Being a School Governor

If you're looking for a way to serve your local church school then have you thought about becoming a Foundation Governor?

Foundation Governors

Every Church School appoints Foundation Governors to be part of the Governing Body. The role of a school governor is to be a critical friend to the school, to support them but also to monitor and evaluate how the school is doing and to hold the leadership to account for the good of all its pupils.

In maintained church schools, there are Foundation Governors whose role is to also uphold the Christian distinctiveness of the school, and in particular its Christian vision and associated values. 

In Controlled Schools (VC) a minority is in place, and they form the majority in Aided Schools (VA). In an Aided School, the number of Foundation Governors must exceed the total of other Governors by two. In addition, one-third of all governors must not be parents of pupils at the school.

If you are thinking of becoming a Foundation Governor, please have a look at the Roles and Responsibilities document and our policy for Foundation Governors in maintained VA and VC schools.  The responsibility of school governors, not just Foundation Governors, has increased over the past few years. They are now called upon to know more about different areas within a school, you might have the specific business skills that a school needs on their board to help move them forward. 

The responsibility for finding and appointing a suitable Foundation Governor is that of the incumbent, governing body, school and the church community. They must also be approved by the Diocese Board of Education. To find out more about the process, DBE approval and the relevant forms please visit our Foundation Governor Appointments page. 

Ex Officio Foundation Governors

All maintained church schools have an ex officio foundation governor seat on their governance board which is reserved for the incumbent of the parish.  This is confirmed by the ‘instrument of government’ of the school.  This document will specify the parish concerned.  The ex officio foundation governor remains a governor of the school for as long as he/she is in post.

Please see the overview HDBE guidance document for clergy, on their role as a governor in Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled church schools.

For further information, please see the latest governance guidance from the Department for Education:  

This document replaces:

  • Governance Handbook
  • Governance Competency Framework
  • Clerking Competency Framework
  • Governance Structures and Roles
  • Statutory Policies for Schools and Academy Trusts

For Academy Trust governance guidelines, please see our Appointments to Academy Board Page.


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