Oxfordshire County Council logo

Introduction to school governance

School governors are people who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education

They form one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards. Oxfordshire County Council has approximately 3,500 governors, striving to improve outcomes for the children in its schools. The role of the governing body plays a major part in the effectiveness of a school.

The Department for Education says:

“Governing boards are the strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school and academy. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education for every child by creating robust accountability for school leaders. Crucially, that means using and being familiar with objective data on the performance of pupils, teachers and finances to ask the right questions and ensure resources are allocated to school priorities.”

John Nash
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools
November 2015

Governors come from all walks of life: there is no requirement to be involved in education, or to be a parent. Indeed, governing bodies seek a diversity of skills, experience and expertise across their membership.

All governing bodies employ a professional Clerk to Governors, who provides administrative and organisational support, and advice on education and governance legislation. To learn more about the role of the clerk, see Clerking competency framework.