Think Governors

Would you like to shape the future of one of our thriving academies as a Governor?

Outstanding local governance is vital to the success of Harris academies, with numerous Ofsted reports paying tribute to the role played by the governors of our academies. Harris Federation governing bodies carry much of the responsibility for setting the strategic direction of our academies and for monitoring all aspects of performance.

We were recognised as a ‘top performer’ in primary and secondary education in the Department for Education’s first set of performance tables comparing academy trusts in England. Three consecutive research reports by the Sutton Trust, a social mobility think tank, have highlighted that the Harris Federation is among ‘the best academy chains (for) having a transformational impact on pupils’ life chances.’  And data experts Watchsted rank us first out of 26 sponsors for improving Ofsted outcomes in schools. 

Social mobility is the Holy Grail for the pupils we serve. The key to their futures is a high quality education. Our governors shape and guide our schools and are vital to their success. Being a governor is a voluntary position and we are incredibly grateful to the highly skilled group of people who commit their time and expertise to our academies.

If you want to become a governor and if you share our aspirations for our children and teenagers, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please request your governor pack for more information and contact details.

Harris Governor Pack



What do governors do?

The National Governors’ Association (NGA) describes being a school governor as “a thinking and questioning role, not a doing role”. That means you won’t be involved directly with the day-to-day work of the school but will help to guide its strategy through governing body meetings. The sorts of things you can expect to do include:

  • Looking at data to monitor school performance and holding senior leaders to account;
  • Making sure the Harris Federation and school leadership are providing school staff with the resources and training they need to do their job well;
  • Sitting on panels to offer your support and challenge.

What do we look for in governors?

While they share our high expectations, our governors come from all walks of life and all backgrounds. This diversity is a crucial component of the success of Harris, as our governors bring a wide range of perspectives into our academies.

To be a Harris governor, you need to be willing and able to dedicate some time to the role and you need to be a good team player.

What training do governors get with Harris?

Our outstanding Harris Teaching School provides a Governor Training Programme. This ensures you are trained and equipped to perform your role as a Governor.

We have expert trainers to help you with topics including understanding school budgets, curriculum, safeguarding, Ofsted, codes of practice, special educational needs (SEN) and the importance of effective data in assessment and evaluation. This means you can be sure you’re up to date with national changes in education and know what’s required to support academies in raising standards.

How much of my time will being a governor take up?

There is certainly a time commitment involved, but our governors are volunteers. We use their time carefully and respectfully.

You can expect four to five governing body meetings per year – often, but not always, these are in the evenings. Governors also visit their academy three times a year so they can see first-hand how they operate and have the opportunity to speak to pupils and staff.

From time to time, individual governors are also asked to offer their support and challenge as part of a panel – for example, if the school is interviewing candidates for a key leadership role or if it is hearing an appeal about a pupil exclusion.

What qualifications do I need to become a governor?

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience – but you do need to be willing and able to dedicate some time to the role and be a good team player. Governors come from a wide range of backgrounds – they could be parents, staff or members of the local community, among many other types of people.

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