Importance of skills and expertise for school governors

A good school governing board is made up of members with a diverse range of skills and expertise. Your appointment or election to the board should in part be based on the skills and expertise you can offer.

It’s crucial that you’re able to put these skills to good use as your particular skills and expertise will help to determine where you focus your time and energy while sitting on the board.

What skills are relevant for school governors?

Many skills are well associated with school governance. Some of these include:

  • Finance
  • Legal
  • HR
  • Education
  • IT
  • Health and Safety
  • Project management

When you join a board, you’ll be asked to complete a skills audit. It’s likely that you’ll be asked to complete this once a year. The skills audit helps the board to identify the skills it currently has in possession, and where it might be lacking.

Any gaps can be addressed through training or recruitment.

Skills developed through school governance

School governance is a varied role. While school governors are called on to use their existing skills to support the school, they’ll also need to learn and practice new skills. This provides a great opportunity for school governors to acquire new competencies to take back to the workplace.

Many school governors report being asked to do the following for the first time:

  • Sitting on a recruitment panel.
  • Undertaking appraisals.
  • Risk management exercises.

We researched the skills school governors develop in the role, and how this benefits them at work. You can read the full Professional Development Through School Governance report here.