Role of a School Governor

School and academy governors in England form one of the largest volunteer groups in the country and as part of a governing board they complement and enhance school leadership by providing support and challenge, ensure all statutory duties are met, appoint the head teacher and hold the school to account for the impact of its work on improving outcomes for all pupils.

Roles and Responsibilities

Governors work as a team. They are responsible for making sure the school provides a good quality education for all pupils. Raising educational standards in school is a key priority. This has the best chance of happening when there are high expectations of what pupils can achieve.
Governors promote effective ways of teaching and learning when setting the school aims and policies. They do this together with the Headteacher, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.
Headteachers are recruited and selected by governors – and most Headteachers choose to be governors themselves.

Governing boards are accountable to parents, the local community and the Local Authority or the Trustees. Appointments are for three or usually for four years. The governing body’s main role is to help raise pupils’ standards of achievement.

The Governing Body:

  • is accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community
  • plans the school’s future direction
  • selects the Headteacher
  • makes decisions on the school’s budget and staffing including the performance management policy
  • makes sure the agreed Curriculum is well taught
  • decides how the school can encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development
  • makes sure the school provides for all pupils including those with special needs.

Governors are at the heart of how a school operates. It’s important they get things right. How they do their job affects the interests of pupils, staff and the reputation of the school in the community. Governors support and challenge Headteachers by gathering views, asking questions and discussing what’s best for the school. They are not there to rubber-stamp decisions. They have to be prepared to give and take advice and must be loyal to decisions taken by the governing board as a whole. As long as they act within the law and take appropriate advice, governors are protected from any financial liability for the decisions they take.

Becoming A Governor

School Governors play a vital part in the success of our schools they ensure our children get the best from their time in school. Being a school governor is demanding but rewarding.  Schools are keen to attract people in the community to become governors; people who can bring energy and experience and can contribute to the strategic leadership of a school.

Governors need to have time to dedicate to their role, to be prepared to make challenging decisions, act with the very best of intentions and confidentially at all times, and to make sure their decisions are followed up.  Governors work as a team and play an important role in making sure the school provides a good quality of education.

Every school must have a governing body. The membership will vary according to the type of school. Each governing body may consist of any of the following roles:

  • Parent Governors – elected by and from parents of registered pupils at the school.
  • Co-opted Governors – are appointed by the governing body.
  • Staff Governors – elected by teaching and support staff at the school.
  • Associate Member – are appointed by the governing body

Please contact us if you would like more information about becoming a governor.

  • Governors hold an important public office and their identity should be known to their school and wider communities.

    The purpose of the local governing board is to conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement.  Its three core strategic functions are:

    1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

    2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff

    3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

    Governors at Rossmere Academy

    Chair of Governors:

    • Gillian Slimings 

    Vice Chair of Governors:

    • Craig McCorrisken – Parent Vice Chair Governor 


    • Caroline Reed – Headteacher 
    • Ruth Walton – Co-opted Governor
    • Elaine Brown – Co-opted Governor 
    • Sarah Charlton – Co-opted Governor
    • Jeanette Dodd – Co-opted Governor
    • Karen Anderson – Staff Governor
    • Charlotte Walker-Bryan – Co-opted Governor
    • Deborah Anderson – Associate Governor
    • Peter Davies – Parent Governor
    • Liam Muir – Co-opted Governor

    Governors commit to attending a minimum of meetings each school term including Local Governing Board Meetings and monitoring although additional meetings may be arranged.

    If you would like more information please click here and complete the message box on the contact page.

    Contact Details – Clerk to Governing Body:

    Andrew Dunn

    C/O Extol Trust, Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, TS26 9LY. Tel. 01429 272040.


    Contact Details – Chair of Governors:

    Gillian Slimings

    C/O Rossmere Academy, Catcote Road, Hartlepool, TS25 3JL. Tel. 01429 274608

    Statutory Governor Information and Duties 

    Please click on the headings below to see statutory information that must be published online:

    1. Register of Governor Business Interests 2023 – 2024
    2. Register of Governor Business Interests 2022 – 2023
    3. Register of Governor Business Interests 2021 – 2022
    4. Rossmere Attendance at Governing Body Meetings 2022 – 23
    5. Rossmere Attendance at Governing Body Meetings 2021 – 22
    6. Instrument of Government 2019
    7. Governor Roles and Responsibilities 2023

    Parents can request paper copies of information on the website if they do not have access to a computer at home.