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Become a School Governor

“There are immediate and lasting benefits to becoming a school governor.  In volunteering your time, you are making a positive contribution to the success of the school you serve, and are therefore having a real impact on the lives of its pupils, staff and the local community.” 

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Our Local Governing Bodies 

Our Trust is a family of eight schools, located in and around the towns of Abingdon and Wantage. Each school has its own Local Governing Body, or LGB, with between eight and twelve governors apiece.

The governor position is voluntary, and we are extremely grateful to the diverse group of people who commit their time to our schools.

Governor vacancies 

We currently need new governors for a number of our primary and secondary schools.  When you contact us we'll let you know which schools have vacancies at that time and discuss which might be right for you. 

A governor must be age eighteen or over, but aside from this legal requirement we welcome interest from all persons and will not discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. 

Q. What does the LGB do?

The LGB carries much of the responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the school and for monitoring all aspects of performance.

The LGB has three core functions: 

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school 

  1. Holding the headteacher to account for both the educational performance of the school and the performance management of staff 

  1. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent 

The headteacher is responsible for the organisation, operation, management and control of the school, and for the implementation of the strategic plan agreed with the LGB. 

Q. Do I need school sector experience or have children at the school to be a governor? 

Absolutely not.  Most of our governors don’t have children at the school they serve, and few have prior experience of working or volunteering in the school sector.  The most important requirement for a governor is that they are committed to their school, and willing to ask questions and offer appropriate support and challenge to the headteacher.

As well as the assistance you’ll get from fellow governors, our in-house governance team provides a rich programme of induction, training and ongoing support. 

Q. How much time would I have to commit? 

Governors are expected to attend around six evening meetings of the LGB each year.  These typically last for about two hours each.  In addition, we run Trust-wide governance development sessions on four or five evenings each year, and we encourage all governors to attend as many as possible; these sessions last an hour or two each, and are a great way to network with governors from other Trust schools, learn about new ideas and receive training on important governance topics.*

*Subject to prevailing COVID-19 restrictions, some or all of the meetings could take place remotely using video conferencing.

There may be other time commitments if you choose to take on additional tasks for your LGB, which could, for example, see you visiting the school on a normal school day to perform monitoring or to participate in a learning walk.

Did you know?  If you're an employee, you may have the right to ask your employer for time off to fulfil some of your governor activities.  We can provide guidance on this if it's something you want to pursue.

Q. OK, I’m interested.  What next? 

As a first step, please contact Vicky Roberts, our Head of Governance, for an informal chat on the phone or through email.  Vicky will be able to answer your questions, give you specific details about current vacancies and describe the joining process should you want to take it further. 

Contact Vicky: vroberts@vale-academy.org or 07387 019 785 

Thank you, and we hope to hear from you!