The Governing Board has 12 full members, including the Head Teacher and a Staff Governor. There are 4 categories of non-staff Governor drawn from different sections of the community (Parent, Foundation, Local Authority, Co-opted), with each category having its own rules re: eligibility and its own appointment process. All Governor appointments have to be approved by the Governing Board and in some cases accepted by another body (e.g. Diocese).
When a Governor is appointed it is for a specified term of office, usually 4 years, at the end of which they may choose to stand for a further term of office if eligible or stand down, creating a vacancy. Sometimes, if there are changes to the personal circumstances of a Governor, they may withdraw prior to the end of their term resulting in a pre-term vacancy. Before recruiting a new Governor, the Governing Board will typically conduct a skills audit to identify those particular skills or experience which we feels we would benefit from most and this will inform the recruitment process. If you are interested in becoming an All Saints’ Governor, a good first step is a discussion with an existing Governor or you may ask at the School Office for information on current or likely future Governor vacancies.
For Parent Governor posts, a note will usually be sent out to all families with children on the school roll at the time the vacancy is being recruited for, with a brief outline of skills sought, inviting people to come forward if interested in the role. Occasionally, a number of parents say they are interested and, unless there are withdrawals, a paper-based vote takes place. In many cases, however, there is no vote, so please do not let this put you off applying for a post.
Commitment-wise, there are 9 Full Governing Board meetings per school year (3 per term) with an informal pre-meet at the start of each new academic year. A meeting calendar is agreed in advance for the year and these meetings, which are professionally clerked and last for up to 2 hours, take place during and after school-hours to enable governors with different commitments and invited staff members to attend. Governors are expected to undertake training in their own time to remain fully abreast of statutory requirements and be able to apply their knowledge and skills effectively within an educational context.
The School Governance and Workforce Development team within Bradford Council supports all Governors, providing access to Governor briefings and training and development opportunities. New Governors at All Saints’ will be given a school-specific induction and usually be assigned a mentor from amongst the existing Governors. The role of Governor is not currently remunerated.
Usually, people become Governors because they have transferable skills to share, can afford the time commitment and want to make a difference to outcomes for pupils in the school. Although the role of Governor brings considerable responsibility, it is also immensely rewarding and offers a wonderful opportunity to redeploy accumulated life skills within a new context, to work with a group of highly-motivated individuals, to get an insight into the inner workings of a school with all the pressures, challenges and rewards that brings, and most importantly to make a difference to young people’s lives.