Ealing Learning Partnership

ELP support for clerks

Role of the clerk

The DfE clerking competency framework sets out the competencies required to deliver professional clerking in local authority (LA) maintained schools, federations, single academy trusts (SATs) and multi-academy trusts (MATs). The purpose of this non-statutory guidance is to demonstrate the importance of professional clerking and the breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to deliver it.

Appointment of the clerk to the governing board

The governing board must appoint a clerk to the governing board. Governors, associate members and the head teacher of the school cannot be appointed as clerk to the governing board.

If the clerk does not attend a meeting, the governors present at the meeting can appoint a member of the governing board (but not the head teacher) to act as clerk for that meeting.

Functions of the clerk

It is the responsibility of the clerk of the governing board to:

  • Convene meetings of the governing board;
  • Attend meetings of the governing board and ensure minutes are taken;
  • Maintain a register of members of the governing board and report vacancies to the governing board;
  • Maintain a register of attendance and report this to the governing board;
  • Give and receive notices in accordance with relevant regulations;

Perform such other functions as may be determined by the governing board from time to time and those which form part of the job description.

Clerks’ toolkit

Handbook and guide

School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 (legislation.gov)
Regulation 15 of the Roles, Procedures and Allowance Regulations provides that the governing board must make available for inspection, to any interested person, a copy of the agenda, signed minutes and reports or papers considered at the meeting as soon as is reasonably practical.

The governing board is obliged to make this information available upon request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (legislation.gov) unless any other of the specific exemptions in that Act apply:

Therefore, the governing board will only be able to withhold information that constitutes personal data or confidential information, in each case, within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act.

The information management toolkit for schools (pdf) has been created to assist schools to manage their information in line with legislative frameworks. The most recent version can be found on the IRMS website http://irms.org.uk/page/SchoolsToolkit.

Clerks are expected to manage their current record keeping systems using an agreed retention schedule and to take account of the different kinds of retention periods when they are creating new record keeping systems.

Contact us

School governance team

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Last updated: 09 Jun 2022