Governors Support Service

Who are we?

A comprehensive service that draws on an extensive network of highly experienced professionals in schools, the LA and independent providers to ensure the needs and requirements of all schools are fully met. We also deliver a high-quality training programme that gives governors and clerks the opportunity to attend school governance events and briefings which also act as a networking opportunity to share best practice.

What do we do?

Our core purpose is to assist governing boards in fulfilling their core role to the highest possible standard, particularly in relation to:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
  • Rigorously carrying out statutory functions with regards to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils
  • Meeting the requirements of the Competency Framework for Governance and the Competency Framework for Clerking
  • Governor training. The DfE Governance Handbook and School Governance constitution regulations both emphasise the importance of new governors attending induction training and governors having the skills in areas that include the interpretation of educational and financial performance data to be able to contribute to effective governance

What do School Governors do?

School governing boards work as a team to provide strategic leadership to schools. The three core functions of a school governing board are to:

  • set a vision for a school
  • be accountable for school performance and the safety of pupils
  • provide financial probity to ensure that resources are well spent

Governing boards are required to appoint governors meeting the eligibility criteria based on the skills and experienced required by the board.

There are 5 main types of governor that are elected or appointed by the group that they represent.

  • Parent governors - If you are a parent of a pupil in a Redbridge maintained school and meet the eligibility criteria you can be elected or appointed as a parent governor. Please contact your child’s school directly to request if there are any parent governor vacancies on governing board.
  • Co-opted governors - Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria who has the skills and experience required by the governing board can be elected by the governing body to be a co-opted governor.
  • LA governors - local authority governors are required to meet the eligibility criteria and have the skills and experience required by the governing body. The local authority nominates and governing body appoints Local Authority Governors subject to obtaining Debarring Service Clearance.
  • Staff governors - if you are a member of staff in a school and there is a staff governor vacancy on the governing body you can be elected as a staff governor.
  • Foundation governors - foundation governors are only appointed on Voluntary Aided Schools by the founding body.


Apply to be a school governor

If you have a passion for improving the life chances of pupils in Redbridge schools become a school governor. To be appointed or elected onto a school governing body you will need to meet the eligibility criteria below:

  • over the age of 18
  • have no previous criminal convictions
  • have a debarring service check and obtain clearance
  • be willing to meet the time commitment of attending meetings, reading the documentation and visiting the school on focused visits
  • meet the skills and experience required by the individual governing board

The term of office for governors can vary. However, generally governors are appointed for a four year period, however, resignations can be submitted at any stage during that term.

We also welcome general applications as there are many schools that are seeking governors. Particular areas of professional expertise required are legal, accounting/financial budget management, premises/architectural and education.

 Apply to become a governor

We will forward your application to the individual school to contact you directly. If you are interested in a particular school please state this on your application form. If you have any queries regarding the application please email 


All governing boards are required to follow school governance legislation to meet statutory responsibilities as outlined in the Department for Education (DfE) Governance Handbook.

The other key statutory duties are :

  • ensuring safeguarding procedures in place to protect pupils and staff
  • monitoring the school budget and ensuring that school finances are spent well
  • ensuring that adequate and appropriate provision is provided for Special Education Needs (SEN) pupils
  • having statutory school policies 
  • staffing 


Safeguarding is a key requirement for all governing boards. School are required to follow the mandatory guidance issued by the DfE called Keeping Children Safe in Education.

We have produced a model Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy for schools. Schools are advised to tailor this policy to meet the individual school context.

Schools are required to monitor changes in behaviour that may indicate radicalisation and adopt the national PREVENT agenda.

School finances

All governing boards are responsible for ensuring financial probity by having strategic oversight of the school budget and ensuring resources are well spent following the Schools Financial Efficiency guidance.

 Special Educational Needs

Governing boards must ensure that adequate provision is provided for SEN pupils according to the DfE SEN Code of Practice. It is recommended that governing have a designated SEN governor to have oversight of SEN provision.

 School policies

The governing body has a statutory duty to ensure that school policies are reviewed at regular intervals and ratified by the governing body. The DfE has a statutory policy list  which should be followed by governing boards.

Redbridge Council has produced a range of model policies for governing boards to tailor to meet the individual requirements of the school.


Governing boards have strategic responsibility for staffing in schools. This includes ensuring that a staffing structure is in place and staff salaries are set in line with the DfE  School Teachers Pay and Conditions document.

A key task carried out by a designated panel of governors is the Performance Management of the Headteacher.

One of the most important tasks that a governing body can carry out is the appointment of a Headteacher. This involves producing a job description and person specification, advertising and ensuring that you follow a robust selection process. We can assist you with this. Please contact us to obtain details of our Headteacher Recruitment service.


All schools undergo inspections by Ofsted to ensure that school performance is effective. The governing board is accountable to Ofsted and governors play a key part in this. Inspectors will usually request to meet members of the governing body and will also refer to governing body minutes asa source of evidence to make a judgement on the performance of the governing body.

Governors are likely to be required to demonstrate their understanding of the strengths and areas for development of their schools.

Governing bodies are advised to refer to the Education Inspection Framework.


Governors are required to interpret and analyse data to ensure that pupils are making progress and challenge underperformance.

Asking the right questions

Governing boards are expected to provide challenge to schools by asking the right questions which should be recorded in minutes taken by the Clerk to the governing body

School visits

A structured programme of visits should be in place to monitor key areas of the school development plan and for governors to understand areas for development.

We strongly recommend that governors follow the school visits template have a particular focus for their visits, with an agreed appointment and follow up with a record made of the visit.


Governing boards are required to employ a clerk, to coordinate the work of the governing body and provide advice on governing body procedures and statutory requirements. The NGA have produced a job description (PDF 343KB) and person specification (PDF 65KB)  for clerks which can be tailored by schools.

The work of governing body clerks is linked to the work of the governing body in the DfE Clerking Competency Framework.


All governing boards are required to work within the procedures outlined in the following statutory DfE guidance.

Governing Boards are expected to follow the DfE School Governance Competency Framework to ensure that all the statutory duties are met and key responsibilities are being met.


Governing bodies are responsible for ensuring that members have the skills required to carry out their duties and attend training to develop skills that may be required.

For a copy of our training and support services offer, please contact one of the team who will be happy to help you. If you already have a brochure and wish to book onto one of our courses please contact or 0208 708 5664.