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.

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.

Vacancy for Parent Governor Representatives

Two vacancies have arisen for Parent Governor Representatives to sit on the council’s overview and scrutiny committee as a co-opted school parent governor representative. The role will involve acting as a non-political voice for parents and representing the views and concerns of parents on all educational matters.

The appointment will be for a period of two years on a voluntary basis although travel expenses will be paid. Further information can be found via the Parent Governor Leaflet.

Interested candidates can download a nomination form to complete.

​Should there be more nominations than there are vacancies in either category, an election will begin on Monday 11 March 2019 for a period of five weeks. If the number of eligible candidates is equal to or less than the number of vacancies in either category, the candidates will automatically take up their position with effect from Friday 17 May.

If you would like to discuss the nomination and election process, please contact Andrew Bilsborrow on 0151 443 3500
If you would like to discuss the role of Parent Governor Representatives, please contact Catherine Buckley on 0151 443 3357

This Nomination Paper should be returned to:

Knowsley Council,
Democratic Services,
PO Box 21,
Archway Road,
L36 9YU
If you want to drop the form off into Huyton’s One Stop Shop, please address it to:

Andrew Bilsborrow,
Democratic Services,
Huyton Municipal Building,
1st Floor

You may also scan your form and email it to
Please send your form in no later than 5pm on Friday 1 March 2019.

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