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Become a school governor or trustee and make a difference in your community

Volunteering as a school governor or trustee brings amazing rewards and satisfaction. With over 500 schools currently advertising vacancies on their governing bodies and trust boards, the search is on to find more volunteers, particularly for our special needs schools, faith schools and small schools.

There is no requirement to have an educational background, just a passion to support every child to have a safe and positive school experience. 

There are many roles available, so a diverse team with different skills, and work/life experiences is important to ensure that all our county's young people, from all areas of our community are represented. Governors and Trustees can also be parents, grandparents, or carers of a child in a local school.

Being a school governor is a ‘convenient’ way to volunteer, most of your volunteering (link role visits) you undertake in your own time, at your own convenience.

You'll also get free training – useful for building your own CV and potentially enhancing future career prospects.

Have a look at the following video clips to find out more about being a Governor or Trustee:

Become a school governor

Become a school governor

Find out more about governance in schools

Make an impact - become a school governor

The role of school governors and trustees

The role of school governors and trustees

Find out what governing boards do and how to get involved

The role of governors and trustees

Do I need to have any specific qualifications or skills?

Governing boards are effective because they bring together people from different walks of life with different skills and experiences. You will need to have an interest in education, good communication skills, and enjoy working as part of a team. Enthusiasm, time to give and a willingness to learn are just as important as any professional skills that you might have!

What’s in it for me?

Being a school governor is an opportunity to utilise your experience and develop new transferrable skills. You will meet new people and be able to see the impact of your work in the school and the local community. Volunteering as a governor is an extremely valuable and rewarding use of your time. Your support really can improve outcomes for children and young people.

Help and support is provided every step of the way:  

  • a comprehensive online and face to face training programme
  • a helpdesk, five days a week, to answer any questions and to access any support
  • a variety of webinars and briefings to ensure governors are kept up to date with any education changes

Juliet Whitehead, who is a school governor alongside her full-time role at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“After the challenges of the past few years, it’s an exciting time as schools adapt and change to ensure the best outcomes and opportunities for their pupils and more school governors are needed to be part of this journey.

Being a governor is so rewarding and fulfilling.  Governors help to make sure that pupils are provided with a high-quality education.  Over the years, I have not only gained a much better understanding of the school system but have also had invaluable opportunities to develop my skills both professionally and personally.”

What does being a School Governor involve?

As a school governor you will be part of a corporate body known as the ‘Governing Body or Board’. The role of the governing board is critical to the effectiveness of the school.

School governors come from every walk of life and there is no requirement for you to have an educational background. The exact role in any school will depend on individual school’s circumstances (e.g. its size, outcome of a recent Ofsted inspection) but will always contribute to the over-arching work of the governing board and link to the main focus of school improvement, thus ensuring the children and young people are able to achieve to the best of their ability, in a safe environment.

So what would I have to do?

- commit to attend meetings (full governing board and committees)

- attend training

- visits to the school during the school day

- work as a team

Is training available?

A ½ day’s ‘Governor Induction’ is run by the Governance Team and is recommended in the first 3 months of your new term of office. ‘Safeguarding Children for Governors’ training is also recommended in the first 6 months, as the welfare and safety of our children is paramount. Following these, more specific training is available depending on what role/s you decide to take on.

To find more or express your interest, please visit or call the HFL Governance team on 01438 544487 or email


If you are familiar with school governance, have excellent administrative, communication and organisation skills, you may also be interested in working as a part time Clerk to the governors. For more on this please contact