Become a Governor

Volunteering as a governor is a great way to contribute to your community and use your skills and experience to improve the lives of local children. There are currently thousands of vacancies across England.

Anyone aged 18 or over and living in the UK can be a governor.Governors do not manage a school day-to-day, but are required tooversee its long-term development. Ultimately, all governor responsibilities come back to this task and can be split into three core roles:

  • Support and challenge
  • Providing strategic management
  • Making executive decisions

I’m not a parent

You don’t need to have children or be a parent of a child at the school to become a school governor.

Time commitment

The average time commitment is 10-15 hours per term. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits.

School governors are like magistrates or members of a jury and therefore have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties (this may be unpaid). Check with your H.R. department for your company’s policy.

Term of office

School governors have a term of office of four years. However, as a volunteer you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.


Governing bodies rely on a variety of experiences and perspectives. No prior knowledge is required. Training and support is available for new and existing governors and is free of charge. We recommend all new governors attend a governor induction programme.

Different types of governor

Governing bodies have representatives of school staff, the local authority, parents and members of the community. Despite representing different groups, all governors have exactly the same role and voting rights. If you are confused by any of the terminology we are always on hand to explain in more detail and help you understand your role.

The legal stuff

Responsibility for actions and decisions lies with the governing body as a whole and not with individual members. In addition the governing body is required by law to be covered by an insurance policy. If you are becoming a governor at an academy the legal position is slightly different, but there’s nothing to be concerned about and we will provide you with all the relevant information.

How to apply

Complete the SGOSS application form online. When applying, you can specify your preference(s) for the type of school and/or your travelling criteria.

SGOSS works in partnership with schools and local authorities tomatch you with the most suitable governor vacancy. We are always on hand to answer your questions and help you through the application process.

Once a suitable vacancy becomes available, the school or local authority will contact you to check if you are still interested. If so, you are usually invited to meet the Head Teacher and/or Chair of Governors at the school.

If you and the school are both happy, a place on the governing body will be offered. If you choose to accept the role, your term as a school governor will begin.