School governors are one of the country's largest voluntary groups with around 345,000 school governors contributing to strategic development and raising standards of achievement at over 30,000 schools.
School governors are members of their school's governing body which is a "corporate body". A corporate body has a legal identity that is separate from its members and as a result, individual governors are generally protected from personal liability as a result of the governing body's decisions and actions, provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith.
Individual governors have no power or right to act on behalf of the governing body except where the whole governing body has delegated a specific function to that individual or where regulations specify that a function is to be exercised in a particular way.
School governors are drawn from different parts of the community, such as parents, the Staff, the Local Education Authority, the Community and other groups. This helps to ensure that the governing body has sufficient diversity of views and experience but does not mean that governors of a particular category "represent" that group on the governing body. For example, Parent Governors do not act as a representative of the parents at the school and do not report back to them.
The governing body has a range of duties and powers and a general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement including setting targets for pupil achievement, managing the school's finances, making sure the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, appointing staff and reviewing staff performance and pay and many more.
The governing body has considerable discretion as to how to discharge its responsibilities but is required to constitute itself in line with the regulations and to appoint a chair and vice chair. The governing body may delegate certain of its responsibilities to certain governors or committees of governors, although in general, it is not compelled to do so.