing/trust board (often six times a year)
  • Attending committee meetings (often six times a year)
  • Understanding a wide range of information about the school/academy, including statistical data, policies and plans, and various reports from the headteacher and other education professionals
  • Visiting the school in a monitoring role to see how plans are taking shape
  • Attending induction training and taking part in continuous professional development
  • Being prepared to sign up to a code of conduct in line with the expectations of the Nolan Principles of Public Life
  • Being aware of the statutory requirements placed on governing/trust boards
  • Undertaking an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Check
  • Being prepared to hold courageous conversations in the interests of children and young people!

You need to be over 18 to become a school governor.

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