Composition of school governing body

You will need 30 minutes to complete this activity.

  1. Reflect on the governing body of an institution you identified in Learning Activity 2.
  2. Name the type of people who constitute that governing body. (Examples can be a local community elder, a senior teacher, a retired company manager, a local business person).
  3. For each person you identify, briefly describe the expertise they bring to the governing body, which may enhance the effectiveness of the body.
    Post your answer in the discussion forum and engage with someone else’s post.
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Composition of school governing council or body of The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. was constituted by the Federal government of Nigeria and were comprises of technocratic, academicians/scholars, community leader and retired civil or public service. Community leader plays dual role, the person to communicate with the community and also deliver back to the body. Governing body are to execute or approve the management plan. They are the apex body in the institution.

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  1. I used an extract about a School Governing Body from one of the Kiribati Government’s school policy - the section 'Board of Government for the King George V School and Elaine Bernacchi Secondary School. This School Governing Body is made up of 10 people selected from the community with an interest in education and knows about education in the context of Kiribati. These people are selected by the Minister of Education and they are officially called Board of Governors. The Governors will hold office for 3 years. The governing body of the school has its main core duty to oversee and support the overall functions of the school to achieve the goal of delivering quality education to all students enrolled in the school.

  2. In the School Policy, the Principal is normally one of the governors of the school governing body. But the policy does not clearly state of other governors of who might be in terms of their expertise or skills required for their suitability as members of the governing body.I believed that the selection of governors is selective and the governors might be people with not only an interest or understanding about education, but they would be also selected according to their areas of expertise. This is important that they will give an effective decision and steering the school to achieving a set goal.


The types of people who constitute that governing body:

  1. The School Principal

  2. Teacher representative

  3. Church leader

  4. Representatives (2) from the Community (Stakeholders)

  5. A local Businessman

  6. The school principal informs the Governing body of the plan for the school for the year.

  7. Teacher representative may voice the teachers concerns to the governing body.

  8. Church leader is to re-enforce good moral behavior in the organization.

  9. Stakeholders are to bring forward issues that parents bring forward for the governing body to attend to or ideas for the smooth running of the school.

  10. A local businessman to sponsor school activities such as sports awards or awards at school for students’ achievement.

Note that the Governing body should have Chairman, Vice Chairman, Finance and assistant Finance.


Governing Bodies- the school where I teach is governed by the constitution of Macuata Muslim League Fiji.They look after the Muslim schools in the North. A constitution binds the school operations and the school committee members. The school manager is selected by the governing body and the members are chosen through the community meetings. The school is managed by the school manager who is the major signatory to finance with another committee member; the Treasurer. Head of school needs to get Approvals for any school expenses done.School committee members include the school manager, treasurer, Secretary, and few board members with the Head teacher.
They look after the expenses, budgets, physical environment and building and infrastructure.
Headteacher- employee of Ministry of Education to run the school/ works to improve school academic results and to fulfill the vision and mission of the school.
Management - oversee on the physical environment, resources, visions /missions with HOS, buildings etc,

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There are specific governing bodies that oversee the affairs of specific tertiary institutions. For example, there is the National University Commission, which oversees the affairs of the nation’s universities. Among the main activities undertaken by the governing body are:

  1. Developing and implementing policies for institutional operations
  2. Approving the annual budget, monitoring expenditures, and ensuring financial discipline
  3. Responsible for hiring staff and ensuring due process.
  4. Overseeing the development and implementation of curriculum and instruction
  5. Facilities Management
  6. Foster positive relationships with parents and the wider community Parent and Community Engagement
  7. Setting up policies and procedures for academic and administrative discipline
  8. Monitoring and evaluating academic achievement.

Being the only open school in the country, unlike the rest of the conventional schools where a School Governing Body (SGB) is required for operation, to my knowledge, there is no SGB in my institution. The MOET oversees the institution’s activities while the Principal manages it, with the help of the staff-academic and non-academic. From the course readings, I find this quite an anomaly. As result, questions 2 and 3 are difficult to tackle in the absence of the aforementioned.

I concur with you. A typical SGB looks like this one.

