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The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Become a Governor

Welcome to the Governor recruitment page. If you are new to the world of school governance the concept of becoming a Governor can be daunting.

This page will answer some of the questions that you may have regarding becoming a Governor.

If you find that some questions go unanswered, or if you would like to go-ahead and start your new journey as a Governor, then our friendly and supportive Governance Team is on hand to help and guide you.

Contact the BWCAT Governance Team at: j.johnson@bwcat.org

What do Governors Do?


Governors make up the Academy Council of each school. Each Academy Council is a subcommittee to the Trust Board put in place to oversee the delivery of the Trust’s strategic plan.

All Governors within an Academy Council have an equal status. The primary function of a Governor is to provide supportive challenge to the school’s functions and acquire assurance that the school leaders are fulfilling their duties.

Governors support the school, but are also prepared to question why decisions have been made and request information about the school to help them in their monitoring role.

All Governors will receive the training they require in order to enable them to fulfil their functions effectively.

Types of Governors:


All Governors, regardless of their type are elected or appointed with one common purpose – to govern the academy in the best interests of pupils. Upon appointment, the full Term of Office is 4 years.

Foundation Governors


Are you looking for a way to live out your faith and serve your local community at the same time?  If so, becoming a Foundation Governor could be just the thing for you.

Foundation Governors play an important part in maintaining and developing the Catholic character of academies.

Each Academy Council has six Foundation Governors and they always have to outnumber all other categories of Governor by two so as to ensure the preservation and development of the Catholic character of the academy.

Interested persons must complete an application form for consideration by the Bishop who makes these appointments.

Parent Governors


A Parent Governor is a voice from the parent body, not the only voice of the parental body.  The Academy Council as a whole will take steps to understand what parents think, while acknowledging that anyone on the Academy Council who is a parent themselves has valuable knowledge and perspectives about the academy to bring to bear in discussions and decisions and helps to guarantee that there is a link between governance and the parent community.

Each Academy Council has two Parent Governors.  The Academy Council invites nominations from parents of pupils at the academy to apply for positions as vacancies arise.

If there are more nominations than vacancies available, an election is held by secret ballot and the successful candidate is appointed as a Parent Governor.  The number of Parent Governors is made up of persons appointed by the Academy Council if the number of parents standing for election is less than the number of vacancies.

Parents of children at the academy with an interest in becoming a Parent Governor should contact the Headteacher or Chair of the Academy Council of the relevant academy who will advise whether there is a vacancy.

Staff Governors


The Headteacher serves on the Academy Council. There is one other Staff Governor position on each Academy Council.

The Academy Council invites nominations from all staff employed to work at the academy.  If there are more nominations than vacancies available, an election is held by secret ballot and the successful candidate is appointed as a Governor.

Staff Governors have the same role and responsibilities as any other Governor.  They are elected by staff and bring a helpful perspective to the Academy Council.  Staff Governors are not elected to represent all staff, but are elected in order to contribute to the work of the Academy Council.

Employees of the academy with an interest in becoming a Staff Governor should contact the Headteacher or Chair of the Academy Council of the relevant academy who will advise whether there is a vacancy.

Academy Council meetings generally take place 6 evenings in the academic year and last around 2 hours.

Time Commitment


If other commitments get in the way, Governors can send their apologies for the meeting, alternatively it could be arranged for remote access to the meeting. However, to fulfil a Governor role effectively, it is better to attend all meetings in person if possible, but we understand that people have lives and sometimes things get in the way.

If you have any concerns of this matter please talk to the Chair or the Headteacher. If you would like to see an example of a typical Academy Council calendar, please get in touch with the Governance Team .

Support for Governors


As well as being welcomed as a part of a friendly, supportive and inclusive community, and the feel-good benefit of making a difference to the lives of pupils, becoming a Governor offers an opportunity to build a wealth of transferable skills and network regularly with like-minded, skilled individuals from a variety of backgrounds.

Perhaps you have an interest in building a career in education? The direct skills and knowledge you will acquire as Governor will set you apart from those who have not had your experience.

The BWCAT Trust has a plethora of platforms for learning, and training opportunities available. As a Governor, you will benefit from a supportive Trust Governance Team who will guide from application to your last day of office, and an abundance of skilled and experienced peers who share best practice in the ever developing landscape of education.

Governor training and development opportunities are offered by the Trust, Diocese, Local Authorities, National College and other training providers. The training and development opportunities will serve to better your output as a Governor, however, it goes without saying that the benefits will be seen in your personal and professional life through experiencing the new channel of growth and opportunity.

General Eligibility Criteria


To be eligible for an appointment as a Governor, applicants must be over the age of 18. Foundation Governors are required to be a practicing Catholic.

Further details of the eligibility and disqualification criteria can be found on the application form.