Responsibilities of the Governors

The governing body has a largely strategic role, with legal responsibilities to ensure a policy framework is in place for management of the school, deciding what the school wants to achieve, setting and reviewing targets, and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Headteacher.

The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, day-to-day management and control of the school, and reporting to governors on the delivery of the objectives agreed within the school’s development plan.

The governors and Headteacher work together in partnership to develop the key policies for the school and to decide which decisions are reserved to the governors, which are shared between the governors and Headteacher, or delegated to the Headteacher.  The principal areas of responsibility are reflected in the sub-committees listed below


In accordance with government recommendations the membership of the governing body is widely drawn to reflect the various aspects of school life and to represent a balance of interested parties, comprising : –

  • 4 x Parent Governors. Parent Governors are usually parents of children at the school. Most are elected by the parents. If not enough parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint an individual to the position.
  • 1 x Local Authority Governor. The Local Authority Governor is appointed by the governing body.
  • 2 x Staff Governors.  Headteacher, plus one staff Governor.
  • 2 x Foundation Governors. One Foundation Governor is appointed by the Diocese of Bath and Wells Board on the nominations from Swainswick and Woolley Parochial Church Council.
  • 3 x Co-opted Governors. Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body. This is on the basis of the skills they can bring to support the effective governance and success of the school.
  • The Clerk of Governors.  Not a Governor as such, the Clerk is a paid administrator appointed to assist Governors in fulfilling their duties.
  • Associated Members as required. Associate members are not governors, but can be invited to sit on one of the committees of the governing body, usually because they have specific skills. They can be given the right to vote at committee meetings. They can be appointed for between one and four years.

The usual term of office, that is, how long governors are expected to serve on the board is four years for all types of governor. The governing body can, however, determine the term of office for governors to be less than four years.

Governing Board Structure

Follow this link for a full description of the structure and function of the Governing Board, its Committees and their Terms of Reference.

Governors at Swainswick welcome constructive comments which may help them to improve the strategic direction of the school. We ask that this is done by letter addressed to the Chair of Governors and sent to the school office. It is not the role of the governors to respond individually to these comments but they will be taken into account when discussions are held.