School governors' network
An opportunity for staff members and alumni to further their professional development and support schools.
Following the launch of the Imperial School Governors’ Network in December 2016, the College has a growing and active group of students, staff members and alumni from all areas of the College, who commit time and competence to support schools.
This is reflected in our HR policy, which enables staff to take time off for public duties such as governor roles.
School governors play a key role in help setting the strategic direction of schools and implementing best practice, in an advisory role, while leaving the day to day management of schools to head teachers and their staff bodies. They are often referred to as the most important volunteer group in education.
The role offers a fantastic continuing professional development (CPD) community, which will help you test and develop your skills in a challenging environment whilst making a significant contribution to your local community.
Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible to become a school governor?
To apply to be a school governor, you must be over 18 and willing to dedicate a proportion of your time (around seven hours a month) to supporting and improving school success. You do not have to be a parent or an education expert to apply as schools need all types of skills within their Governing Board!
What skills do I need for the role?
Although some schools may desire certain governors to have experience in specific fields of work, there are no set criteria for the role. Rather, it is important that you are enthusiastic and committed, with a desire to affect positive change. Softer skills like negotiation, collaboration and organisation are vital to the role of a governor to plan the school's strategic direction with other members of the board. More technical capacities, like knowledge of finance or HR, are offered as training opportunities by Governors for Schools, so you can develop your skills as you see fit.
What is expected of a school governor?
School governors usually attend around six meetings per year, in addition to any background preparation or school visits. A governor’s term is usually around four years.
How does the College support school governors?
The College values the time and commitment required of school governors. In addition to the training modules and webinars provided by the national education charity Governors for Schools, any Imperial staff members, students or alumni who are school governors can join the Imperial School Governors Network and receive advice, guidance and support from their peers.
The College’s HR policy also enables staff to take time off for public duties such as governor roles.
What benefits are there to being a school governor?
Becoming a school governor gives you the chance to:
- Be part of a fantastic continuing professional development (CPD) community
- Test and develop your skills in a challenging and rewarding environment and build your confidence
- Make significant contributions to your local community
- Support young people’s futures
I would like to become a school governor - what are the next steps?
You can apply to be a school governor on the Governors for Schools website. Governors for Schools work on a skills-based matching system and will put you in contact with the schools most in need of the experiences you bring. They will also provide you with a free 16-week induction pack from The Key for School Governors to help you settle into your new role, and they have several free e-learning modules on their website to introduce you to school governance.
This is what our school governors had to say about their experiences
Find out more about the rewarding experience of being a school governor - from school governors themselves.