About the role

As a governor or trustee, what will I do?

The governing board has a strategic role with three key functions:

  • Approving the budget and overseeing the financial performance of the school to make sure money is well spent
  • Appointing and holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

As a governor or trustee you will not be involved with the day-to-day running of the school. Governors normally attend meetings in the evening, read and comment on reports and occasionally visit the schools to see first hand the impact of their work.

More and more schools are working together in multi-academy trusts (MATs) or federations – these organisations can be involved in the education of thousands of pupils and command multi-million pound budgets. Their governing bodies are called trust boards, made up of trustees, and they have a strategic role across all schools in the MAT. MATs will be looking for volunteers with experience of corporate governance, finance and/or leadership to become trustees.

For schools that are part of a MAT, the functions and responsibilities of their local governing board may be slightly different, but they still will have a strategic rather than an operational role.

The National Governance Association (NGA) has more information on its website about what governors do, including downloadable role descriptions.

What’s in it for me?

Being part of a governing board will give you experience of working at a strategic level and the opportunity to learn and practice skills that have a direct relevance to employers. These include:

  • strategic leadership
  • budget control
  • data analysis
  • staff recruitment
  • building relationships and networks
  • effective teamworking
  • communication
  • problem solving
  • influencing/negotiation

Just as importantly, your involvement and commitment to a local school could make a massive difference to the future of young people and your community. Your input will help the school to improve and its children to get the best education possible.

Read our frequently asked questions here. 

I’m interested. What next?

Just click the ‘Sign up’ button below and enter some details about your skills and experience. Once you complete your profile, you can search for schools in your area that have vacancies and see the skills they are looking for. Schools in your area will also be able to see your profile and contact you through the system when they have a vacancy that matches your background.

Sign up now


If you are interested, you arrange to find out more, probably through a telephone call. You may want to visit the school. If both you and the school are still interested, you will go through the school’s normal process, which may include an informal interview.

There is no obligation to accept a position that doesn’t meet your skills or interests. All we ask is that you reply to every invitation from a school, either asking for more information or telling them that you would like to decline.

Our resources section gives you more hints and tips on how to be an effective governor.

Please note: Volunteers who accept a governor role will need an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This normally will be arranged by the school or trust.

If you have any questions or require any support, our friendly team are here to help. Please feel free to contact us on 020 7566 4880 or enquiries@inspiringgovernance.org