Many people who decide to become school governors have not worked or volunteered in education before. However, there is plenty of training and support available from the school, governing board and School & Governance Development Team.

School induction

When new governors are appointed, the chair of governors should meet them to discuss a school-based induction programme, which includes meeting key people and finding out about the school's main priorities. Many governing boards assign new governors with an experienced governor as a mentor, who can explain how the governing board works and be there if there are any queries.

Induction training for new governors and clerks

The Department for Education's Governance Handbook, updated in April 2017, states that governing boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Our induction programme focuses on these areas so that governors will be confident to carry out their main roles and responsibilities effectively. The programme is also useful for new clerks so they are able to advise their governing boards on effective governance. The programme is updated each term and consists of two modules: 'An Introduction to Governance' and 'Roles and Responsibilities'.  Sessions are on various days and times of the week throughout the year, so we hope this will be accessible to everyone. Further details can be viewed on 'BEEM'. Go to Training & Events > Provider > Governor Support > Search.

It is important that all governors are aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and child protection, so we run safeguarding courses/forums for new and experienced governors. Details can be found via the above page.

Useful reading

The School and Governance Development Team purchases a copy of ‘Welcome to Governance’ by the National Governance Association for each new governor, which is sent to the school. If you haven't received your copy yet, please contact or telephone 01273 293511.

Finding out about schools in Brighton & Hove

Schools work in partnership to learn from each other and to give all children in the city the best start in life. Some governing boards also work together so it is worth finding out who your school has links with, which could be schools in the same geographical area or with a similar phase group. There is more information about schools on the council website, including contact information, admissions procedures, school meals, school term dates etc.

Finding out about the council

It is useful to know about council decisions that may affect your school. The councillors and committees pages will give you information about your local councillors and how decisions are made.