Frequently asked questions

This section provides answers to FAQs.

What is a controlled school?

Controlled nursery, primary, special, secondary and grammar schools are under the management of the schools Board of Governors and the employing authority is the Education Authority (EA). The modern controlled schools sector is a large, diverse and distinctive education system.

Who can be a controlled school governor?

You must be over 18 to be a school governor – you don’t have to be a parent with a child at the school.

Do I need to have a particular skill set or experience to apply?

You don’t need to have a particular skill set or experience. School governors bring a range of skills and competencies from their own working and personal lives to the role.

Along with these you should have an interest in education, a commitment to the school and its ethos. You should also have free time you can dedicate to the role.

What is the role of a controlled school board of governors?

The role of the Board of Governors in a controlled school is to make sure that the school provides its pupils with the best possible education.

What are the responsibilities of Boards of Governors?

Governors have a range of responsibilities. They play a central role in the planning, development, monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of school life, including setting the strategic direction for the school and appointing staff.

What types of controlled schools need governors?

All phases of controlled schools need governors. Nursery, primary, special and post primary. 

How long is the term of office for a governor?

Governors serve for four years.

What is the make-up of a controlled school Board of Governors?

A controlled school’s Board of Governors is made up of parent and teacher representatives, TRC (Transferors Representative Council) representatives and members of the general public appointed by the Education Authority (EA) or Department of Education (DE).

Do all of these representatives have the same responsibilities and voting rights?

Although nominated by different groups, all governors have the same role and voting rights.

Can I specify the school I wish to apply to?

Yes, on the application form you can apply to a specific school if you wish or you can indicate a school phase or geographical area you are interested in. If the schools you apply for have no governor vacancies then you will be offered an alternative school that could benefit from your skills. 

Who cannot be a school governor?

You will not be eligible to be a school governor if

  • You already hold 3 school governor posts
  • You are adjudged bankrupt
  • You are applying for a post in a school where you are employed
  • You are applying for a post in a school and you have a financial interest in the supply of goods or services to that school
  • You have been convicted within the previous 5 years of any offence with a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than 3 months without the option of a fine.

How can I apply?