A SHORTAGE of volunteers willing to step up to the role of a governor in Warrington means that there is a number of unfilled positions on the bodies which run schools.

Across 61 schools in Warrington, there are 61 governor vacancies out of 814 governor posts.

The exact figure could be higher as the council does not hold information regarding governors for academies and free schools.

Some state schools also decided not to sign up to the clerking service for governing bodies and the council are consequently unaware of any vacant positions at these schools.

Kate Morgan, assistant negotiating secretary Warrington at the largest teachers’ union, NASUWT, said she wasn’t surprised by the lack of people coming forward to act as school governors.

She said: “Governors have a responsibility for huge amounts of public money and are in the post to be critical friends to schools, yet many have little or no experience of teaching, budgeting and running a school.

“These are volunteer posts and yet carry such weight with them that governance can impact negatively on a school's Ofsted, and therefore the perception of a school in the community.

“The stakes for these volunteers are remarkably high. Who would want that weight on their shoulders for no remuneration?”

Governors play an important role in schools by supporting and challenging the head teacher, setting the direction of the school and ensuring that the school budget is spent appropriately.

More people are being urged to take up the role of a governor to ensure school standards are met.

A council spokesman said: “Governing bodies play an absolutely vital role in schools.

“Compared to national figures the number of vacancies in Warrington is low, however the council closely monitors any vacancies.

“We would encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to contact us or their local school.”

In order to become a governor, you must be aged 18 or over. You do not have to be a parent with a child at the school to take on the role.