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Categories of school governors

The make up of a governing body should reflect a wide range of groups from the community and includes -

Parent governors – All schools have a number of places reserved for parents of pupils at the school. Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Where there are more parents wishing to serve as governors than vacancies, an election is held. The headteacher shall inform parents when there are to be elections for parent governors and shall invite nominations.

Staff governors – Both teaching and other staff paid to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship. Staff governors are elected by the school staff and must be paid to work at the school; volunteers are not eligible. The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office and counts as a member of the staff category.  The headteacher shall inform all appropriate members of staff of the school when there are to be elections for staff governors and shall invite nominations from teachers or support staff as appropriate.

Authority governors – Each school’s governing body has a number of governors who are appointed by the Local Authority (LA). The LA is encouraged to appoint high calibre candidates to schools that need most support and to appoint candidates irrespective of any political affiliation or preferences.

Co-opted governors – are appointed by the governing body. Community governors can be persons who live or work in the community served by the school, or persons who do not work or live close to the school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.

Foundation governors – If the school is supported by a foundation, which is normally related to a religious denomination, then some of its governors are appointed by that foundation. In the case of a voluntary aided school, the majority of governors are foundation governors.

Sponsor governors – Persons who give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind, or who provide services to the school can be appointed by the governing body as sponsor governors. This definition allows for external partners, including other schools, who offer advice and support to a school to be represented on the governing body. It is at the governing body’s discretion whether they choose to appoint sponsor governors or not.

Associate member – Associate members are persons interested in contributing to the work of the governing body, but who are, for various reasons, not able or reluctant to become governors. Associate members are not governors. Associate members can attend governing body meetings, but they do not have any voting rights in these meetings. They will not be able to vote on staffing, finance, admissions and discipline matters and on election or appointment of governors.

Find out how to apply to become an authority or community governor

Contact us

Governors' Team
Children, Young People and Family Services
3rd Floor
Treasury Building
Guildhall Road

Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349

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