Church of England – National Church Institutions

Church of England schools exist for the common good of the whole community, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive irrespective of their background or beliefs. To become a governor in a church school is to contribute to the whole school community flourishing as part of the wider family of diocesan schools; providing hope, celebrating joy in the life of the school, and rejoicing in the gifts of every child.

“I’ve been a Foundation Governor for 6 years and a Chair of Governors for 4.5 years. Governance has given me a huge amount of leadership experience, helping me develop my strategic oversight skills and understanding. I have learned how to effectively and respectfully offer challenge to bring about change and the best outcomes for our school. All of which has positively impacted my work life. Overall, it has enabled me to give back to the local community and make a small difference to education in the locality.”

Cheryl Govier – CEEO – Growing Faith Foundation – Partnerships Lead

Why get involved? 

Church of England schools are trailblazing the path to becoming net zero carbon schools and the first step in that journey is both through strong governance and greener governance; ensuring that every decision that is taken is through the lens of the impact of that decision on future generations.

The NCIs give permission for staff to spend up to 18 days a year on public and voluntary duties and those could be spent on being a school governor (with your department’s permission). Schools and academies need good governance to flourish, however there is a shortage of governors. Becoming a school governor offers an opportunity:

  • To make a difference in your community,
  • To further develop your skills and experience,
  • To support the flourishing of the next generation of children and young people.

What is required:

  • You don’t need any specific qualifications to become a governor,
  • Schools are looking for a variety of professional skills from different backgrounds,
  • You will need to be able to commit to attending and contributing to regular meetings as part of a set agenda,
  • The time commitment will likely range from 4-8 hours a month depending on the school and which responsibilities you take on.

What are the responsibilities of governing body/board? 

  • To act in the best interests of the school,
  • To articulate and embed the vision, values and ethos for the school across all areas of school life,
  • To have strategic oversight of the school, to monitor is pupils’ achievement and attainment,
  • To oversee the teaching and learning, to review its staffing patterns and to oversee finances,
  • To develop a detailed knowledge of the school and its educational task as well as the school community as a whole,
  • To be supportive of the school, its Headteacher and staff, and care for the wellbeing of the whole school community,
  • To get to know the school through developing knowledge of key data and information and through focussed visits.

Whilst all governors have a duty to uphold the distinctive Christian ethos of a church school, Foundation Governors have a specific legal duty to preserve and develop the ethos of the school, including the religious character and preserve the historic connection between the school, diocese and the local church. There is a demand for more Foundation Governors across the country.

“Our approach to volunteering leave is generous, to enable employees to give something back to their communities whilst furthering personal learning and improving wellbeing. Becoming a school governor could be just the thing for someone with professional skills – for example in say finance, IT, HR, or buildings – who is looking to broaden their expertise into running a complex organisation. Learn about balancing longer term strategy with shorter term decisions on investments, staffing or health and safety. Governing also develops skills in team-working, data analysis, and how to speak with confidence in formal meetings – enabling people from differing and diverse backgrounds to contribute their voice and judgement. You might be surprised what you can bring to the table – it’s well worth considering.”

Chris Hewitt-Dyer Director of People, Human Resources

Your profile can also be seen by local schools and colleges so if it catches their eye they’ll contact you directly.

Simply register using the button above to have your skills matched with a diocese or local church school that needs your help and make a change in your community.