Independent schools are often referred to as private schools. They are independent in their governance and finances and usually charge fees. Many operate as charitable trusts and are governed by a board of trustees. However, the general principles of effective governance apply to independent schools as much as they apply to other schools, such as academies and schools maintained by local authorities.

This topic explains the terms of reference, powers, limitations and key responsibilities of the governing body. It also sets out how meetings and committees function.

Information on governance in Academies can be found in the Governance — Academies section.

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