Introduction to Governors

Welcome to the Wirral Governors webpage the following information is a guide to the governing body.  Further information can be obtained from the Wirral Governor Support Service email: governorsupportservice@wirral.gov.uk or telephone: 0151 666 5215.

Introduction

By law every school must have a governing body.  Wirral has 125 schools and almost 2000 school governors.

The term of office of a governor is four years, but there is nothing to stop them resigning within that four years.  It is estimated that it can take a couple of years to fully get to know the job therefore, governors are encouraged to carry on for a further term of office if circumstances allow.  Many governors in Wirral have been in office for longer than ten years.

Employment law states that employers must give employees who are school governors 'reasonable time off' to carry out their duties.  The employee and employer have to agree on what is 'reasonable time off'.

Employers may give time off with pay, but do not have to do so.  This is for discussion between the employee and the employer.

Employers have a legal obligation to permit employees who are in the following categories to have reasonable time off during working hours:

  • a Justice of the Peace
  • a member of any statutory tribunal
  • a member of a Regional Health Authority
  • a member of the managing or governing body of an education establishment

If you are an employee of Wirral Borough Council the Chief Executive is authorised for these purposes to grant employees leave of absence with pay for up to 18 days in any leave year subject to deduction of any allowance received.

With regard to duties as a member of another local authority, leave of absence with pay for up to 208 hours in any leave year is permitted in accordance with provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, subject to the deduction of any allowance received.

You can download a guide to educational terms and abbreviations to help with any unfamiliar jargon.

What a Governing Body Does

Part of a school governing body's responsibilities are to:

  • promote high standards of educational attainment
  • agree the School Improvement plan
  • set an annual budget detailing planned spending
  • approve a staffing structure
  • make sure that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, in particular that the National Curriculum and Religious Education are taught, and report on pupil's achievement in National Curriculum assessments and examinations results
  • draw up an action plan following an Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) report
  • produce policies on a number of issues including Sex Education, SEN
  • appoint staff, ensuring the implementation of a range of personnel procedures
  • secure high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour
  • ensure the health & safety of pupils and staff
  • develop the strategic plan for the school, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability
  • deal with complaints against the school

Basically, governors work in partnership with the Headteacher/staff and oversee the work of the school to make sure that it provides a good quality education for its pupils.

Apply to Become a Governor

Community governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work or live close to the school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.

Being a school governor is demanding but rewarding and a good way of putting something into your local community.

The most important thing you can offer is your time and enthusiasm.  You will need to be able to attend meetings and be willing to read up on relevant issues, allowing time to prepare for the follow-up meetings.

It is not necessary to be an expert on education issues, but you should be motivated and have a strong desire to improve the education of young people.

More information is available from the NGA website.

To apply to become a governor, please download the expression of interest form (also avilable on the righthand side of this page).  This form requires a written signature and therefore, the completed form should be either returned in hard copy form or a scanned signed copy emailed to the address below:

Governor Support Service
Professional Excellence Centre
Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton Street
Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 5BR

Email: governorsupportservice@wirral.gov.uk

There are a number of Wirral schools presently looking for community governors.  If you are interested type 'School Vacancies' in the search engine, then choose 'Job Vacancies', then 'School Vacancies (non teaching)' and choose 'School Governor Vacancies'.