What is a school governor?

A school governor is a member of a school's governing body, which is made up of volunteers. The governing body is the school's accountable body. The governing body are strategic decision makers and vision setters in the school, and working together with the head teacher and senior leadership team, are fundamental to a school’s success.

Governors are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring that resources are used well to give every child the best possible education. Governors have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Why become a governor?

It is our aspiration that all children and young people in Croydon attend high performing schools that are schools of choice. Governors are a key part of the overall system for school accountability. If you care about children's education then becoming a governor will help you make a difference. Being a governor is demanding and challenging, but very rewarding and fulfilling. It also helps you to:

  • make a difference
  • get to know your community
  • develop your skills
  • improve your knowledge about the education sector

Becoming a school governor or trustee

If you are interested in becoming a school governor or trustee in Croydon please email octavo.governance@croydon.gov.uk.

About Governor Services

Croydon Council provide information to trustees, governors, governing bodies, boards and clerks. In addition to comprehensive training and development, we offer:

  • up to date, tailored and practical governance advice and guidance
  • a comprehensive clerking service, ensuring your board is fully supported
  • specialist services such as external reviews of governance, independent review panels and governance investigations

Our services are offered to schools either through a service contract or bought on a pay-as-you-use basis. For further information, please contact us on Octavo.Governance@croydon.gov.uk or phone us on 020 8241 5486 where a member of the team will be more than happy to discuss how we can support and work alongside you.


Croydon Council will continue to deliver Governance training and development programme virtually in 2021-22. By remaining virtual, this will enable trustees and governors - who are working with Multi-Academy Trusts, Stand Alone Trusts or Local Authority maintained schools - to more effectively accommodate essential training and networking with their fellow governance colleagues with the demands of their professional and personal lives. 

Our comprehensive development programme offers all trustees and governors a wide range of sessions facilitated by sector specialists, regardless of their length of service. From Mental Health and Well-being to Safeguarding to Pupil Premium and not forgetting our very popular Welcome to Educational Governance, our sessions consider the key issues currently on the education and governance landscape.

Our programme enables Trustees and Governors to better understand the expectations of their governance role, to ask the constructively challenging questions expected of them and to effectively contribute towards the continuous drive for improvement within their school(s). 

Octavo Governance are here to work with you, whether it is through:

  • a value for money annual contract which allows your board unlimited access to all the development sessions we offer
  • ad-hoc attendance
  • provision of bespoke training to specifically support the needs of your board

To access trustee, governor and clerk training, please email octavo.governance@croydon.gov.uk or read more about courses on the Octavo website.

Governor services