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Lowton West Primary School


Link Governors:


What is a Link Governor?

 A link Governor creates a good working relationship between the subject specialist within the school and the subject link governor and will enhance the success of any initiatives.


Governors with specific roles.

Many governing bodies have specialist governors called link governors. Link governors are associated with a particular aspect of the school or curriculum, such as safeguarding, ICT, inclusion (ensuring that all children have full access to the curriculum and all opportunities provided by the school), health and safety, sports and pupil premium. Because of the important legal implications, I feel it wise to have governors attached to the areas in the table below.






Brian Cunliffe


SEN & Inclusion

Mrs K. Bond

Mr. A. Rigby

Mrs. N. Gould

Health & Safety

Brian Cunliffe/ Alan Boardman



Mrs. Dawn Carroll & Mrs. Lynda Pouncey

Mrs. M. Bartolini


Brian Cunliffe & Dr. Gena Merrett

Mrs. A. Brooks


Mrs. S. Black. Mrs. M. Blewitt & Dr. Gena Merrett

Mrs. D. Rimmer Phillips

Pupil Premium & Sports Funding

Mrs. Sharon Black

Mrs. N Goud

ICT & Governor section on school web-site


Mrs. Jayne Esau

Miss. S. Bailey

Development Governor**

Mr. Brian Cunliffe

Clerk to governing body

Parental Engagement

Mrs. Jayne Esau


School Council

Dr. Gena Merrett

Miss. V. Green

Staff well being

Mrs. Sharon Black & Mrs Kirsten Bond



** Development Governor


The development governor can sometimes be a forgotten role. Coordinating training and development is not the most glamorous role, but it is important. A good development governor will keep the team up to speed with new courses, encourage attendance and keep a record of training for Ofsted.

As well as going on regular training, governors should consider annually our own performance and undertake a self-evaluation exercise (we completed this in June 2017). The development governor would be the perfect choice to organise and manage this process.


Subject Governors.

In the case of subject governors, there are a couple of things to consider. With all the potential curriculum areas, I feel that it is not possible for every subject to have a governor, at least not without individuals taking on multiple responsibilities. Imagine, however, if you were to take on multiple responsibilities: this will naturally add to your governance workload, especially if you are expected to carry out regular monitoring visits and produce a report in each case. The success of this approach is dependent on you being committed to your respective roles and to keep everyone else informed. A probable scenario, however, is that you will struggle to fulfil your various roles and, consequently, some areas lose focus.


So what are the alternatives?

An alternative, and more feasible, way of managing this is to invite subject leaders into sub-committee meetings on a rotational basis. This has the benefit of several governors, rather than one, gaining a much. Both of these approaches can be just as effective as link governors, and, again, it has the added benefit of involving staff in governor meetings and holding them to account directly.


Link governors should be expected to undertake regular monitoring visits and produce reports for distributing to fellow governors. These reports are valuable for many reasons, including to:


  • Confirm and record that statutory requirements have been met;
  • Keep a record of exceptions and issues;
  • Ensure there is a focus on alignment with the School Improvement Plan or Ofsted action plan;
  • Provide information for fellow governors;
  • Offer evidence of governor impact.

Bear in mind the danger of having too many link governors where lots of roles are created and governors end up wearing multiple hats, trying to monitor several different aspects of the school and, conversely, the risk of having too few. If there are too many the monitoring doesn’t get done; if there are too few, an important priority may be overlooked. Creating a link between governors and the SIP is one approach to create the right balance. This can be achieved by linking individual governors to key subject areas for monitoring purposes, or allocating sections of the SIP to sub-committees to review and monitor.


As a model, the subject link governor, in support of the curriculum team, could undertake some or all of the following: 

  • Become informed about relevant documents and legislation; OfSTED criteria for evaluating the subject provision; local and national issues impacting upon the subject.
  • Liaise with the subject co-ordinator or head of subject in order to become informed about staffing arrangements and training; the condition and availability of resources; curriculum and timetable arrangements; special needs provision; reference to the school development plan; assessment and recording procedures for the subject; which visits and visitors are planned.
  • Establish and maintain effective lines of communication between the subject co-ordinator and the Governing Body; report back to Governing Body meetings.



