Thinking of becoming a foundation governor in the Diocese of Lichfield? 

Check out our Quick Start Guide before completing the application form.

Still interested?

Then read on to the bottom of the page where you will find the full DBE policy to download, the final step is to complete the application form and send the link for the refence form to your local incumbent to complete. 

The Role of the Governing Board

The role of the Governing/Trust Board is to contribute to the work of the school in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people in the school by:

Establishing the strategic direction, by:

  • Develop and uphold the Christian distinctiveness of the school
  • Setting and ensuring clarity of vision, values, and objectives for the school(s)
  • Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets
  • Meeting statutory duties

Ensuring accountability by:

  • Appointing the headteacher/executive headteacher
  • Monitoring the educational performance of the school/s and progress towards agreed targets
  • Performance managing the headteacher/ executive headteacher
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Contributing to school self-evaluation

Overseeing financial performance, by:

  • Setting the budget
  • Monitoring spending against the budget
  • Ensuring money is well spent and value for money is obtained
  • Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed

Role of The foundation Governor

Foundation governors have the same core objectives as any other member of the governing body. In addition THEY have a special role in, and responsibility for, ensuring that the Christian Character of a Church of England School is secured, preserved and developed and that the school is run in accordance with any trust deed relating to the school.

Who nominates Foundation Governors/Trustees?

In most cases, one of the Foundation Governors will be the incumbent of the school’s parish/benefice by virtue of their office. This is called the Ex-officio Foundation Governor.

The school’s Instrument of Government,  will set out which organisation has the responsibility of appointing the remaining Foundation Governors.

In the Diocese of Lichfield, appointments may be made either by the Diocesan Board of Education, (DBE), or the Parochial Church Council, (PCC).

Nominations for PCC Foundation Governor appointments should be ratified at a PCC meeting. The nomination form is completed by the PCC Secretary.

Nominations for the appointment of DBE Foundation Governors, should be made by the Incumbent. The Incumbent should consult with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors. The nomination form should be completed by the nominee and the reference form by the Incumbent. When there is an interregnum, this task can be discharged by the PCC Secretary or a Churchwarden.

Who should they be?

  • ‘Actual communicant’ and church electoral roll member within the Church of England ¹
  • Regular worshipper at Church of England services or
  • Regular worshipper within one of the Member Churches of ‘Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’ (CTBI) or
  • By exception, an individual may be appointed as Foundation governor being a Christian who is not a regular worshipper at one the churches listed above but is committed to the tenets of the Apostles’ Creed²

A reference from the relevant church leader must be provided by everyone putting their name forward for consideration as a foundation governor. If this is not achievable, e.g. in the case of the ‘by exception’ criteria, then the nominee must be interviewed, by the ex-officio Foundation Governor.

Any person employed by the school, (whether by the Local Authority or the Governing Body), is not eligible to become a Foundation Governor, except in exceptional circumstances.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, Foundation Governors will not be able to serve for more than three consecutive terms (i.e. 12 years) at the same school.

The appointment process

The LDBE keep a list of foundation governors in a database, including their terms of office and expiry dates.

Where we are aware of an upcoming vacancy (either due to our database monitoring or as result of being notified of a resignation) we will write to the Incumbent / PCC seeking a recommendation of an individual to fulfil the vacant role. In the case of an ex-officio vacancy, we usually ask the PCC to provide a recommendation for a temporary ex officio which is then put to the Archdeacon.

We ask that the recommendation is made using our standard application form, and in the light of the guidance provided in this document. The application form can be found on our website. There is a separate form on the website for the Incumbent’s reference. The LDBE also require confirmation from the Chair of Governors and Headteacher that they have been consulted as to the applicant suitability to the role, prior to the recommendation to the LDBE.

Recommendations for LDBE appointments are provided to the LDBE’s governance officer for approval by the LDBE Committee. For details on when the next meeting will take place please click here. 


¹It is the role of local clergy to interpret for their community the word ‘regular’ in relation to their attendance for worship. ‘Actual communicant’ is determined by Rule 54 of the Church Representation rules and is thus defined; “a person who has received communion according to the use of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with the Church of England at least three times during the twelve months preceding the date of his election or appointment being a person whose name is on the roll (church electoral roll) of a parish and is either; (a) confirmed or ready and desirous of being confirmed; or (b) receiving the Holy Communion in accordance with the provisions of Canon B 15A paragraph 1(b)”
²It is vital that the PCC works with the school to ensure that the makeup of the governing body includes sufficient communicant representation of the Church of England. The LDBE knows the experience and depth of church commitment which those who are both an actual communicant and electoral roll members of the Church of England bring to their important foundation governor role.
The LDBE asks each PCC and school to work together in partnership, knowing their local context, to ensure that there is Anglican communicant representation on the governing body. Our expectation is that half of the foundation governors at any school will be actual communicants and church electoral roll members of the Church of England, therefore an application from an individual from another category may not be successful where the appointment would mean that the number of communicant members of the Church of England would fall below that ratio.