Become a school governor

Are you passionate about improving children’s outcomes? Would you like to make a valuable contribution in your local community and support our schools?

We’re currently recruiting local governors to help shape the future of our family of primary schools. Being a school governor is a challenging but extremely rewarding role. In return for your valuable contribution, the role provides: 

  • the knowledge that you’re making a difference to children, the school and the community
  • an opportunity to learn and practice key employability skills
  • strategic management experience
  • free training and support

How it works

Each school in the Ivy Learning Trust has a Local Governing Body, made up of local governors. Their primary role is to set the strategic direction of the school and monitor educational performance. Governors are absolutely vital to the success of our schools.

Being a governor is a voluntary role and has an average commitment of around 10-15 hours a term. This largely consists of attending meetings, visiting schools and reading background material. You’re not expected to be an expert in education – our governors bring a diverse range of different skills, knowledge and experience. You can read some FAQs about becoming a school governor below.

To apply, please complete our online application form. For more information, call 020 3972 4600 or email governance@ivylearningtrust.org.

Governors and trustees are ambitious for pupils, especially for those who are disadvantaged. They check on the school’s performance, identifying areas that are strong and those that need to improve. Because they understand the school’s strengths and weaknesses, they are effective in holding leaders to account for the school’s development.

Lavender Primary School Ofsted Report

December 2019

FAQs about becoming a school governor

What does a school governor do?

School governors are volunteers who work with the Trust and our headteachers to improve standards in our schools. They help to ensure that every child makes good or better progress and that parents and carers are fully involved in their child’s education. Governors are expected to contribute to the strategic direction of the school and hold senior leaders to account by monitoring school performance.  

School governors contribute a range of different skills and experience. The role is largely a challenge and scrutiny one; governors don’t manage a school day-to-day but are required to oversee its long-term development in conjunction with the Trust. 

Who can become a school governor?

You need to be over 18 to become a school governor. You don’t need to be a parent. Governors aren’t expected to have any specific prior knowledge or qualifications and don’t need to come from an education background. We recruit governors with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds as this contributes to the success of our schools.

What are the benefits of becoming a school governor?

As well as the sense of satisfaction that you’re helping to improve outcomes for children, becoming a governor has a lot of other benefits too. You’ll develop new skills, strengthen existing ones and gain valuable board level experience. The role uses key employability skills, including communication, stakeholder engagement and problem solving.

You’ll also gain knowledge of the education system and how it works. If your child attends the school, you’ll be able to influence matters that you’re passionate about and have a say in the strategic direction the school takes.

Will I receive any training to become a school governor?

Yes. Training and support are available for new and existing local governors free of charge through the Ivy Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP). This programme provides local governors and trustees with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to fulfil their respective roles with confidence. A certificate of accreditation is awarded upon successful completion of this programme.

Is being a school governor a paid role?

No, this is a voluntary role and isn’t paid. We will pay reasonable expenses that governors incur through carrying out their duties.

What is the time commitment for being a school governor?

The average time commitment is 10-15 hours per term. This includes attending meetings, visiting the school and background reading.

How long do school governors stay in post for?

The normal term of appointment is four years. However, as a volunteer you can resign at any time if your circumstances change.

Can I have time off work to fulfil my duty as a school governor?

Under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, if you are employed then you are entitled to ‘reasonable time off’ to undertake public duties. This includes school governance. ‘Reasonable time off’ is not defined in law so you’ll need to negotiate with your employer how much time you will be allowed.

How do I apply?

You can either fill in our online application form or email us at governance@ivylearningtrust.org to request an application form.