Parent Governors

Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the school.

Schools must make every reasonable effort to fill parent governor vacancies through elections. The Regulations, however, make provision for the governing body to appoint parent governors where:

  • not enough parents stand for election,
  • at least 50% of the registered pupils at the school are boarders and it is not reasonably practicable to elect, or
  • in the case of community special or foundation schools established in a hospital, the governing body judges that an election is impractical.

The method of appointment is set out in paragraphs 10 and 11 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

Governing bodies may only appoint as a parent governor a parent who has, in their opinion, the skills to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school.

Every effort should be made upfront to avoid potential difficulties later by informing prospective candidates of the nature of the role and securing their agreement to a clear set of expectations for behaviour and conduct – as set out in a code of conduct. The 2012 Roles, Procedures and Allowances regulations set out the basis on which governing bodies may suspend governors, including parent governors.

A parent governor believes that parents should have a say in matters affecting their children’s education.  

You should meet the relevant statutory eligibility criteria for school governors as set out in the Regulations and you will have:

  • an interest in all the children’s futures
  • a desire to make a difference
  • a willingness to accept responsibility
  • an ability to work in a team, ask questions, listen and learn

As a parent governor you hold the unique position of having a parental viewpoint. Through the children you will have first-hand experience of the curriculum and how the school is perceived from the consumers’ point of view. You will be able to bring this perspective to the strategic management of the school.


As a parent governor you do not have to vote in a particular way because you have been pressed to do so by parents. Objectivity, however, is essential. You are not there to promote the interests of your own children but all children. Parent governors are elected by other parents and it is important to establish a rapport with the parental body that elected you, whilst continuing to maintain a strategic approach to school governance.  

You are disqualified from being elected or appointed as a parent governor if you are an elected member of the local authority or are paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any twelve consecutive months.

As an effective parent governor, you:

  • help to decide the priorities for improving the school
  • make yourself available to parents and listen to other parents’ opinions and take account of them as you contribute to governors’ decisions
  • work in partnership with the headteacher, senior leadership team and cooperatively with other governors to raise standards and improve outcomes for all children
  • prepare for meetings by reading papers beforehand
  • take responsibility for your own learning and development as a governor including attending training
  • attend full governing body and relevant committee meetings promptly, regularly, and for the full time
  • read briefings and newsletters for governors; present a balanced view of issues representing different sections of the community
  • promote the interests of the school in the wider community
  • be loyal to the decisions made by the governing body
  • respect the confidentiality of governing body affairs
  • never promise to ‘solve a problem’ on your own
  • never press your own child’s case at the expense of others
  • an interest and withdraw from any meeting where you, a partner or close relative or associate stands to gain, or where you are so close to a matter discussed it is difficult to be impartial
  • have regard to the broader responsibilities as a governor of a public institution in regard to promoting accountability for the actions and performance of the governing body



Support you can expect from the Local Authority

The LA provides support through training and other resources for members of governing bodies. Access to the following is available:


  • induction training – all governors are expected to undertake induction training within the first 6 months of their appointment, as a minimum requirement
  • a comprehensive, high quality training and development programme aimed at supporting improvements in leadership, management and governance; all training is free of charge to the individual governor or associate (schools may be charged separately for training for associate members)
  • courses designed to develop and update knowledge around finance matters and governors and associate members with responsibilities for safeguarding, special educational needs, Health and Safety and succession planning will find courses that will support them in their work.


Your development Link governor can provide more information about governor training and induction.

Time commitment

Governors are expected to attend all full governing body meetings and committee meetings as appropriate.  

Each governing body must meet at least three times per year (once per term) but some meet twice per term.  

Each school is different in respect of their schedule of meetings and you should clarify with your governing body the time commitment required. In addition to meetings you will also be expected to visit the school in action.  

Although you will have a good knowledge of the school through your child’s experience, formal visits as a governor are an essential part of your role, particularly in relation to monitoring and evaluating.  


