Why become a School Governor?

Governors have a wide range of managerial responsibilities and play a central role in the planning, development, monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of school life.

The Role of the School Governor

“The role of the Board of Governors is to manage the school with a view to providing the best possible education and educational opportunities for all of the pupils.  This involves:

  • setting the strategic direction for the school;
  • taking corporate decisions in relation to the statutory functions of the board of governors”.

(Every School a Good School – The Governors’ Role)

The role of the governor, together with the principal and the staff of the school is to contribute to the process of school improvement.  It is important that governors are aware of this role and can fulfil this role by:

  • becoming more knowledgeable about the school and the education system within Northern Ireland;
  • attending properly convened meetings and being prepared for meetings by reading reports and documents relating to school improvement;
  • being aware of and becoming familiar with procedures and guidelines which have been developed on various school issues such as appointments of staff, health and safety and child protection and safeguarding issues;
  • having a knowledge and understanding of the vision for the school through the school’s development plan and the financial plan;
  • having a good working relationship with the principal, staff, parents, pupils and fellow governors.

The skills, experience and attributes that governors gain and develop in their working lives are an invaluable asset to the responsibilities undertaken as school governors.

Becoming a School Governor

Although the position of school governor is a rewarding one being a school governor does involve a commitment to the school as governors are usually appointed in a voluntary unpaid capacity for a 4 year term of office.

Boards of Governors generally meet as is necessary but at least once a term. Governors can also sit on committees to deal with specific issues such as finance or staffing, these committees may meet more frequently.

What makes a good governor:    

  • common sense and the ability to work in a team;     
  • an interest in education and young people;
  • patience, energy, enthusiasm and some spare time; and
  • a willingness to listen, learn and to undertake training.

The document below provides some information on the requirements to be a school governor. The booklet was produced by the Department of Education for use during the four year term of office of a school governor (September 2018 – June 2022). 

Last upated: 19/10/2018