Volunteer as a school governor

Looking to make the next step up the career ladder? Volunteering as a school governor can help you get there.

What is a school governor?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, every state school has a governing board, consisting of various types of governors, depending on the type and size of school.

School governors are unpaid volunteers who ensure that schools are meeting their strategic objectives. Governors do not manage the operational day-to-day functions of a school, but oversee its long-term development. This involves:

  • Working with other board members to plan the school’s strategic direction.
  • Overseeing the school’s financial performance, ensuring money is well-spent.
  • Holding the headteacher or school leadership to account.

Over a quarter of a million volunteers are governing state schools in England, they are the largest volunteer force in the country. 

Who can become a school governor?

Anyone can be a school governor, as along as you're over 18, show an interest you show an interest in what is happening in education and have enough time to attend governing board meetings and fully commit to the role.

You don’t need to be a parent or education expert to volunteer. Schools require a combination of hard and soft skills to ensure their boards operate effectively. Whether you’re an experienced professional or embarking on the first stages of your career, you will be matched with an appropriate school.

Many Oxford Brookes alumni and staff members volunteer as school governors and find it to be a truly rewarding experience.

Adeyemi Ladejobi

“Governance has equipped me with board experience in debating, assessing, and approving (or rejecting) initiatives that support the school's development and growth. You give back to society and grow in a strategic manner, which can help your career as you eventually seek non-executive director roles and senior management opportunities.”

Adeyemi Ladejobi, Oxford Brookes Alumnus

What are the career benefits?

How to apply

You can find out more and apply to become a governor through Governors for Schools, an education charity dedicated to recruiting governors for governing boards in England and Wales to ensure schools have access to skilled governors.

Why is Oxford Brookes promoting these opportunities?

As part of our widening participation and social responsibility strategy, we are working to increase the number of University staff and alumni serving as governors in local schools. One of the biggest challenges currently facing schools in the UK is a shortage of suitably skilled volunteers on governing boards, with volunteer school governors playing a crucial role in raising educational standards.