Work of the Governors

Governors are volunteers who provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools. They appoint the Headteacher and Deputy Headteachers. It is governors who hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, and  work with the Headteacher to make tough decisions about balancing resources.


The role of Governors

Each individual governor is a member of a governing board, which is established in law as a corporate body. Individual governors may not act independently of the rest of the governing board and decisions are the joint responsibility of the governing board. 


A governing board has three core functions:

  • Setting the strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for educational performance.
  • Ensuring financial health, probity and value for money.

Governors  set the aims and objectives for the School, as well as the policies and targets for achieving them    They monitor and evaluate the progress the School is making towards achieving its goals and act as a source of challenge and support to the Headteacher; a critical friend.

The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic framework established by the governing board.


Governors at Tonbridge Grammar School

We have different categories of Governors. Some are elected,  others are appointed:

Elected Governors:

  • Parent Governors are elected by the parents of registered pupils at the school. They should be people with parental responsibility for pupils at the school at the time of their election. They are entitled to serve out their four-year term of office even if their child leaves the school during their term of office.
  • Staff Governors are elected by the teaching and non-teaching staff at the school. Staff Governors may not continue to be Governors if they cease to be employed by the school during their four-year term of office. A staff Governor cannot become Chair or Vice Chair of the Governing Body or any of its committees.

Ordinary Governors:

  • Ordinary Governors are appointed by other members of the Governing Body. They are intended to enable the Governing Body to add specific areas of expertise to the Governing Body.
  • Co-opted Members - a discretionary category appointed by the governing body from individuals who may be able to make specific contributions.

This mix of elected and appointed Governors helps to ensure a diversity of views and experience but it does not mean that the Governors of a particular category “represent” that group on the Governing Body.
For example: Parent Governors do not act as representatives of the parents of the School and do not report back to them. Rather, they bring a broad parental perspective to discussion and debate. It’s important to remember that all members of the Governing Body are drawn together by their common interest in making a contribution to the strategic management of the School, regardless of their relationship with it or how they came to serve.

The bulk of the work of a Governing Body is achieved through its committees. That is where, in the small group situation, time can be given to debate fully the complexities of particular policies or issues.  At TGS in addition to the Full Governing Body, we have three committees:

  • Strategy and Steering
  • Curriculum and Staffing
  • Finance and General Purposes

The Full Governing Body has a Chair and Vice Chair, as does each committee. All are elected by the members annually.