Being a Governor

Who can be a governor at Worden?

You could become a school governor if you are aged 18 or over and:

  • Want to make a positive difference to the education of young people;
  • Can get on with other people and work as part of a team;
  • Are ready to learn and open to new ideas;
  • Are willing to put something into your local community.

You don't have to have a child at the school to be a governor. However, you do have to be over 18, and pass a formal check for your suitability to be within a school.

What skills or experience do I need?

No specific qualifications are required, you'll get full training and support to make sure you are fully equipped to carry out the role successfully. It is your lay and community experiences that the governing body requires. What's really important is that you have the skills, time and commitment to help drive school improvement and the passion and ambition to achieve the best possible education for children and young people.

What does being a governor involve?

To be an effective Governor you need to be committed to playing an active part yourself and working as part of a team with your fellow governors and the school. You should want to make a positive difference to the education of local children and be able to provide robust challenge and hold school leaders to account whilst listening to and respecting the views of others.

You should be willing to ask questions and act as a critical friend. You also need to be able to focus on the strategic role governors have rather than becoming involved in operational matters. You should also be committed to your ongoing development as a governor and be willing to get to know the school well. You need to have some time to spare to attend meetings and to read the necessary papers.

What do the Governors do?

The governing body is responsible for setting general policies, adopting a school improvement plan and budget, monitoring the academy’s performance, making major policy decisions and appointing senior staff. Certain of these responsibilities are delegated to the following sub committees, which make recommendations to the full governing body:

  • Business and Resources;
  • Pupil, Curriculum and Learning;
  • Audit and Risk.

The Governing Body and each of its main sub committees meet at least once a term. Governors are members of at least one of the Committees.

Governors may also support the senior leadership team and teaching staff in various way. These include attending the Open Evening and the various other events that the school organises, supporting the mock interviews that the school holds for pupils and being a link governor with one of the school departments.

Some of our current governors have explained why they became a governor, what it means to them and what they have been involved with since becoming a governor.

‘I became a governor about a year ago. During my first year as a governor I have been involved in a variety of events such as the Health Mela which was hosted by the school, the Leyland Festival Parade which included having my face painted in the school colours, Presentation Evenings and Open Evenings at the school. I have attended the full governor’s meetings, which are interesting and give you an overview of how the school runs. We have been recruiting some new teachers and I was part of the selection panel that completed the interview process. I am looking forward to helping the school in other ways over the next twelve months. I did not know what to expect when I became a governor, but it has been enjoyable and I feel as if I am making a contribution to the school and the surrounding community.’

‘I became a governor as my children previously attended Worden and I felt that I had time to make a useful contribution to the school when I retired.’

‘I am an experienced recruiter/selector and I have been able to use this experience when sitting on interview panels to select new teaching staff at the school and support mock interviews for pupils. I have contributed to the school’s bid for the Lancashire Evening Post’s Education Awards for a few years and also, this year, to the Educate Awards. During my time on the governing body I have attended Open Evenings, Career Days, the Health Mela and as many school activities as possible, including drama productions and Presentation Evenings.

‘I have carried out link governor visits to speak to teaching staff and to discuss any issues that they may have. This helps build a positive relationship between the Governing Body and the teaching staff and improves my understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in different parts of the school. I can see how policies are being implemented, improve my awareness of areas of the curriculum and see how any issues are dealt with on a day to day basis by the staff. From all this information I am able to give feedback to my governor colleagues on what I have observed and improve the Governing Body’s decision making.’

‘I am proud to think that I can make a difference as a governor, helping to reinforce the beliefs of the school as it strives to become 'Outstanding'. As a teaching member of staff I can really speak up for what is positively happening in the school. I was a governor at Worden previously and I re-joined the governing body more recently.’

‘My work as a governor can inform the various committees of the fantastic things that are happening, over time, at Worden. I really enjoy the LEP awards, the Christmas Fair, the bingo evenings, getting involved in the Health Mela, meeting Link Governors who connect with my subject in school, and I have the pleasure of helping at Leyland Festival. The Leyland Festival has been, and is, an important occasion where the local community can speak with governors and staff in an informal atmosphere, gaining a comprehensive insight into what Worden really stands for as an academic establishment. This is a brilliant school and I am proud to be both a teacher and a governor!’

‘I have always had an interest in education. My role as a governor enables me to see how pupils are encouraged to reach their full potential for when they leave school. Both pupils and teachers are always welcoming and like the opportunity to show their work.’

Examples of the sort of things that I have been involved with during the year as a governor at Worden
I am a member of the Pupil, Learning and Curriculum Committee.
I am chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
I have attended staff and head boy/head girl interviews.
I have worked with the Director of Business and Finance reviewing the risk register.
I have sampled the food for quality and range of choice, and reported back to the Deputy Headteacher.
I have been involved in reviewing school policies.
I have been involved in the annual mock interviews.
Pupil disciplinary meetings.
I have been interviewed by Ofsted inspectors.

Events I have attended
The Christmas pantomime.
Open Evenings.
The Leyland Festival, helping on the refreshments counter.
The L.E.P. awards ceremony.

Challenges that I may have had in the role
One of the biggest challenges is being able to fit in the link governor visits or any events that happen during the day, as I still work. I do not work on regular days, so find it hard to plan ahead.
What I like the most
The mentorship and the support from fellow governors.
Being part of the education system.
The friendliness of everyone at the school.
Any way that it has benefited me since I became a governor
I feel like I am contributing to the community and able to use from transferable skills from my career.
To get the best out of being a governor, it really helps to visit the school during the day to meet the staff and pupils.

You can also download the 'Being a Governor at Worden' brochure.