The first meeting of the Governing Body was held on 23 October 1891 at the offices of the London School Board. It was originally made up of 12 members:
5 members nominated by the Committee of the South London Polytechnic Institutes;
3 members nominated by the Central Governing Body of the City Parochial Foundation;
2 members nominated by the London County Council;
2 members nominated by the School Board of London.
The Chair of the first meeting was Sir Philip Magnus. The Chair was shared between Sir Philip Magnus, Evan Spicer and Edric Bayley until Edric Bayley was chosen as the permanent Chair at the meeting of 18 February 1892.
At its meeting of 31 March 1892 the Governing Body appointed three committees of seven members each. A Finance Committee, Educational Committee and Recreational Committee. The Educational and Recreation Committee sat together as the General Purposes Committee. The General Purposes Committee advised on the classes to be provided and the teaching staff.
With the formation of the Polytechnic of the South Bank a Council of Governors was created, whose first meeting was held on 24 September 1970, with Harold Shearman as Chairman. The last meeting of the Governing Body of the Borough Polytechnic was held on 12 November 1970.
This became the Board of Governors in 1989.