Governor recruitment: asking for references

You can ask new governors for references so you’re confident they’re suitable for the role. Use our model letter and reference form to contact referees and save you time.

Last reviewed on 12 August 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 5087
  1. Ask your new governor for referee contact details
  2. Download our referee letter and reference form

Use references to help you feel confident that your new governor has the skills, willingness and ability to learn to contribute to your board. This is covered on page 41 of the Governance Handbook.

Ask your new governor for referee contact details

Send them this application form where they can include details for their references. 

Anyone who isn’t a family member or friend of the applicant can be a referee

For example, they could be an applicant's line manager or a more senior colleague at work. If appropriate, their child’s headteacher could be a suitable referee. 

If an applicant is being appointed based on specific skills, the referee should be someone who has knowledge of their capabilities in these areas.

This was explained to us by representatives of Governors for Schools and One Education.

It’s not common practice, and you’d need a clear rationale for