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The Role of Foundation Governors

Foundation governors are the representatives of the Church of England on the governing board and all Church of England schools must have foundation governors.

In Voluntary Aided (VA) schools, they must outnumber all other categories of governor combined by a majority of two. In Voluntary Controlled (VC) schools, there must be at least two foundation governors, but they must not exceed one quarter of the total number of governor places.

The Foundation Governor role can helpfully be thought of as nurturing, encouraging and challenging the school to live out its Christian foundation by:
  • Encouraging positive links between the school, the parish church and the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE)
  • Taking an active role in monitoring the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) process and ensuring recommendations contained in the reports are considered and addressed
  • Ensuring that the Christian ethos of the school is encouraged throughout its community and is reflected in its policies and protocols, the curriculum, activities and self-review
  • Ensuring that their own attitudes and behaviour in relation to the school, and the way the Governing Board conducts its business reflect the school’s Christian ethos
  • Supporting the role of clergy in school


Whilst many Foundation Governors are active members of the Church of England, this is not an absolute requirement. Foundation Governors may be appointed who attend church but are not necessarily baptised or communicants. They may be members of other Christian denominations.

There is also discretion to appoint those who are not members of a church or faith community where this is felt to be locally appropriate. However, all candidates must declare that they will uphold the Christian ethos of the school.