Note: a governor is disqualified from holding office if they fail to attend governing body meetings without the consent of the governing body – for a continuous period of six months, beginning with the date of the first meeting missed. In addition to meetings, you will also be expected to visit the school in action.   This is an essential part of your role, particularly in relation to monitoring and evaluating. Often governors are invited to attend school events such as assemblies and sports days.


Time off from work

Under employment law, employers must give employees who are school governors reasonable time off to carry out their duties. The employee and employer have to agree on what is reasonable. Employers may give time off with pay but do not have to do so.

Communication and confidentiality

You have a significant part to play in raising the awareness of the role of governors amongst parents and in enhancing home-school communication in general. There are several ways you could do this which might include, for example:

  • contributing to a governors’ column in the parents’ newsletter or a governors’ page on the school website
  • playing a part in drafting surveys to seek parents’ views and analysing the feedback


You can also help to ensure that the governing body keeps a clear focus on ensuring that the school provides an effective, safe and stimulating environment for all children. If, however, an issue comes to a vote, you should vote on the basis of what you consider to be in the best interests of the school.

The work of the governing body is recorded in the minutes which should be made available to all parents apart from confidential items.  

As a parent governor you are free to report any decision in advance of publication of the minutes if you are sure that you are not breaching a confidence of the governing body and that the information you are presenting is accurate and that it is appropriate for you to report the decision.  

Note - you would be breaching the confidence of the governing body if you reported how individuals voted, comments made by individuals or individual discussions. When reporting on decisions taken by the governing body you should use ‘we’ and not ‘they’ as you are part of the decision-making group. Even if you personally voted against the final decision you must support the corporate decision-making process and take ownership of the outcome.  



Parent governors are not there to provide an alternative route to addressing individual parental concerns, although if you do become aware of more widespread disquiet about the school’s policy and practice then you should alert the headteacher and chair.   Sometimes a parent governor may be approached with a complaint.  


If a parent has a concern or complaint which is very specific to their child, you should, if approached, advise them to follow the school procedure; do not get involved. It is not your role to hear the complaint details. They should try to resolve their concerns by speaking to the appropriate teacher. If the parent remains dissatisfied with the outcome, suggest that they make an appointment to speak to the headteacher or head of year. You should guide parents regarding appropriate lines of action, making them aware of the school’s complaints policy and procedures. If a parent raises issues of general concern with you, you should suggest that they make these known to the headteacher.

Being a parent governor does not disqualify you from your usual rights as a parent, including making a complaint.


Term of office

You are appointed as a parent governor for a term of four years unless the school’s Instrument of Government has specified a lesser period. A shorter term of office can be helpful in nursery schools where children may just be present for one or two years. Whatever the term of office, you do not have to stop when your child leaves the school but when your agreed term has expired. You may resign at any time by giving written notice to your Clerk of governors.  


Nolan principles of public life  

  1. Integrity: do not allow the influence of bodies outside the school to affect your duties
  2. Accountability: make choices on merit
  3. Objectivity: submit to appropriate scrutiny
  4. Openness: only restrict information when the public interest clearly demands this/ data protection
  5. Honesty: declare any private interest
  6. Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example
  7. Selflessness: act always in the public interest, not for personal gain



Committee membership 2017/2018

Terms of reference for all committees are available on request from school.



Remit: To deal with all matters delegated by the Governing Body regarding, Finance and Staffing, Personnel and Health and Safety.


Remit: To deal with all matters delegated by the Governing Body regarding, Standards in school and the curriculum

Sharon Black


Alan Boardman


Kirsten Bond


Marie Blewitt

Dawn Carroll


Brian Cunliffe

Jayne Esau


Lynda Pouncey


Gena Merrett



Staff vacancy



Co-opted vacancy



Co-opted vacancy



Parent vacancy



Associate Member




Pay Committee

Remit: To make decisions about performance related pay for teachers and the headteacher


Mrs M Blewitt


Mr B Cunliffe


 The Role of a School Governor

 The Seven Principles of Public Life.

 Declaration of eligibility to serve as School Governor.

 Eligibility to serve as a School Governor.









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