How can school governing bodies be assisted in understanding their supporting and managerial role instead of ‘policing’ the school’s administration?

The governing body in my institute (USP) in Fiji includes the Council and Senate Secretariat. The council includes the following people:

  • Pro-Chancellor & Chair of Council
  • Vice-Chancellor and President
  • Deputy Pro-Chancellor & Deputy Chair of Council Also Government of New Zealand Representative
  • Minister for Education Cook Islands
  • Minister for Education Republic of Kiribati
  • Minister for Education, Sports & Training Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Minister for Education Republic of Nauru
  • Minister for Education Niue
  • Minister for Education & Human Resources Development Solomon Islands
  • Minister for Education Tokelau
  • Education, Youth & Sports Tuvalu
  • Prime Minister & Minister for Education & Training Kingdom of Tonga
  • Minister for Education & Training Republic of Vanuatu
  • Minister for Education, Sports & Culture Samoa
  • Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Finance Samoa
  • Minister for Education Republic of Fiji
  • Acting Permanent Secretary for Education Republic of Fiji
  • Permanent Secretary for Economy Republic of Fiji
  • Republic of Fiji Representatives (2 posts)
  • Australian Government Representative Also Interim Chair of Audit & Risk Committee
  • Secretary General Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
  • Senate Representatives (2 posts)
  • University Staff Representatives (2 posts)
  • USP Students Association Representatives (2 posts)
  • Co-Opted (3 posts)

The Senate shall consist of the following persons, namely:

  1. Ex-officio members being:
  • The Vice-Chancellor and President (who shall be Chair of the Senate);
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s);
  • The Chief Operating Officer;
  • The Heads of Academic Units
  • The Director, Information Technology Services;
  • The University Librarian;
  • The Executive Director, Finance;
  • The Executive Director, People and Workforce Strategy
  1. Elected members being:
  • One Professor per School elected by academic staff of the School
  • Five non-professorial academic staff to be elected by all academic staff, at least three of whom shall be women;
  • Three Directors of Campus outside Fiji, at least one of whom shall be a woman, to be elected by all Directors of Campus;
  • Four student members, at least two of whom shall be women, to be appointed or elected in accordance with Ordinances of the University.
  1. A member appointed from any academic institution which is affiliated or otherwise associated with the University, on such terms as the Council may from time to time determine.
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The school i teach is one of the College here in Samoa.

The type of people who is the governing body include the

  • Principal: Set all the rules, lead the school and also managed the staffs and move the organisation where it needs to be

  • Vice-Principal: Assist in the formulation of policies, organisational plans, goals and objectives in order to develop and maintain and educationally effective school for the students to attend

  • Head of Departments: Provide professional leadership for those or the staff within the delegate areas of responsibility that they are responsible for

  • Teachers: Preparing lessons plan and educating students at any level

  • School Committee: oversee the school activities

  • Class of Prefects: looked after the students when teachers have their meeting

Yes, I understand that without a governing body in place, one cannot answer questions 1 and 2 of this activity. If you know of any such body in another school in your country, you could probably respond with reference to that school.

It would also be a good thing to establish a governing body in your open school, even if it is the only one in the country. I am sure very soon, there will be one as your open school is growing.

Thanks Farid, it shows how your institution differs in terms of structure from other universities. This also demonstrates how function influences structure. The governing body of your institution looks very well constituted.

The type of people who constitute the governing body varies depending on the organization or society. However, in general, the governing body of an organization or society may include the following types of people and their areas of expertise:

  1. Board of Directors: The board of directors is responsible for the overall governance of a company. Board members typically have expertise in business, finance, law, or other relevant areas.
  2. Trustees: Trustees are responsible for the governance of non-profit organizations. They may have expertise in fundraising, grant writing, non-profit law, or other relevant areas.
  3. Government Officials: Government officials, such as elected representatives or appointed officials, are responsible for governing and managing a society. They may have expertise in law, public policy, economics, or other relevant areas.
  4. School Boards: School boards are responsible for governing and managing schools. Board members may have expertise in education, finance, or other relevant areas.
  5. Community Leaders: Community leaders may be responsible for governing and managing a community organization or group. They may have expertise in community development, fundraising, or other relevant areas.
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Well explained, Debolina. Indeed the nature of the organisation determines the type of people who should constitute a governing body. What is interesting with school boards is that sometimes you get people who do not have any idea of how an educational institution should operate. In many instances they do not become functional at all and everything is left to the school principal. The results is that where the principal is weak or corrupt, the school ceases to be functional.

