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How can I become a governor?

How Do You Become a School Governor?


Being a governor at the Mount Stewart Schools (TMSS) is both an enriching and rewarding experience. Not only do you get to use your knowledge and skills in a different environment to your place of work, but you also get to support and guide your local school. Moreover, at the heart of school governorship at TMSS is a commitment to ensuring students are safe, happy and actively involved in the life of the school as well as achieving academically. 

Expectations and responsibilities

All governors at TMSS are expected attend a ‘full governing board (FGB) meeting’ once a term. Importantly, the main functions of the school’s governing board include:

  • setting the strategic aims and objectives for the school, including its values and ethos;
  • scrutinising and ensuring policies for achieving the school’s strategic aims are in place;
  • and challenging and supporting the Executive Head and the senior leadership team.

In addition to FGB meetings, governors also attend school visits and link meetings with members of the school team once a term. Therefore, governors will take on various individual responsibilities in order to support the school - from evaluating attainment data to checking the school’s budget.


Governors are also expected to visit the school during working hours throughout the year so that they can meet pupils, staff and parents. This could include the school day as well as parent evenings and school events, such as end of term shows and school fairs.


Who can become a governor?

Anyone over 18 years of age can apply to become a governor at TMSS. Although there are no essential academic or vocational qualifications needed, interested applicants would need to demonstrate that they have knowledge and skills that would benefit the school. For instance, over the past few years, TMSS has had governors from all walks of life with an abundance of different experiences, which have included:

  • Teaching
  • Accountancy
  • Banking
  • Insurance broking
  • Engineering
  • Running small businesses
  • Law

What brings us together is a commitment and passion to see TMSS succeed.


Types of governor at The Mount Stewart Schools

TMSS has different categories of governor and anyone interested in becoming a governor may wish to consider which type would best fit their situation. Types of governor include:

  • Parent governors: who are elected to the governing board by other parents;
  • Staff governors: governors who are employed by the school and are often elected by other members of staff;
  • Local authority governors: governors who are nominated by the local authority;
  • Co-opted governors: governors who have been invited to join the governing board as they have a specific skill needed to help run the school;
  • Associate governors: governors that are not part of the full governing board, but are asked to help the board or sub-committees from time-to-time.


How do you apply to become a governor at TMSS?

Although potential parent and staff governors can only apply when a vacancy arises, all interested parties will be informed by the school. For example, vacancies for parent governors will be advertised through letters home, text alerts and messages on the school’s website. Parents would need to complete an application form and then stand for election.

However, you can also contact the school if you feel you have particular skills or knowledge that would be useful to the governing board more generally. In this case, it is possible that parents, as well as interested individuals from the local  community and local businesses, can contact the Chair of Governors to discuss any vacancies in relation to their specific expertise. If the governing body is in need of your skills, you can apply to become a co-opted governor or even an associate governor. Nonetheless, governor roles cannot always be facilitated as the governing body may already have governors with the skills applicants may be offering. Furthermore, places on the governing board will obviously be limited at any given time, so the Chair may take your details in the event that a place becomes available in future.


If you are interested in becoming a governor at TMSS, please contact our Chair of Governors, Gillan Barnard, or the Executive Head Carley Holliman to discuss any possibilities further.