The Hogwarts Board of Governors is a group of twelve wizards who oversee the running of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The appointment and suspension of a Headmaster is up to the governors. The Board is obliged to take action if any parent seeks redress on any school-related issue (such as the Buckbeak attack on Draco Malfoy, in September 1993). They also have the authority to shut down the school entirely if they feel it is necessary.
Lucius Malfoy was once the chairman of the school governors, but was thrown off the Board in mid-1993 for threatening to curse the other eleven governors' families if they didn't suspend Albus Dumbledore from the position of Headmaster of Hogwarts. The identities of the current twelve governors are unknown, as are how they are appointed or even the full extent of their authority.
Behind the scenes
- Albus Dumbledore: "-but as the Ministry has no authority to punish Hogwarts students for misdemeanours at school,...."
- Cornelius Fudge: "Laws can be changed."
- — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Notably, any discussion of the Board of Governors was absent in relation to the Ministry of Magic's interference in the operation of Hogwarts during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, most particularly in regard to the temporary installation of Dolores Umbridge as Headmistress. It seems the Educational Decrees, passed by the Ministry, gave them the authority to override the authority of teachers, the headmaster and possibly the school governors.
- The Headmaster's office did not accept Dolores Umbridge as Headmistress of Hogwarts despite the passage of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Eight by Cornelius Fudge. Perhaps this was because she was not appointed by the governors.
- At the ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the professors of Hogwarts agreed that they would need to consult the governors as to whether or not Hogwarts would be allowed to reopen the following year. Any such consultation, however, was likely rendered irrelevant when the Ministry was overthrown by Voldemort's Death Eaters and again assumed direct control of the school.
- Exactly how Voldemort took over the school to appoint Severus Snape headmaster is currently unknown. He could have coerced the governors as Lucius Malfoy had done to suspend Albus Dumbledore; he could have replaced the governors with Death Eaters; or the Ministry could have appointed him by Educational Decree. In any case, the Headmaster's office accepted him as legitimate, allowing him access and providing him advice. When he essentially abandoned his post during the Battle of Hogwarts his portrait was not automatically placed there, suggesting he lost legitimacy as headmaster.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard