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School governors

School governors are skilled, motivated people who are committed to making an improvement in our schools.

Every school in Bedford Borough has its own governing body which is made up of staff from the school, parents and members of the public who are committed to serving the best interests of the school and contributing to the school's efforts in raising standards.

Learn what it means to be a governor through the Governors for Schools' governor stories.

Apply to be a school governor

We are looking for people who:

  • have an interest in education
  • can give active service to the community
  • can help our schools provide the best education for each child
  • would like to be part of a team dedicated to achieving this
  • have the time to make a commitment to learn about the role, attend training and ongoing professional development

Apply to be a school governor

To find out more, please email

All applications go to:

Governor Training and Development Coordinator
Bedford Borough Council, School Improvement Team
5th Floor, Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
Bedford MK42 9AP

We work with Governors for Schools to address recruitment needs in Bedford Borough schools. By finding, nurturing and supporting a committed network of governors we help to drive systematic change in how schools operate.

Inspiring governance

Inspiring Governance connects skilled volunteers interested in serving as school governors and trustees with schools in England. It also provides free, expert support for volunteers and governing bodies, as well as for employers wanting to run programmes for their staff serving as school governors..

Academy Ambassadors

Academy Ambassadors provides a free, bespoke service matching business people and professionals with multi-academy trusts looking to strengthen their boards.

If you are looking for governors for your Academy or if you are interested in becoming an Academy Ambassador yourself visit this website to find out more.

How much time does it take to be a school governor?

It is difficult to say precisely as each governing board operates in its own way. However, the full governing board must meet once a term and these meetings are of about two hours duration.

In addition governors will be expected to join a committee and the committee will meet each term. Governors will be expected to make a visit to the school at least once a year.

Who can become a school governor?

Nearly all people over the age of 18 can become a school governor, although safeguarding checks will be made. A willingness to learn and to attend training is also important.

Most people can qualify, but there are a few things that can disqualify you. Check the disqualification sheet (PDF).

Governors must adhere to the Seven Principles of public life and the Code of Conduct for their governing board. New governors are expected to attend Induction training for new governors.

Governing boards are made up of several categories of school governors who are elected or appointed in different ways. These include staff governors, parent governors, co-opted governors, local authority governors and those appointed by religious foundations.

Some governing boards also have associate members who are appointed in the same way as governors but may be appointed for a particular skill or with a view to being considered as a governor when a vacancy becomes available. This is to help the governing boards reflect the communities that they serve and to enable the governing board to appoint to the skills they need.

In maintained schools the composition is determined by the instrument of government which has been agreed by the governing board. For an Academy the composition is detailed in the Articles of Association. Every school has a governing board which varies in size usually between 9-15.

Please complete the application form if you would like to be introduced to a school with a suitable vacancy which will normally be the co-opted category. If you are interested in a particular school you can also contact the head teacher to ascertain whether there are any vacancies.

How long do governors serve?

The Head teacher is a governor by right of their office. All other governors’ term of office is four years, although occasionally this can be less.

Governors are elected or appointed and can serve further terms of office if they are reappointed or re-elected.

What help is there for governors?

Many governing boards provide help for new governors such as a mentor.

We provide support for all governors, including new governors:

  • New governors receive a Welcome booklet with helpful information about governance
  • New governors induction training
  • School Governor Annual Training Programme – available to all governors from all schools, academies and free schools across Bedford Borough
  • Access resources through GovernorHub 
  • Telephone and email assistance

Governing boards

The number of governors on a school governing board varies.

A governing board can choose to have a minimum of seven governors with no stipulated maximum number.

For Academies the number of governors on a governing board will be recorded in the Articles of Association.

Governors work together as one board, they have corporate responsibility and only act alone if delegated to do so by the whole governing board.

The work of the governing board is to provide strategic management for the school – what does this mean? Governors, alongside the Head teacher, set the aims and objectives for the school. They then oversee the policies for achieving those aims and objectives and finally set targets for achieving those aims and objectives.

Categories of governors

Categories of governors vary between types of school, but all schools and academies have parent governors and the Head teacher or principal has the right to be a governor. Governing boards may include:

  • parent governors
  • staff governors
  • Local Authority governors
  • foundation governors
  • co-opted governors
  • partnership governors

Governing boards may also have:

  • Additional governors – appointed by the Local Authority to schools causing concern
  • Associate members – not governors but appointed to the governing board because they provide an area of expertise

See paper below detailing categories of governors and how they are elected or appointed.

Governing board meetings

The governing board must meet at least three times in a school year. These meetings are usually after school or in the evening and generally last around two hours. Meetings are also informed by the work of governing board committees, to which most governors belong.

The governing board usually elect a Chair and Vice Chair of Governors annually. The Chair is responsible for leading and facilitating governing board meetings.

The governing board appoint a Clerk to the governing board. The Clerk is responsible for organising the business, sending relevant documents and information to governors in advance of the meeting and then taking minutes of the meeting. Clerks also provide procedural advice to the governing board.

Useful websites


National Governors' Association

Advisory Centre for Education 

Department for Education 


Governors (ISCG)