What they are
Local governing bodies are committees of the board of directors and exercise whatever functions and responsibilities have been delegated to them by those directors. Their functions and responsibilities are set out in a Scheme of Delegation, available on our web site under the page, ‘Our academies/current academies’, where each academy school is listed.
The categories of local governor
Each DEMAT academy school has a local governing body, with seats reserved for the principal, the incumbent, staff, parents and General Members. In most cases, the Diocesan Board of Education, any relevant Parochial Church Council and the Methodist District may nominate to the General Member seats, if there are vacancies.
Some academy schools share a local governing body.
The local governor role
The role of local governors is to promote the object of our charitable company. In summary, this is to manage church academy schools and non-church academy schools. On a day to day basis, there are three main functions for local governors. The three main roles for local governors are to:
- safeguard children.
- promote the best possible progress and attainment of children, and to
- promote the character of the academy school, whether religious or not.
Our Local Governor Application Guidance provides more information.
The people we need as local governors
The Department for Education (DFE) has published A Competency Framework for Governance (January 2017), available here.
The DFE’s guidance sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that, it believes, are needed for effective governance. If you would like to be considered by us as a local governor, the DFE guidance may help you assess what is involved.
It is not necessary to have worked (paid or unpaid) in education to be a local governor. In fact, there is a widespread misunderstanding that local governors should be experts. But people wanting to join us in this role should be committed, confident, curious, challenging, collaborative, critical and creative – or willing to develop these areas in themselves. Page 7 of A Competency Framework for Governance explains these terms.
Before applying to be a local governor
Before applying to be a local governor, we expect you to have visited one of our academy schools and to have met key people there.
Applying to be a local governor
Principals (headteachers) and incumbents are ‘ex officio’; they are local governors because of their role and do not have to complete an application form or attend an interview.
Parents have a right to take local governor seats reserved for them without having to apply. However, if more people want the role than there are seats, there must be an election, which the academy school organises. Parents taking up a seat complete a registration form.
Staff have a right to put themselves forward for local governor seats reserved for them. If more people want the role than there are seats, there must be an election, which the academy school organises. However, staff cannot take up their seat unless the DEMAT appoints them. Whether elected unopposed or opposed, staff must submit an application form and be interviewed before an appointment will be made.
General Members can be nominated by church bodies or appointed by the DEMAT. General Members must complete an application form and attend an interview: this includes staff members who are elected, or who stand unopposed.
If you would like to be a local governor, please refer to the Application Form and guidance below.
- Local Governor Non-Parent Application Form
- Local Governor Monitoring Form
- Local Governor Application Guidance
- Local Governor Publication Requirements and Disqualifications
- Local Governor Parent Registration Form
- People Fully Alive – Ely 2025
Getting further information
Your first port of call for further information about the role should be the chair of any one of our local governing bodies. Just contact the academy school office. The details below may also be helpful.
Governance and Compliance Portfolio
Jacqueline McCamphill – Assistant Director, Governance, Innovation & Business Development
Kitt Smith – Administrator
If you have queries about applications and to discuss interview arrangements please contact Kitt Smith.
Your contact for queries about the role of local governors (that cannot be answered by the Chair at the academy school you visit) is normally Kitt Smith, but any member of the portfolio who is available will be happy to help.
The Assistant Director – Governance and Safeguarding monitors, reports on and promotes more effective, safeguarding processes and outcomes for children. Anyone who has a concern about the safety or wellbeing of a child at one of our academy schools should contact the relevant headteacher or, if they are not available, ask to speak with one of its Designated Officers for Child Protection.
We know that the adults who care for children sometimes feel that academy school staff should have acted when they did not, or acted in a different way. We encourage communication between home and academy school to resolve matters but, if necessary, there is a complaints procedure that can be used. It is available from the academy school office or website. As required by Parliamentary regulations, this is an academy school-level procedure.
Employees based in our academy schools may have concerns. If these relate to the safeguarding of a child, they should follow the academy school’s own procedure for reporting the matter. If they are concerned that something is wrong about the organisation, they may use the whistle-blowing procedure; posters about this are displayed prominently in every academy school. Employees who have concerns about their own working conditions may use the staff grievance procedure.