Volunteer as a school governor

There are more than 500 schools in Hampshire and they all need committed volunteers to be school governors

become a governor
Reasons to volunteer

Being a school governor means being interested in getting the best education for the pupils at the school. Governors can become involved in a range of school matters, which can include recruitment, finance and curriculum.

They also provide a strong link between the school and the local community, and an independent view to support the school on long term development and improvement.

Governing bodies meet on at least a termly basis and governors are also expected to get to know their schools through visits. There are a range of training opportunities available to help governors undertake their duties and develop their understanding of the key areas of school management.

Governors roles and responsibilities
Types of governor

Governance boards of maintained schools and academies are made up from various types of governors. Some are elected posts and for others the appointment is made by the board.

Co-opted governors

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the governing body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

The number of co-opted governors who are eligible to be elected or appointed as staff governors must not, when counted with the one staff governor and the headteacher, exceed one-third of the total membership of the governing body.

Parent governors

Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.

Schools must make every reasonable effort to fill parent governor vacancies through elections. However, the Regulations make provision for the governing body to appoint parent governors where not enough parents stand for election. Governing bodies may only appoint as a parent governor a parent who has, in their opinion, the skills to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school.

A person is disqualified from being a parent governor if they are an elected member of the Local Authority or paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours.

Foundation governors

Foundation governors (at voluntary aided, voluntary controlled and some foundation and foundation special schools only) are usually appointed by the school's founding body, church or other organisation named in the school's instrument of government. Some are governors as a result of being the local priest. These are ex-officio governorships which must be specified on the instrument of government.

All foundation governors are appointed to secure compliance with the trust deed and preserve and develop the religious character of the school, if it has a religious character.

Headteacher

The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office.

The headteacher may at any time resign as a governor, and withdraw their resignation, in both cases by notifying the clerk in writing.

Partnership governors

Partnership governors are found only at foundation and foundation special schools which do not have a foundation of trustees.

These are former county grant-maintained and grant-maintained special schools. Partnership governors must be members of the community served by the school who are committed to the good government and success of the school.

The governing body is responsible for seeking nominations for partnership governors, and for appointing them. Parents of pupils currently at the school, people employed to work at the school, or elected members or local authority employees connected with education cannot be appointed as partnership governors.

Associate members

Associate members are appointed by the governing body to serve on one or more governing body committee. They may also attend full governing body meetings. They are not governors and therefore do not have a vote in governing body decisions, but may be given a vote on decision made by committees to which they are appointed.

Associated members should be appointed because of the specific expertise and experience they can contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. The definition of associate member is wide. Subject to the disqualifications set out in the regulations, the governing body may appoint a pupil, school staff member, or any other person as an associate member so that they can contribute their specific expertise.

This can help to address specific gaps identified in the skills of governing body members, and/or help the governing body respond to particular challenges that they may be facing.

Academies are not permitted to have Associate Members.

Local Authority governors

Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body. The local authority can nominate any person who is eligible to be a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set. In practice, the nomination is made by the local Hampshire County Council councillor.

An individual eligible to be a staff governor at the school may not be appointed as a local authority governor.

Maintained schools have one local authority governor.

Apply to become a governor

If you would like to apply to become a governor in Hampshire please complete a governor application form. Once you have submitted your form Governor Services will forward it on to the appropriate schools or academies that currently have governor vacancies. If you are applying in response to a request from your child’s school to become a parent governor, please contact them directly to get a copy of their application form.

Governor application form

If you know the school or academy to which you wish to apply, please contact them directly to check if they have a vacancy or a post about to become vacant and to request a copy of their application form.

To fill a parent vacancy you will need to have a pupil at the school.

Staff posts are only available to those who work at the school.

Find a school in Hampshire

Guidance for school staff on parent and staff governor elections

Hampshire County Council is the appropriate authority for arranging the election of parent and staff governors. The County Council has delegated the responsibility of ensuring an election takes place to fill parent and staff governor vacancies to the headteachers.

The application form you should use for these elections is accessed via a link in this guidance, you should not direct applicants to use the link to the e-application form in the Volunteer to be governor section of this site. This form is only for people applying for governor vacancies directly to Governor Services.

Guidance to Councillors on the nomination of LA governors

Guidance: nomination and appointment process for Local Authority Governors in Maintained Schools in Hampshire