There are different types of Governors/people who attend the governing body meetings. They have different voting rights. These are explained below, with the definitions, if marked by “ ”, taken directly from ‘The Governance Handbook’ October 2020, available.

“The Constitution Regulations 2012 provide that the total membership of the board must be no fewer than seven governors and the board must include:

  • at least two Parent Governors – elected where possible, otherwise appointed
  • the headteacher, unless they resign the office of governor
  • only one elected Staff Governor
  • only one LA Governor; nominated by the LA, appointed by the board
  • where appropriate, Foundation Governors or Partnership Governors “(not applicable to Copnor Primary School)
The Chair

The chair, with support from the vice chair and the clerk/governance professional, is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the board and has a vital role in setting the highest of expectations for professional standards of governance. It is the chair’s role to give the board clear leadership and direction, keeping it focused on its core strategic functions. A chair should encourage the board to work together as an effective team, building their skills, knowledge and experience. They need to ensure that everyone is actively contributing relevant skills and experience, participating constructively in meetings, and actively involved in the work of any committees. It is their role to make sure everyone understands what is expected of them and receives appropriate induction, training and development. It is for the chair to have honest conversations, as necessary, if anyone appears not to be committed or is ineffective in their role.“

All boards must have a clerk, who should be the board’s ‘governance professional’. In a maintained school, the clerk must not be a governor or the headteacher. However, if the clerk is absent from a meeting, a governor can be appointed as clerk for the purpose of that meeting. Clerks receive direction from, and are accountable to, the board and this will normally be through the chair.”
Co-opted Governors
The board may appoint as many additional Co-opted Governors as are permitted by the instrument of government and as it considers necessary. The number of Co-opted Governors who are eligible to be elected or appointed as Staff Governors must not (when added to the one Staff Governor and the headteacher) exceed one-third of the total membership of the board.”
Local authority nominated Governors
For LA Governor appointments, a board should make clear its eligibility criteria including its expectations of the credentials and skills prospective candidates should possess. LAs must then make every effort to understand the board’s requirements in order to identify and nominate suitable candidates. It is for the board to decide whether the LA nominee meets any stated eligibility criteria and, if it chooses to reject the candidate on that basis, to explain their decision to the LA. Once appointed, LA Governors must govern in the interests of the school and not represent or advocate for the political or other interests of the LA; it is unacceptable practice to link the right to nominate LA governors to the local balance of political power.”
Parent Governor
They are elected by the staff at the school via an anonymous election (unless there is only one candidate). They cannot be the Headteacher.
Associate members
The governing body of a maintained school can appoint associate members to serve on one or more committees of the board. Associate members can attend full board meetings but do not vote and may be excluded from any part of a meeting where the business being considered concerns a member of school staff or an individual pupil. They are appointed for a period of between one and four years and can be reappointed at the end of their term of office. Associate members are not governors and they are not recorded in the instrument of government. Regulation 13 of the School Governance (Constitution)(England) Regulations 2012 65 54. The definition of associate member is wide. Pupils, school staff and people who want to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise (for instance, finance) can be appointed as associate members.”
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