The composition of of governing body of the TVET institution I identified had nine members as follows:

  1. A chairperson
  2. a representative of the Principal Secretary in the Ministry responsible for technical and vocational training;
  3. a representative of the county Governor of the county within which the institution is located; and
  4. six other persons appointed on the basis of their knowledge and experience in—
    i) leadership and management;
    ii) Financial management;
    iii) technology;
    iv) industry;
    v) engineering;
    vi) information communication technology.
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  1. Exemplifying from the Teacher training institution I am currently working at; the Kiribati Teachers’ College, governance structure is still being reviewed but as of now, the highest governing body, the Academic Advisory Committee, comprises the Director of Education, Senior Officials from the various education sectors of the Ministry of Education; Primary, JSS and Senior Secondary, Curriculum, Policy and Planning, including two external members, one from the mission senior secondary school and another from the institute of technology institution.

  2. Members are selected based on standards aligned to the Education Quality Assurance Programme (as the college is striving towards gaining accreditation from this regional accreditation agency, EQAP), in terms of their qualification (Masters), industrial background knowledge and experiences (teaching) and leadership skills and experiences. With these prior experiences and knowledge on subject content matter they majored in and their leadership skills, their contributions during the review of the college programmes, courses and policies were valued and indeed support development of programmes and courses which meet the needs of the teachers (government’s and missions’), MoE and other relevant stakeholders, and quality outcomes expected. Being senior officials in their respective organizations and or educational divisions, they have provided advices, directions and recommendations which have contributed a lot to efficient operation of the college.

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Mai Idris Alooma Polytechnic Geidam in Yobe state is my Area of Primary Assignment. There are two bodies that oversees the Polytechnic.

  1. The National Board for Technical Education, otherwise known as NBTE, supervises, regulates and oversee educational programmes offered by the polytechnic and
  2. The Governing Council that is formed by the state government and is responsible for the general management of the affairs of the Polytechnic.
    The Governing Council constitute about 17 members, headed by the Chairman, the polytechnic Registrar is the Secretary of the Governing Council.
    A Community representative is among the members and there is also representative of Academic union of the Polytechnic, that ASUP in this case.
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The main activities undertaken by our school governing body include;

  • Set norms and standards
  • Formulate goals and policies
  • Set strategic vision and direction
  • Oversea management and organization performance
  • Ensure ethical and legal compliance in all aspects
  • Give direction so that its mandate is met
  • Mobilize resources for effective running of the school

The type of people who constitute the governing body of our college include;

  • Old Principal of the College
  • Retired Local Government Secretary
  • Retired Bank Manger
  • Business Man
  • Local Community Elder
  • PTA Chairman
  • College Senior Master

Old Principal of the College

His vast experience about the school nature and management will help a lot in enhancing the effectiveness of the college.

Retired Local Government Secretary

His experience in administration and management of both human and material resources will equally assist in properly managing the students, staff and overall affairs of the college.

Retired Bank Manger

His banking experience will help in appropriate handling of the college budgets, and any other financial managements. He equally helps in mediating issues that may arise from his experiences of such nature.

Business Man

The business experience he has will go a long way in handling all procurement issues of the college, including budgets and human resource management as well.

Local Community Elder

This will equally help in advocating to the community people the importance and relevance of the school to the community and how qualitative it is to the community children.

PTA Chairman

This will serve as the middleman between the school authority and the parents of the students so as to see what the school do in favour of the students and the community at large, and ensuring that all norms and values of the school are respected and adhered to.

College Senior Master

As a college staff, who is always with the students and equally aware of all the ethics of the college codes of conducts, he will ensure that all issues are in line with those norms and values and as well in favour of students’ welfare for smooth running od college activities.

That is great, but what expertise do ASUP bring to the governing body of your Polytechnic? Kind regards