How to Become a Governor

The Governing Board is made up of two elected Parent Governors, Mr Peter Vernon and Mrs Niki Child. The Interim Executive Co-Headteachers, Mrs. Christine Boxall and Mr. Chris Norris. The elected Staff Governor is Mrs Orla Gibbons. The LA Governor is Mrs Anne Vetch. The three Co-opted Governors are Mrs Siobhan Tywang, Mr Gareth Burcher and Mrs Nicky White. The four Foundation Governors are Mrs Jan Crawford, Mr Robert Stockdale, Mr Kester Horn and Rev’d David Macha.

How could I become a Governor?

School governors and make a valuable contribution to children’s education, opportunities and futures.

Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England.

Schools in general and UWPF in particular, need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has repeatedly noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.

Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is plenty of training available to help you learn about education. Our schools and Federation need and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on our governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.

As a governor of the Federation you would be able to:

  • Use your own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations
  • Develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment
  • Make a valuable contribution to education and your community
  • Support and challenge the school so that it improves for pupils and staff
  • Bring your unique experiences, perspectives and insights in to decision-making in the interests of the school community

What governors do?
The governing board provides strategic leadership and accountability in schools. It has three key functions:

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

Governors set the aims and objectives for the Federation and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the Federation  is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher. In action, this means:

  • Appointing and performance reviewing the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay
  • Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
  • Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
  • Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary
  • Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
  • Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school
  • Visiting the schools, during and outside the school day, scrutinising pupils’ work, and observing how policy is being put into practice

Governors must be prepared to adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. 

Governors should also be committed to their role and to young people; confident in having courageous conversations; curious with an enquiring mind; able to challenge the status quo to improve things; collaborative to build strong relationships; critical to improve their own work and that of the board; and creative in problem solving and being innovative.

What would be expected of me?
The average time commitment is 10 hours per month, although it will vary depending on the needs of the school and the role. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits. As well as full governing board meetings, we have various committees, both standing and ad hoc, four of our Governors assume the link governor role with each school and all Governors are linked to some aspect of the curriculum and or school life. 

Like magistrates or members of a jury, school governors and trustees have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties, although this may be unpaid. Your company’s HR department will be able to tell you about its policy Governance is a voluntary role and therefore it is not paid. Some schools and trusts may pay travel and other expenses, but this is not the policy of the UWPF board.

At the present time there are no vacancies of the UWPF Governin Board. However if you are interested please do contact us: we can arrange an informal visit and meeting  and then by mutual agreement place your name on our list of potential Governors to be contacted as and when vacancies do occur.

Role of different governors

Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.

Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors.

Staff governors are elected by the school staff. They cease to hold office when they cease to work at the school. The Headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office.

The headteacher may at any time resign as a governor, and withdraw their resignation, in both cases by notifying the clerk in writing. Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body. They are not political appointments. The local authority can nominate any eligible person as a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set. Foundation governors are appointed or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold ( one of our Foundation Governors is an ex officico Governor as Rector
of Linton Parish Church) or by the Diocese or by appointed by the Lord Craven Trust.( Burnsall)

A foundation governor is someone who, in the opinion of the person entitled to appoint them, has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school, and who is appointed for the purpose of securing:

  • in all cases, that the school’s character (including religious character where it has one) is preserved and developed; and
  • that the school is conducted in accordance with the foundation’s governing documents.

Co- opted Governors are appointed by the governing body.. The governing body may only appoint a person as a co-opted  governor if they believe that they have the skills needed to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: in the case of the UWPF we have three.

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