Governance basics glossary

The key governance terms you'll encounter, including roles on the board, school types, meeting procedures and key documents. Plus, a downloadable version to share with new governors and trustees.

Last reviewed on 29 April 2024See updates
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  1. Governance roles
  2. Types of school
  3. Governance structures
  4. Meeting procedures
  5. Key documents
  6. Downloadable version

Not sure who everyone is in your school? Use our handy cheat sheet to help you get to grips with all the roles in your school.

Governance roles

Associate membersAppointed to a committee for their expertise in a particular area. They are not considered governors. They can serve on committees, where they have full voting rights. They can attend full governing board meetings, but can't vote at them. 
Clerk Employed to provide effective administration of meetings, such as circulating meeting agendas and taking minutes. Advises the governing board on governance procedures and good practice.
ChairThe governor elected to lead the governing board's work, chair meetings and work closely with the headteacher. 
Link governorA member of the governing board that is appointed to monitor a specific aspect of the school's work. 
Vice-chairDeputises for the chair when they're absent.

Maintained schools Schools maintained and funded by local authorities. They follow the National Curriculum and rules on teacher pay and conditions. There

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