Governor Support Service

School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education. 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 governors do?

School governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. Governors appoint the headteacher and deputy headteacher. In some schools the site is owned by the governing board. 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; its key functions are to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the Headteacher (a critical friend)

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.

Vacancy for Parent Governor Representative

Local Support and Advice for Governing Boards

Local advice and support will be provided by the Education Improvement Service as follows: 


Providing governing boards with appropriate information to include:

  • Termly Executive Director's reports to the governing board.
  • Termly Executive Director’s report and/or face-to-face briefings for LA governors.
  • Termly Chairs & Vice Chairs meetings led by Executive Director.
  • Termly Forums for Clerks to governing boards.


Providing governing boards with appropriate support and guidance on demonstrating effective governance in accordance with the key principles outlined in the Knowsley Schools Governance Strategy.


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.

Should you have any queries on the nomination/appointment of Local Authority Governing Board representatives, co-ordination of Temporary Governing Boards and Improvement Executive Boards, please contact Catherine Gilhooley at

Knowsley Governor Support SLA

If your school buys into the Service Level Agreement (SLA) through Knowsley for the 2018/19 financial year, this includes “Gold Level Membership” of the National Governors Association (NGA). Access to the NGA online help and support service provides a wide range of information and resources. You can contact the Advice Team on 0121 237 3782 or by emailing
The Gold Level Membership comprises of:

  • Copies of the NGA magazine (produced six times per year) delivered to the home address of three members of the governing body and two additional copies delivered to the school address;
  • NGA weekly email news briefing for all members of the governing body;
  • Access to the members’ area of the NGA website.
  • Three free places per governing body at the NGA AGM Conference.
  • Three free places per governing body at the NGA Policy Conference.
  • Three free paces per governing body at regional NGA meetings.
  • Access to GOLDline.
  • Access to FREE NGA/Educare training.
  • Hard copy newsletters to all governors in subscribing schools and academies twice yearly.
  • One copy per school of the latest NGA guides.

Borough-wide Core Training and Development

A core programme of training for governors is provided by Knowsley using a mix of external consultants and local authority officers from Knowsley Council.

Each governing board that buys into the SLA will have full unlimited access to each of the core sessions which include (but not exclusive to) the following subjects:

  • Induction for new governors.
  • School Data for governors.
  • Curriculum.
  • Ofsted readiness.
  • Effective Chairing.
  • Finance for governors.
  • Holding the school to account – the monitoring role of the governing board.
  • Safeguarding for governors.
  • Using Pupil Premium to narrow the gap.
  • Clerk Development.

If your school has not bought into the SLA you can still access these courses by paying a fee course for each individual course.

Please visit the ASK Knowsley website for further information about the training programme and how to book places.

Useful links