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Last updated on 29 November 2018
Ref: 34071
School types: All · School phases: All

Read our one-page summary of governor monitoring visits so that you understand what they are and what’s expected of you. Download a copy to share with your governing board.

What are they?

'Monitoring visits' are where individual governors go into the school to:

  • See how a specific aspect of the school works in practice
  • Check progress is being made towards the school’s strategic objectives

As a governor, you’ll be assigned to a particular area of the school. You might be formally appointed as a ‘link governor’, but not always. 

You’ll usually go in and meet the staff member responsible for this area 3 times over the year. For example, the literacy link governor will meet the literacy subject lead.

Broadly, there are 2 types of visit

  • Learning walks, where you’ll be taken around the school with the relevant staff member to get a feel for the school. During the walk, you might talk to a range of staff members and pupils
  • Meetings with the relevant staff member, where you’ll sit down and discuss the school’s progress in the area of focus

What you should do on them

Visits allow you to ask, and witness, whether the things people say are happening, are actually happening.

On visits, you should:

  • Find out more about the school
  • See for yourself whether the school is implementing the policies and actions in the school improvement plan 
  • Learn how these policies and actions work in practice
  • Talk with pupils, staff and parents to gather their views
  • Demonstrate to staff that accountability is robust in your school
  • Make sure school staff are all working towards your board's vision for the school

What you shouldn't do on them

  • Don't comment on the quality of teaching or extent of learning. You're not an inspector
  • You shouldn't interfere with the day-to-day running of the school. You’re not a school leader

Read our how-to guide on governor school visits for further support and template visit documents. 


The information in this QuickRead is taken from the Governance Handbook (page 25).

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