There are a number of different categories of school governor, each with different appointment and election procedures. Not all categories appear on every governing body and the make up of each governing body is given in the Instrument of Government for maintained schools and in the Articles of Association for an Academy. Most governors serve for a four year term of office, but governing bodies can decide to choose a term of between one and four years for any category of governor. In Academies the trust also has the power to appoint governors.
When appointing governors, consideration should be given to the the skills and experience needed by the governing body to enable it to carry out its duties effectively.
Pupils over eighteen years of age are eligible to be governors.
Governors are either:
ElectedParent and staff governors (except the Headteacher). A candidate is "elected unopposed" when the number of nominations is less than or equals the number of vacancies (and is not 'appointed').
AppointedCo-opted, foundation, local authority and partnership; parent governors (in certain limited circumstances); trust governors (in Academies); associate members. Each category of appointed governor has a different appointing body, and a different appointment procedure. The process by which governors are appointed should always support fairness and openness.
Co-opted governors may serve on governing bodies of all maintained schools. They are selected and appointed by the governing body because they have the skills required to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school. They can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who are committed to the success of the school. In making their choice, the governing body should try to widen the representation and skills represented on the governing body.
They can be parents, elected members of the local authority or members of staff providing that the total number of co-opted governors who are eligible to be elected as staff governors, when counted with the staff governor and the headteacher, does not exceed one third of the total membership of the governing body
Some academies have also included this category of governor in their governing body. This will be shown in their articles of association.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of co-opted governors.
There are foundation governors only at some foundation, voluntary aided, voluntary controlled schools and academies, also at trust schools with a foundation. Those in faith schools are appointed by the church or other voluntary body that originally set up the school to uphold the faith ethos of the school.
The parish priest or vicar may be an ex officio foundation governor of the local voluntary aided school and this will be stated in the Instrument of Government of the school.
In some schools the number of foudation positions must outnumber the total number of all other governors by at least two.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of foundation governors.
Local Authority Governors are nominated by the LA according to criteria set by the governing body of the relevant maintained school. There is one Local Authority governor on the governing body of each of Torbay's maintained schools. The appointment (and reappointment) process for a Local Authority governor includes input from the relevant governing body who determine the skills and experienced required from the nominated candidate.
No one who is eligible to be a staff governor can be appointed as a Local Authority governor.
In making decisions on the nomination of Local Authority governors the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Has a commitment to, and an interest in, education;
- Has a desire to support the school concerned;
- Has a willingness to serve the local community;
- Has skills and experience which will support the work of the school;
- Has the ability to work as a member of a team;
- Is able to arrange their commitments to fit in with membership of a Governing Body;
- Will respect the Council's views on education matters at Governing Body meetings.
- Will attend relevant training
Please contact us if you are interested in applying for any Local Authority governor vacancy or if you would like to discuss school governorship in general.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of local authority governors.
There must be places for at least two parent governors in every school and academy in Torbay. They are elected by and from the parents of registered pupils at the school, but very occasionally, if no nominations are received, a parent governor can be appointed by the governing body.
A person wishing to stand as a parent governor must have a child at the school at the time of their election. For this purpose the legal definition of parent is 'any individual who has or has had parental responsibility for, or cares or has cared for, a child or young person under the age of 19'. If their child leaves the school during their term, they can continue to the end of their term of office. No one who works in the school for more than 500 hours in any school year is eligible for election or appointment as a parent governor, although they may vote in parent governor elections.
If there are more candidates than vacant places, an election will take place by secret ballot. If there is the same number of candidates as vacancies, then candidates are elected unopposed. If insufficient nominations are received, a parent governor can be appointed by the governing body but special criteria for appointment apply in these circumstances.
Parent governor representatives on Torbay Council
There are places for two parent governor representatives (PGRs) to serve on the Overview and Scrutiny Board, with voting rights on matters to do with education. They serve a two year term. PGRs are elected to represent all parents whose children are in local authority maintained schools or in some other form of education provided by the local authority and are elected from serving parent governors. They play an important role in giving parents a say in local authority decisions that affect schools.
Governing Body Support co-ordinates the election process.
If you would like to discuss the PGR role please contact us.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of parent governors.
Details of the rules governing the election of parent governors in Torbay schools.
There are partnership governors only at foundation schools. They are appointed by the governing body from nominations received from the local community and parents of pupils at the school. They cannot themselves be elected members of the LA, members of staff or parents of pupils currently attending the school.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of partnership governors.
There is one place for an elected staff member on the governing body of all maintained schools. Governors are elected by and from all the teaching and support staff. They cannot be appointed.
The head is a member of the governing body by virtue of their post, and serves in addition to the staff category. The head of a school may choose whether or not to be a governor. If they decide not to be a governor, they still have the right to attend all meetings of the governing body and its committees. The place remains reserved for them and cannot be taken by anyone else.
The staff governor is elected by the school staff. Any contested election is held by a secret ballot of all staff.
Staff may also be appointed as Co-opted governors provided that the total number of co-opted governors who are also eligible to be elected as staff governors, when counted with the staff governor, does not exceed one third of the total membership of the governing body.
In academies, staff governors can be either elected or appointed by any process determined by the governing body provided that the number of governors employed by the academy does not make up more than one third of the total governor positions.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of staff governors.
Details of the rules governing the election of staff governors in Torbay schools.
These can be appointed by the governing body to serve on one or more governing body committees, and may attend full governing body meetings. They are not governors, but the governing body may assign some voting rights in the committees on which they serve.
Information on the procedure for the appointment of associate members to the governing body.
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