A link governor is a member of the board identified to lead on a specific area of work, acting as the link between school and governance; supporting the lead in the school and reporting back to the governing board. A link governor should ultimately enrich the whole governing board’s understanding of that governor’s particular responsibility and therefore contribute to more informed decision making. Link governors are also a useful way for the governing board to develop positive links with staff and pupils, to maintain a visible and professional profile within the school. Governing boards should collectively assign link governor roles, with the agreement of the individual taking the role. They should then be reviewed annually.
Link governor’s role:
to take a special interest in a particular area of responsibility
to keep abreast of development locally and nationally
to attend appropriate training
to make focused visits to the school if appropriate
to report back regularly to the governing board
to develop positive links with and maintain a visible and professional profile in school.
Training sessions are a good opportunity for governors with a lead responsibility to network and keep updated with the relevant information. All training relevant to the link governor position should be attended. More details of the training available can be found on the individual link governor roles.
The following are key aspects of governance where a link governor role is considered beneficial to the overall effectiveness of the governing board along with a brief responsibility of the role:
Training Link Governor – responsible for working with the clerk to the governing board to understand where skill and/or knowledge gaps exist within the board. To review and identify relevant training and/or recruitment requirements to meet any gaps.
Safeguarding Link Governor – ensure the school has appointed and works with a school’s designated safeguarding lead (DSL) teacher who promotes the educational achievement of looked after children. Undertake between three to six full visits to the school per year with further single central record checks if required. Written reports provided for full governing board meetings. Request evidence from the DSL that: key areas of safeguarding and procedures have been adhered to; ensures gaps in practice and safeguarding are addressed properly.
Health and Wellbeing Link Governor – understands the risk and protective factors or good emotional health and wellbeing which schools can influence and challenge the school to support these through policies and the school development plan. They may also undertake monitoring visits in the school.
Sports Premium Link Governor – understand the achievements of the school’s pupils in PE and sports. They Monitor and evaluate the grant and its impact. Able to update the governing board on any sports initiative competitions or activities with other schools.
Information Governance Link Governor – understands General Data Protection and how it affects the school and the governing board. Aware of what the school is doing as a whole to comply with the law and if the school’s processes are robust and effective. Able to monitor the ongoing robustness of data protection processes.
Data Link Governor – review and analyse a broad range of information and data in order to spot trends and patterns. Able to make sure that the board has a correct understanding of the school’s performance. As well as being able to identify issues that need to be discussed as a priority at a governing board meeting. They may also to work with the Headteacher in termly meetings so they can analyse the school’s projected improvement in the current years data.
Early Years Link Governor – relevant to all Infant and Primary schools and would include taking a special interest in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), as well as ensuring that EYFS issues remain high on the school’s agenda.
Finance Link Governor – review financial planning, positions and reports. Providing information to the board about financial matters when required. They may also liaise with the school business manager and Headteacher.
Human Resource Link Governor – involved in monitoring the outcome of pay decisions, including the extent to which different groups of teachers may progress at different rates, and checks processes operate fairly.
SEND Link Governor – understand the governing board’s responsibility under the special educational needs and disability (SEND) Code of Practice. Monitor SEN and disability provision, progress of pupils with SEN and report back to the governing board. Work alongside the school’s SENCo-ordinator (SENCO) to regularly discuss the school’s SEN provision, budget and resources. Responsible for making sure the school is meeting the needs for the SEN and disability pupils.
Pupil Premium Link Governor - Maintaining an overview of the performance of children eligible for the pupil premium and reviewing the allocation of resources and impact of the pupil premium grant on educational outcomes. Understanding and keeping up to date with the pupil premium plan. Monitoring and ensuring the school meets all legislation surrounding school websites.