Being a Parent Governor


Governors are in a unique position on a Governing Body. Not only do parent governors have to work in the best interests of the school, but they have to balance this with their natural desire to see the best outcomes for their own child(ren).

The Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body acts collectively and the first loyalty of every governor must be to the school. Governors support the staff and headteacher of the school but also act as a ‘critical friend.’ The role is strategic, not operational. This means that the role of the Governing Body is to plan long term for the school, make sure it is well staffed and spends its budget wisely, and to help construct all the general policies which make the school an efficient, caring and fair environment for learning. It is the delegated responsibility of the headteacher to manage the space, time, equipment and people on a daily basis and respond to any inappropriate behaviour or dangerous situation as it occurs.

The Role of the Parent Governor

Like all other governors, parent governors have three strands to their role:

  • Take a strategic role
  • Act as a critical friend
  • Ensure accountability

What are the good bits about being a parent Governor?

  • You have a very privileged and responsible role
  • You have the opportunity to make a difference for children now, and in the future
  • You have an opportunity to make a difference for parents and to influence the way in which school works with them
  • You will learn a lot and develop new skills

How to fulfil your role:

  • Attend Governing Body meetings regularly. These are held three times a year, usually at the end of the working day, and can last up to 2 hours.
  • Play an active role in sub-committees and decision making
  • Learn all you can about the school
  • Be approachable to other parents, but make sure you are clear about your role
  • Always represent the school positively
  • As a governor, you are one of a group and must never act alone
  • Always support the decisions of the full Governing Body
  • Have your say on decisions in meetings, and vote in the way you wish, but then support the outcomes of the vote, even if you disagree with them
  • Always, always observe confidentiality. You will get to know a lot of highly sensitive and confidential information.. Do not discuss this with anyone who is not a governor. A governor can be suspended for serious breaches of confidentiality.