The governing body’s main tasks are to ensure that pupils receive high quality education, to plan for future development and improvement, and to support the school.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do governors do?

The purpose school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school.’  Their overriding responsibility is to work in partnership with the Head Teacher to promote continuous improvement in the performance of the school.

The governing body’s three main roles are:

  •  Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Head Teacher 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.

Its responsibilities include:

  • supporting the school
  • seeing that the school is run effectively so that it provides the best possible education for its pupils
  • helping to establish the values, ethos, aims and policies of the school
  • planning for future development and improvement
  • monitoring pupil achievement
  • monitoring the progress of the school
  • monitoring compliance with statutory requirements
  • helping to decide how to spend the school’s budget and monitoring the budget
  • selecting the Head Teacher and undertaking the Head Teacher’s performance management
  • acting as a link between the local community and the school
  • ensuring the buildings are properly maintained

How much time is involved in being a parent governor?

This will vary, but the basic commitment is likely to be about 6 hours per month, including at least:

  • 1 governing body meeting per term. These are two hour evening meetings.
  • 1 or 2 committee meetings per term. Each governor also serves on one of the sub-committees of the Governing Body which discuss Finance and Staffing, the Curriculum, the Building and Health and Safety issues etc. These are 90 minute morning meetings
  • Working groups. The Governing Body may also form working groups to address particular issues.
  • Reading the agenda and other papers and preparing for the meetings.
  • Training. The Induction Training for New Governors is a one-day training, usually on a Saturday. Thereafter, at least one training session a year. These training sessions are often in the evenings and generally last for a couple of hours.
  • Visiting the school. Governors may expect to make at least one visit a year to the school during the school day and also to attend school events to show support for the school.

 What support is available for governors?

There is lots of support available to help you to understand and carry out your role.  Our current governors will provide advice and support and be happy to answer your questions.  Islington offers a welcome pack of information, an extensive program of training sessions, access to on-line training courses and resources and termly briefings, the notes of which are sent out to all governors to keep them informed of developments in education policy and current best practice.  The school is able to cover child-care expenses for governors to attend regular meetings of the governing body and its sub-committees and to attend training courses.  Employers should give employees who are school governors “reasonable time off” work to carry out their duties.  All new governors are expected to attend the DFE Induction Programme during their first year.  This is a one day training program delivered by Islington.

How can I find out more about being a parent governor?

To find out more about the role, please contact Rosemary Marsh, our Chair of Governors via

What skills and attributes do governors need?

No particular qualifications or experience are needed.  The most important qualities for any governor are a commitment to the welfare and achievement of the children, a desire to make a positive contribution to the school, common sense and a willingness to commit time to the role.  Many of the functions of the governing body are statutory, or have a legal framework, and they are accountable for large sums of public money.  In order to carry out our core strategic roles, governors need to be able to think strategically and plan ahead, to interpret data, to scrutinise, challenge, monitor, and evaluate, and to account for decisions. With this in mind, we believe that the following skills and attributes are essential for all governors:

  • Commitment to improving education for all pupils
  • Commitment to the school’s vision and ethos
  • Ability to work in a professional manner as part of a team and take collective responsibility for decisions
  • Willingness to learn
  • Basic literacy and numeracy skills
  • Basic IT skills (i.e. word processing and e-mail)

We are continually engaged in succession planning and we need governors who are willing and able to take on leadership roles within the governing body as they arise, e.g. as Chair, Vice-Chair or Chair of a Committee, or as link governors with particular responsibility for areas of our work, e.g. SEN, Equalities, Safeguarding, Attendance and Heath and Safety. These roles require a significant additional time commitment.

Guidance for the Conduct of Candidates for Election as Parent Governors

The school is providing this guidance to candidates with the objective of:

  • Having an election process which is fair to all candidates.
  • Ensuring that all candidates receive the same information and guidance about the election process.
  • Ensuring that parents are well informed about the candidates and are able to make informed choices in the election in the best interests of the school.

The school will provide opportunities for candidates to communicate with parents by:

  • Distributing to all parents a document including candidates’ 300 word statements, and for candidates who wish it, their photographs and contact details.
  • Arranging a coffee morning at which parents can meet candidates before the election.

Candidates are encouraged to talk individually to other parents about their candidacy. No other form of canvassing within the school grounds is permitted.

Neither the school nor any other body has any authority to enforce guidance in relation to the conduct of candidates outside the school. However, we would ask candidates not to engage in canvassing activities other than talking to parents, and in particular not to solicit support by text messages or through social media, to produce or distribute any kind of leaflet or poster, or to carry or display any kind of placard or banner.