PAT PETCH, the voice of school governors for the past three years, will stand down as chair of the National Governors' Council at its annual meeting later this month.
Mrs Petch, who has headed the organisation since 1996, will not be standing for any other executive positions. She remains a governor at a London special school and will continue to chair Teddington primary school governing body.
The council was launched in October 1994, to provide a national voice for governing bodies. A registered charity, it currently claims to have member associations in more than 70 education authorities.
Mrs Petch said:"It's time to make room for new people to come in. I shall miss it terribly, because it's been an unpaid full-time job. I wouldn't have not done it for the world. But it's good for the organisation to move on."
During her time as the council's chair she has held regular discussions with the Department for Education and Employment. She recently gave evidence to the House of Commons education committee's inquiry into the role of governors and has campaigned with the Secondary Heads Association for improved school funding.
The council has received at least two nominations for the top job. Chris Gale, a vice-chairman and member of the Association of Swindon Governors, is a contender. Nominations closed last Friday.