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School Governors

Role of the Governing Body

A strong, well led, governing body supportive of the school, its staff and its mission make a crucial contribution to the school's well-being and effectiveness.

Governors are the strategic leaders within schools and have the responsibility of promoting high standards of educational achievement, ensuring every child in their school receives the best quality education. According to the DfE Governors' Handbook (January 2015), the governing body has three strategic functions;

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

View further information about the training programme available for school governors and the consultancy service which offers in-school training and advice for governing bodies.


Recognition of Outstanding Service to Governance

Governors make up the largest voluntary work force within the country. Their role has changed from a largely passive one to one where they are required by government to take on more and more responsibilities.

As a Diocese, we are greatly indebted to the 1200 or so governors who serve our 84 Church Schools, including Foundation Governors who have a specific duty of care to uphold and maintain the Trust Deed of the school in ensuring the provision of a Christian education for the parish and local community.

As a response, Guildford Diocese is able to award a Bishop’s Certificate to recognise individual governors, (LA, parent, foundation or teacher) who have made a sustained and significant contribution to the life and work of a school.

Headteachers, Chairs of Governors or groups of governors may nominate a governor for this award, which may also be given retrospectively. Simply fill in the application form (DOCX) and return it to ​Jane Whittingdale.

Jane Whittingdale Jane Whittingdale

Schools Services Manager

01483 484911

Foundation Governors

Within church schools, Foundation Governors are appointed by a church body and have additional responsibilities within the governing body;

‘A strong, well-led governing body, supportive of the school, its teachers and its mission makes an important contribution to the school’s wellbeing and effectiveness. The foundation governors will have an especial care for the school’s Christian character.’ 
(National Society 2013)

Foundation governors have the responsibility to secure the character of the school as a Church of England voluntary school, that it is preserved and developed on accordance with the school’s trust deed and its ethos statement. This will include facilitating links between the school and its parish and being involved in the preparation of the school’s self-evaluation prior to a SIAMS inspection, and possibly attending the inspection itself.

Governance of Academy Schools

The governance of academy schools will differ, but the academy trust will be able to give guidance on this. Please contact Sally Condie for advice to governors in the Good Shepherd Trust.


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