Common myths about becoming a governor

Feb 2, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Governors are absolutely vital to schools. They help to improve standards, ensure every child makes good progress and contribute to the strategic direction of the school. 

Yet many people who would make brilliant governors don’t consider applying because they don’t think they have the right skills or experience for the role. 

We recruit governors with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds as this contributes to the success of our schools. A passion for improving children’s outcomes and a desire to make a difference is more important than what’s on your CV. 

So we’ve decided to debunk some of the most common myths about becoming a school governor and we hope that you’ll consider applying for this incredibly rewarding role. 

1/ I need to be a parent

This is the most common misconception. It’s true that some of our school governors are parents but this isn’t a prerequisite at all.  

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to become a governor and as long as you are committed to improving the lives of young people, you can make a valuable contribution. 

2/ I need to have education knowledge

There are no specific skills or qualifications required to become a school governor and while knowledge of the education sector can be helpful, it’s not essential. We provide free training and support to help you in your role.

We’re looking for people who can bring a wide range of experience to the role, for example legal, human resources, IT, marketing and leadership. And life skills are just as important and valuable too. 

3/ I don’t have time to be a school governor

Being a school governor does involve a time commitment, but it may not be as much as you think. It averages about 10-15 hours per term and this is mainly made up of attending meetings, visiting the school, completing training and background reading. 

4/ I’ll have to quit my job

Being a governor is a voluntary role and many of our governors fit it in around their jobs.  Governors are not expected to get involved in the day to day running of a school. 

If you’re employed, you are entitled to ‘reasonable time off’ to undertake public duties under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and this includes governance. Reasonable time off isn’t defined in law, so you’ll need to negotiate with your employer how much time you’ll be allowed. 

However, most of the work associated with being a school governor can be done outside of working hours and during term-time anyway. 

5/ There’s no diversity on school boards

Traditionally, school boards have been seen as old-fashioned but this is certainly not the case. Diverse boards mean better governance. 

People from all walks of life become school governors and we want our boards to reflect the diverse community our schools serve. Whatever your background, age and skill-set, you have something unique and important to offer. 

We’re currently recruiting for governors across our schools in Enfield and Hertfordshire. You can find out more about becoming a school governor here. For an informal chat about the role, contact Frances Lorente on 020 3972 4600 /