Role of the Chair

The chair of governors is responsible for driving school improvement through effective leadership of the governing board and building strong working relationships, particularly with the headteacher.

To be an effective chair you will need to:

  • Understand the role and its responsibilities
  • Ensure the governing board sets a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school
  • With the governing board hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and for the performance management of staff
  • With the governing board have oversight of the financial performance of the school and the effective use of the schools resources
  • Ensure that all members of the governing board understand the role and responsibilities of the governing board
  • Ensure you have a good working relationship with:
    • The headteacher 
    • Members of the governing board
    • The clerk
  • Ensure succession planning is in place for the future, by creating a culture  in which opportunities for personal development for leadership is encouraged 
Supporting your role
As part of the support offered, we have developed a Chair's Personal Plan which can be used by new or existing chairs.  In the Personal Plan we have listed some questions, ideas and a variety of links to external sources that we think will help you to develop confidence in your role.

If you are an existing, new or aspiring chair we have provided some links below to documents/information which we think you may find useful:

Leading governors:  The role of the chair of governors in schools and academies

Succession breeds success, second edition

Chair of Governors Leadership Development Programme, an opportunity to access partially funded training may be available.

Governance Handbook

What governing boards should expect from their leaders

There is a wealth of useful information included in the rest of the Governor Support Team website which will further develop your knowledge.   Additionally, your school will be a part of a cluster and you could tap into this resource to support you in your role.  If you are not already working within this cluster, do consider contacting the chairs of the cluster schools.  Working together in this way has many benefits, for example, a more experienced chair could support a new chair or you could benefit from joint training.