Become a school governor

Governors play a key role in leading, supporting and improving schools, and becoming one can be a rewarding experience.

We're always looking for people interested in becoming a governor, so please find out more and get in touch if you’d like to apply. We’re keen to make sure Bristol’s governors reflect the city’s ethnic diversity.

What school governors do

Governors sit on the school’s governing board and work with the headteacher. They’re responsible for the strategic goals, while the headteacher implements them and manages the school from day to day. The governors:

  • set the overall vision and direction of the school
  • oversee the budget
  • help recruit staff
  • monitor the performance of the school, for example in examinations and key stage tests
  • advise on school policies and procedures

You can find out more about governors' responsibilities in the DFE Governance Handbook.

What you need to commit to

If you become a governor you need to:

  • take part in regular governors’ meetings, usually six times a year with extra committee meetings
  • spend some time on training and getting to know the school
  • occasionally sit on appointments panels or panels that handle staff or pupil discipline issues or complaints against the school

What you can get out of it

By committing a small amount of time each month, you’ll have the satisfaction of becoming part of a team involved in running the school. The free training available can give you skills you can use elsewhere.

Supported by free training

You’ll get full training and you’ll always act as part of a team. You don’t need particular experience or qualifications, and anyone over 18 can apply.

How to apply

If you have school governor experience 

If you have significant experience of school governance such as Chair of Governors, please  e-mail the Bristol Governor Development Service:   

If you are a business or employee

Bristol needs more volunteers from the business sector to join school governing boards. If you have business skills and professional qualities that could help drive up school standards, or if your business would like to start a school governance programme:

Find out more about what we are asking of businesses (pdf, 2.8MB) (opens new window)

Register at our 'Be A Governor in Bristol' page

If you’re new to school governance

If you have no school governance experience you can register with either of these charitable organisations:

Both  provide an online service to match volunteers with schools in their area with governor vacancies.

You’ll need to complete an application form and give details of any relevant skills and experience. 

Inspiring Governance offers guidance and support, provided by the National Governance Association (NGA), for new governors and trustees who find their role through the service.

This includes an e-learning induction programme.   

School Governors One Stop Shop offers resources and e-learning, including a module which provides an introduction to the role of a school governor.

If you’re successful in being appointed as a school governor, you’ll need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service check, previously known as a CRB or Criminal Records Bureau check.

Contact information

Governor Development Service

Bristol Education Centre

Parkview Campus

Whitchurch Lane

Bristol, BS14 0DD

Opening Hours

Postal Address

TwS (PV)
PO Box 3176


Tel: 0117 903 6900