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Since the Education Act 1980 the law has required that all maintained schools have a board of governors which represents parents and teachers as well as drawing membership from the local community and volunteers with appropriate management skills. The Education Act 1944 (Butler Act) made it mandatory for the duties and responsibilities of schools' governing bodies to be defined in an instrument of government, and their role to be set out unequivocally in their articles of government. This was a means of clarifying the respective responsibilities and roles of the head teacher, the local authority, and the governing body itself. Training for governors is not compulsory, but governors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the National Strategy for Training and Support, which provides a national training programme for new governors, as well as training for chairs and clerks to the board. Governing bodies are encouraged to provide induction training for new members.

Governors are responsible for ensuring that the school provides an adequate quality of education and that standards of attainment within the school are maintained and, if necessary, raised. They are responsible for the selection of the head teacher, together with whom they define the school's aims and policies. They are responsible to parents, to the wider community, and to funding bodies for the school's performance; they make decisions about the school's budget and staffing; they are responsible for ensuring that the national curriculum is taught, and for deciding ways in which the school will encourage pupils' spiritual, moral, and social development.

The number of governors on a school's governing body varies according to the size of the school. Membership may include representation from community and business interests, the Church, and charitable trusts, as well as from parents and from teachers at the school. Membership is normally for four years. In the case of special schools, the governing body may include representation from health authorities and from relevant voluntary or charitable organizations.

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/atoz/g/Governor_training/ Provides details of governor training.

Subjects: Education.

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