Governor Support Service

What is a school governor?

A school governor is a very rewarding and key voluntary role. It’s a great way to contribute to your local community, make a difference and improve the life chances of all children to ensure they have the very best educational opportunities. Governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management - including by the governing board.

What do school governors do?

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the headteacher and deputy headteacher.  It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and it is governors who work with the headteacher to make the tough decisions about balancing resources.

Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board. Decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board.

The role of the governing board is a strategic one, it has three core responsibilities:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

In order to achieve these responsibilities, the Governing Board works with the school on planning and developing polices and keeping the school under review. Its powers and responsibilities must be exercised in partnership with the Headteacher and staff.

Effective governance is based on six key features:

  1. Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy.
  2. Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance.
  3. People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity.
  4. Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  5. Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements.
  6. Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance.

The headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing body.

There are different types of school governors that sit on a governing board. 

Governor support service

The governor support service provides support and advice to governors and schools so they can carry out their important role in promote high standards of educational achievement for all children and young people in accordance with the key principals outlined in the Knowsley Education Development Improvement Handbook.


This support is provided by:

Nominated point of contact for support and advice

Providing governing boards with appropriate support and guidance on demonstrating effective governance accessed via [email protected]

Information sharing

Providing governing boards with appropriate information to include:

  • Termly Governor Briefings to the governing board
  • Newsletter updates when needed
  • Termly forums for Chair of Governors
  • Termly forums for Clerks to the governing board


Nominate school governors as and when required or determined to include:

  • Nomination of LA governors
  • Nomination of additional governors

Instruments of Government

The making of Instruments of Government:

  • In response to requests from governing bodies
  • In the case of new schools
  • In the case of schools changing category

Temporary governing bodies

Appointment of temporary governing bodies where required:

  • In the case of new schools
  • In the case of schools changing category

Governor Training and Development

A core programme of training for governors is facilitated by Knowsley Governor Support Service.
These include:

  • The boards’ role in financial scrutiny and value for money
  • The role of the Chair and Vice Chair of governors            
  • Headteachers Performance Management – The School Governor’s Role
  • Board’s role in Compliance for Effective Governance
  • Induction for New Governors in Knowsley
  • Safeguarding and pupil welfare - The School Governor’s Role
  • Governor Roles in Formal Panels – a guide

Service Level Agreement

If schools buy the Governor Support Service Level Agreement additional benefits can be accessed to support governors in their key role.
If you have any questions or want more information on any of the service provided please contact the Governor Support Officer by e-mail to [email protected]

There are a range of Local Authority school governor opportunities in schools across Knowsley

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