What is the Governing Body?

What is the Governing Body?


The Government requires that every maintained school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has a governing body. A range of stakeholders are part of our governing body – including staff, parents, the local authority, and members of the local community. Governors are either elected or appointed, depending on their category.


Individual governors have no power or responsibility and may not act independently, it is only the full governing body that has legal duties and powers. However, all governors share in that corporate responsibility. The school’s direction is agreed by the governing body, Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, who work together to raise standards of achievement in the school and also make sure the school is meeting its targets. The Headteacher and Staff manage the school on a day-to-day basis.


The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.


The role of the governing body is a strategic one; its core functions are to:


  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent
The governing body performs these functions through the following key actions:

o   setting the aims and objectives for the school;

o   setting the policies for achieving those aims and objectives;

o   setting the targets for achieving those aims and objectives;

o   monitoring and evaluating the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives;

o   being a source of challenge and support to the Headteacher


Governors are responsible for the appointments of the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the Headteacher to make decisions about balancing resources.

School governors are volunteers who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. They do not have to have children at the school, or need to be education experts or have formal qualifications. Further information on the role of governors may be found at: