What the Governors Do

School Governors are volunteers with a wide range of experience who govern the school to support staff, students, and parents, in creating an outstanding and caring learning community.


The accountability role
Governors work together with the headteacher and staff of a school to make sure that schools provide successful teaching and learning for our children and raise standards. Governing bodies exist so that schools are publicly accountable to parents, the Local Authority and the local community for what they do, for the results they achieve, and for the way in which the resources are allocated.

Governors are expected to:-
1. Agree the aims and values of the school
* Agree what the school is seeking to achieve for its children and the community it serves;
* Decide what aspects of school life are most important to the development of children and make sure that these are shared with parents and others in the local community, for example:-

  • behaviour of pupils;
  • moral and spiritual development of pupils;
  • equal opportunities and good relations;
  • the security of the school.

2. Agree policies relating to the aims, purposes and practices of the school

3. Influence and approve the School Development Plan and approve and monitor the
allocation and expenditure of the budget of the school
Make plans so that the school’s aims and those of the national curriculum can be achieved using the money available to do this. When schools receive their allocation of money each year, governors often feel the budget is not big enough to provide for everything the school needs, or to match the aspirations of parents and the staff. The governing body, or a smaller committee of governors will make decisions about how much money is spent on what. For example, spending for equipment, repairs, staff salaries, etc.

4. Make sure the national curriculum is taught and there is sufficient staff to teach it
The National Curriculum sets out the basic subjects which every school is obliged, by law, to teach, together with the standards which children are expected to achieve when assessed at various ages.

5. Monitor and review their school’s progress
The governing body has clear responsibilities shared with the headteacher to make sure that standards are improving. The governing body will need to review the way in which the school works to see whether strengths are being built upon and weaknesses corrected. This requires careful planning, observing the school in action, and making judgements about quality.

6. Ensure individual pupils’ needs are met, including additional needs
Some children have particular disabilities or learning difficulties and others may be particularly able or have very particular gifts. It is the responsibility of the governing body to make sure that the school pays attention to the needs of every child. Making special provision for children with very particular needs will need to be taken into account when the governing body discusses the school budget.

7. Recruitment and Selection of Staff
The governing body is responsible for selecting the staff it wants to work at the school. Headteachers and deputies are appointed by a governing body selection panel, although the full governing body must approve the appointment. The selection and appointment of other staff can be delegated to the headteacher or one or more governors, or one or more governors with the headteacher.

8. Give parents information about the school
It is for the governing body to decide how to keep parents and other interested local people informed about the progress of the school. The governing body must, by law, write a report to parents once a year.

The School Governors Annual Reports (Wales) Regulations 2011 lays down how the governing body’s Annual Report to parents is set out and what basic information must be
given to parents.

9. Produce action plans for improvement following school inspections
There is a Welsh Government programme to ensure that all schools are inspected at least once every six years, carried out by Estyn inspectors. The inspectors will hold meetings to report on what they have found. Where improvements to a school are necessary, the governing body must write an action plan to show how their school is to improve its performance.

10. Establish and maintain positive links with the local business community and the wider community
Schools benefit from good links with local businesses, and there are often people from local business on each governing body. There are many examples where links between local businesses and the school, and links between the school and its wider community can be of  benefit to children, staff and parents.

11. Support the day-to-day operational decisions taken by the headteacher
The headteacher has direct responsibility for managing the staff, resources and pupils of the school, within the policies agreed by the governors (and in certain instances, by the Local Authority). Headteachers’ decisions should reflect particular policies the governing body have previously agreed.

12. Promote the effectiveness of the governing body
Governors may not agree from time to time with other individual governors on the governing body, the chairperson or perhaps with the decision of the majority of the governing body. However, governing bodies are corporate bodies and once a decision has been taken, all governors have a duty to stick to and support the decision. This is a rule which you must observe since individual governors have no powers to act alone under the law.