Recruitment, Appointment and Induction


Recruiting to the role of school governor can be a difficult undertaking particularly when seeking the right people, with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity. The information provided here includes recruitment materials which can be downloaded.

The Government published a Competency Framework for Governance to inform the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for effective governance.  A governor skills audit may also have been done to inform recruitment.

Disqualification rules which govern who is able to be a governor are stated in the attached document at the end of this page.

Governor Categories

Schools and academies have responsibility for engaging with the appointment or election of several categories of school governor:

Parent Governor
Shropshire LA delegated its legal responsibility for the appointment of parent governors to schools, specifically to headteachers. Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools are an exception because in Law it is their responsibility. In practice however, they too delegate this function to the headteacher.

Parents (including carers) of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as Parent Governors and are elected by other parents at the school. If only one candidate is forthcoming, he/she is automatically elected (no ballot required). However, if no candidates are forthcoming, the governing body can appoint:

· a parent of a registered pupil at the school, or if that is not possible;
· a parent of a former pupil at the school, or if that is not possible;
· a parent of a child of or under compulsory school age.

NB: For special schools the appointment criteria are slightly different. See for more information The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 Schedule1, paragraph 11 and 12.

Shropshire’s parent governor election procedure 2019

Staff Governor

Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible to stand for election as staff governors and are elected by school staff.

Shropshire’s staff governor election procedure 2019

Local Authority Governor

Local Authority governors are formerly LEA governors. They are either appointed by the Local Authority (in academies, should they have a LA governor position, and PRUs) or nominated by the Local Authority for appointment by the governing body (in maintained schools).  The appointment is made, as stated in Law, if in the governing board’s opinion, the nominee has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school, and having met any additional eligibility criteria set by the governing body.

Shropshire LA will seek nominations who

  • have a commitment to, and an interest in, education;
  • have a desire to support the school;
  • have a willingness to serve the local community;
  • have skills and experience which will support the work of the school;
  • have the ability to work as a member of a team;
  • arrange their commitments to fit in with membership of a governing board.

Any additional eligibility criteria set by a governing board will also be applied which may be skills identified as a shortfall within the governing board following a governors’ skills audit.

LA governors are often drawn from the local community.  A person is disqualified from appointment as a Local Authority governor if he/she is eligible to be a staff governor at the school.

Co-opted Governor

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing board. They are people who in the opinion of the governing board have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.  A governing board may have undertaken a skills audit to identify any shortfall in their collective skills and to recruit to fill this gap.

Foundation governors

Foundation governors (at voluntary aided, voluntary controlled and some foundation and foundation special schools only) are usually appointed by the school's founding board, church or other organisation named in the school's instrument of government. Some are governors as a result of being the local priest. These are ex-officio governorships which must be specified on the instrument.

All foundation governors are appointed to secure compliance with the trust deed and preserve and develop the religious character of the school, if it has a religious character.

Time off Work with Pay

Many companies encourage employees to become governors and allow time off with pay, although this is not a legal requirement. In any event, school governors are covered by the provisions of the Employee Protection Act which grants employees reasonable unpaid time off for public duties. Governors employed by Shropshire Council may be afforded time off with pay for undertaking important governance activities e.g. appointing staff, SEND and school improvement monitoring, Ofsted inspection etc. Details are noted in the Council’s ‘special leave’ terms and conditions of its employment policy.

Suggested draft letter requesting 'Time Off Work with Pay'



Inspiring Governance online service which connects schools and trusts with skilled volunteers who are interested in becoming a school governor or trustee

Inspiring Governors Alliance

School Governors’ One Stop Shop/Governors for Schools - 

Department for Education –

National Governors’ Association -

National Governors’ Association: governor skills audit -

Links to further resources