Governors at Christ's are made up of the following categories:
The Governing Body of our school is made up of foundation governors (including one ex-officio (by right of office) governor), parent governors, staff governors, and a Local Authority governor. The exact composition of a school's governing body is determined by its Instrument of Government. Governors usually serve a four year term of office which may be renewable.
The inclusion of foundation governors on the governing bodies of both Aided and Controlled schools is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Church school. Foundation governors represent the historic link with the original establishment of the school and its distinctive religious ethos.
Christ’s foundation governors are appointed by either the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) or the Parochial Church Councils (PCC) of Richmond Team Ministry and Holy Trinity & Christ Church. This is in recognition of the fact that the PCCs are the voice of the churches in the locality and the Diocesan Education Board has responsibility for formulating policies which affect all Church schools in the diocese.
In Voluntary Aided schools, foundation governors form the majority of governors. This reflects the financial contribution made by the Church to the maintenance and improvement of the buildings, and the requirement that Voluntary Aided schools should provide Christian religious education and worship in accordance with the school's trust deed.
Foundation governors are selected for their skills as well as their ability to preserve and develop the religious character and ethos of the school. In addition to the general duties and responsibilities of the Governing Body, foundation governors should:
- ensure that the religious character of the school is preserved
- have particular concern for religious education and worship in the school
- ensure the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed
Whilst having a focus on upholding a school’s religious ethos, foundation governors in faith schools are expected to carry out their role in a non-discriminatory manner, and work to support children of all faiths and none.
How to become a Foundation Governor
As detailed in the Instrument of Government, foundation governors are either appointed or take the role by virtue of the office that they hold, as shown below:
- Two appointed by the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education
- Three appointed by the Parochial Church Council of Richmond Team Ministry
- Three appointed by the Parochial Church Council of Holy Trinity and Christ Church, Richmond
- The principal officiating minister of Richmond Team Ministry shall be a foundation governor ex officio
LA governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body. The local authority can nominate any person who is eligible to be a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set. Local authorities therefore make every effort to understand the governing body’s requirements and identify and nominate suitable candidates. An individual eligible to be a staff governor at the school may not be appointed as a local authority governor.
How to become an LA Governor
If you are interested in becoming an LA governor, please visit Richmond Council’s website at https://www.richmond.gov.uk/school_governors.
All parents and carers of students currently at the school are eligible to become parent governors.
We are very keen for our governing body to represent our diverse community, and very much welcome applications from people of all nationalities, cultures, religions (and no faith) and backgrounds. New governors have access to training and are well supported.
Our current governing body represents a diverse set of skills, but are united in their interest in education and their desire to support Christ’s School. You can choose the area (represented by Committees) you are most interested in working in and will have the chance to influence school policies and outcomes. As for time commitments, governors attend, on average, two (generally evening) Committee and FGB meetings per month and spend 4 hours preparing for meetings. In addition, governors may be asked to participate in other school visits and meetings.
How to become a Parent Governor
Parent governors are elected by the parent body. When a position becomes vacant, the Clerk to the Governing Body contacts parents via email and asks for nominations accompanied by a short statement about the candidate. In the event of there being more nominations than vacancies, parents will be asked to vote for their preferred candidate. If no candidates come forward, the position remains open until there is an application.
Being a parent governor is a wonderful way to support your school, learn new skills and to help others. For more information, feel free to contact one of the current parent governors (who can be contacted through the Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org).
All teaching and support staff who are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors.
Staff governors are elected by school staff and cease to hold office when they cease to be employed at the school.
A staff governor's role is not to represent staff, nor to stand alongside the headteacher in being held to account by the governing body, but to operate as part of the governing body to provide strategic leadership and to hold the headteacher to account.
For more information about the role, feel free to contact the current staff governor (who can be contacted through the Clerk at email@example.com).
Co-opted governors are appointed, when necessary, by the governing body. They are people who in the opinion of the governing body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. If no suitable candidate is known, the governing body may contact the SBDE and LA in the event of a requirement arising, in order to find a candidate with the necessary skills.
Associate members are appointed by the governing body to serve on one or more governing body committees. They may also attend full governing body meetings. They are not governors and therefore do not have a vote in governing body decisions, but may be given a vote on decisions made by committees to which they are appointed.
Associate members are appointed because of the specific expertise and experience they can contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. Subject to the disqualifications set out in the 2012 Constitution Regulations, the governing body may appoint a pupil, school staff member, or any other person as an associate member so that they can contribute their specific expertise. This can help to address specific gaps identified in the skills of governing body members, and/or help the governing body respond to particular challenges that they may be facing.