What does the Governing Body do?

Governing bodies work closely with headteachers and senior leaders. Headteachers are responsible for day-to-day management whereas the role of the governing body is strategic. As such, governors are responsible for:

  • determining the mission, values and long-term ambitious vision for the school
  • deciding the principles that guide school policies and approving key policies
  • working with senior leaders to develop a strategy for achieving the vision
  • ensuring that parents, pupils, staff and the wider community are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate
  • ensuring that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum such that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education and adult life
  • setting the school’s budget and ensuring it is managed effectively together with premises and other resources
  • agreeing on the school’s staffing structure and keeping it under review to ensure it supports the delivery of the strategy
  • ensuring robust risk management procedures are in place and that risk control measures are appropriate and effective

The instrument of government sets out how the school is governed and the composition of the Governing Body.

Monitoring and evaluating school performance

Governors must monitor the priorities that have been set to ensure progress is being made by:

  • measuring the school’s impact and progress towards its strategic objectives
  • ensuring the required policies and procedures are in place and the school is operating effectively in line with these policies
  • evaluating relevant data and feedback provided by school leaders and external reporting on all aspects of school performance
  • asking challenging questions of school leaders in order to hold them to account
  • holding the headteacher to account for standards, financial probity and compliance with agreed policies
  • visiting the school to monitor the implementation of the strategy and reporting back to the board (this could be in a link governor capacity)
  • ensuring that there are policies and procedures in place to deal with complaints effectively

Meetings are held in the evenings during term time and there are usually about 7 full governing body meetings in a year. Governors also often visit schools during the day to meet with staff and pupils. How the governing body works was restructured in 2017 as part of a review of Governance.  The Resources Committee deals with school finance, premises and personnel matters.  The other sub-committees meet as and when needed and include: Appeals, Pupil Discipline, Headteacher Performance Management Review and Pay Committee. The Full Governing Body oversees the work of the sub Committees and deals with all other matters relating to the school. 

Panels and committees

When required, governors are expected to serve on panels or committees in order to:

  • appoint the headteacher and other senior leaders
  • appraise the headteacher and make pay recommendations
  • hear staff grievances and disciplinary matters
  • review decisions to exclude pupils
  • deal with formal complaints

Contribution to the governing body

Our Governors ensure that they are making a positive and meaningful contribution to the governing body by:

  • attending meetings (a minimum of 3 full governing board meetings and a number of committee meetings each year), reading papers and preparing questions for senior leaders in advance
  • establishing and maintaining professional relationships with senior leaders and colleagues on the board
  • getting to know the school, including visiting the school occasionally during school hours
  • undertaking induction training and developing knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis

Governor Roles


The role of the Chair of Governors is to provide leadership to the governing board, ensuring that it fulfils its functions well, and to work closely with the headteacher to support, advise and help shape proposals to be discussed at board meetings, ensuring the focus is strategic. The chair, with support from the vice-chair(s) and the clerk, is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the board by keeping it focused on its core functions. The chair and vice-chair(s) should encourage the board to work together as an effective team, building its skills, knowledge and experience.


The role of the Vice-Chair of Governors is to act as a sounding board for the chair, share tasks with the chair when agreed, ensure a manageable workload and be the chair’s deputy in times of absence.

Chair of the Resources Committee

The Chair of the Resources Committee performs a similar role to the Chair of Governors but with a particular focus on the items covered by the Resources Committee Agenda such as school budget monitoring and approval, procurement of resources, staffing and the approval of key policies (alongside policy approval through the Full Governing Body meetings).

Link Governor Roles

Link Governor for Quality of Education (including curriculum, monitoring and assessment)

Link Governor for Church School Status

Link Governor for EYFS

Link Governor for Vulnerable Students

Link Governor for Safeguarding

Types of Governors

Foundation Governors

Foundation governors are appointed to the governing boards of voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools to preserve the religious character of the school. There are foundation governors in every Church of England school. Pocklington Infants has 3 Foundation Governor positions.

Co-opted Governors

These volunteers don’t have to have a connection to the school, religion, or local authority. Co-opted governors, in the opinion of the governing board, have the skills and experience required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. They often (but not always) come from the community the school is in and know the needs of that community well and will act in the best interests of the school and the wider community. Pocklington Infants has 5 Co-opted Governor positions.

Parent Governors

Governing boards have parent governors, who are there to offer a perspective from the parent community on the board. If a school can’t recruit a parent governor, a proxy parent governor can join the board. A proxy parent governor is simply someone who has children of school age. Parent governors have the same responsibilities as other types of governors. Pocklington Infants has 3 Parent Governor positions.

Staff Governor

A staff governor is elected as a representative staff member on the board. Their role is to bring a staff perspective to discussions held by the governing board. Pocklington Infants has one Staff Governor position.

The headteacher is also a member of the Governing Body.

Local Authority Governor

Pocklington Infants has one Local Authority Governor

Key documents