You are here:

Last updated on 20 December 2019
Ref: 30723
School types: All · School phases: All

Save time by reading our summary of the role and functions of link governors in just one page. Download a copy to share with your governing board.

Appointing link governors


The DfE says you should have:

  • A senior board level lead to take leadership responsibility for your school's/trust's safeguarding arrangements
  • A link governor or committee with oversight of special educational needs (SEN) and
  • A member of the board who takes a strategic interest in careers education and guidance and encourages employer engagement

Otherwise, you can choose how you delegate duties, including deciding what, if any, roles are delegated to individuals.

How to assign link governor roles

You should review your link governor roles at the beginning of each school year, considering whether the assignments are appropriate and:

  • Aligned with the school's improvement priorities
  • Agreed to by the school staff
  • Make maximum use of each governor's skills

There are some responsibilities you can't delegate to an individual. For example, an individual governor can't approve the first formal budget plan of the year.

Associate members shouldn't be link governors

Associate members are appointed to lend their expertise to the governing board, but they're not governors themselves. They aren't required to undergo DBS checks like regular governors because their role is limited to meetings. 

For this reason, associate members shouldn't make school visits for any purpose.

The role of link governor 

The role of link governor will vary according to the nature of the appointment. However, in general a link governor role involves the following tasks:

  • Making pre-arranged visits to the school, with a clear focus 
  • Keeping the governing board informed about the area for which they're responsible, and acting as a link between governors and staff
  • Supporting the member of staff who is responsible for the particular area/subject 
  • Developing knowledge in the specialist area and taking part in relevant training 
  • Ensuring the school has relevant policies in place
  • Monitoring the implementation of the school's strategy in the specialist area 

To share this QuickRead with your governing board, simply download and print it from the link below. 

More from The Key

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.