School and Trust Governance

The Diocese is able to provide support and training for school governors and clerks at Church Schools. Please email Jo Willis for more information. 

Church Schools need Church People. Could you become a Foundation Governor?

Do you:

  • Care about children and education
  • Enjoy making a difference
  • Like a challenge
  • Have a commitment to Christian Distinctiveness?

If so, you could become a foundation governor.

What is a foundation governor?

Foundation Governors (in some schools they are known as local board members) have a particular responsibility within Church Schools to preserve and develop the Christian character and ethos of the school and to build the community of schools throughout the Diocese.

Foundation Governors are normally practising Christians, but as a school governor, a Foundation Governor is more than a Church representative. They are a full governor with an equal share of the responsibility for things such as: supporting the school; developing the school improvement plan; making budgetary decisions; holding the headteacher to account; and monitoring the implementation of school policies. It is therefore necessary for all governors to have some skills which can support these responsibilities.

Why am I needed?

There are currently over two hundred Foundation Governors serving the Dioceses seventy schools. In most cases the PCC is responsible for finding and nominating Foundation Governors for its parish school(s), but there are vacancies in some schools, and the diocese maintains an informal register of those who might be willing to be placed with a school if a vacancy arises.

What qualities do I need to become a foundation governor?

A foundation governor at a Church school should be a Christian. However, you do not need to be an education professional and in fact it is useful for governors to have skills from other areas of life, for example financial, legal, HR, or health and safety.

What will I be asked to do as a foundation governor?

You should expect to:

  • take part in regular governors meetings, often six times a year with extra committee meetings
  • sit on occasional appointments panels or panels that handle staff or pupil discipline issues or complaints against the school
  • take part in the school visits programme arranged for governors
  • undertake governor training as appropriate.

Download our Foundation Governor application form here.

Following an informal conversation about the role we can put you in touch with an existing foundation governor who will be able to give you their perspective.

Download our Foundation Governor policy here.

Download the Academy Council Member application form here

Download our policy on Training for Church School governors here.

If you know of someone else who may be interested in becoming a foundation governor, please pass this information on to them.

Recruiting a Foundation Governor


All VA and Academy schools are responsible for drawing-up and agreeing their own admission arrangements annually, and for publicly consulting on their admission arrangements periodically. CE schools must also consult with the Diocese prior to any public consultation.

When constructing admission arrangements CE schools in the Diocese of Bristol must follow the School Admissions Code as well as Diocesan Guidance.

The Diocese is able to provide support and training for school admissions. Please contact email Liz Townend or call 0117 906 0100.

Diocesan Guidance on Admissions

School Admissions Code

Admissions training

Is your school or academy responsible for its own school admissions?
The Diocese has a responsibility to provide these schools with guidance on admissions law and the admissions process.

The Diocese seeks to support all Church schools to conduct their admissions processes correctly and within the law.

Training, suitable for governors and/or school staff to attend can be arranged by contacting Jo Willis.

The course will aim to:

  • clarify governors and school staff responsibilities within the admissions process;
  • highlight some common mistakes that schools make;
  • answer any questions that arise.

School buildings and capital

The Diocese has responsibilities for schools and parts of schools, that are well over 200 years old through to those less that 2 months old, and some that are still in the planning stage!

All proposed development work of a semi-permanent or permanent nature must be notified to the Diocese, even where the school is local authority maintained or an academy. This includes, for example, fixed play equipment, change of use of a carpark or footpath, a conservatory or extension as well as major building works. The use of Church of England land and buildings is often regrettably extremely complex and checks even including legal advice must sometimes be made.

Educational Foundations grants and loans

The Educational Foundations is a diocesan fund available for CE schools to apply to for additional works that cannot be met by local authority, trust or other local sources including charities. There is a further opportunity for schools to be loaned funding at preferential rates.

We are delighted that schools have been successful in applications. This funding has enabled projects such as the creation of; a trim trail, an all weather running track, a mosaic mural of a new school vision, a community reception and welcome area and an Early Years outside area.

Schools must apply by the first week of December each year for consideration. Please contact Jo Willis for more information.

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