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Election procedures for governors

Parent governors and staff governors

The local authority is responsible for the organisation of parent and staff governor elections although in practice the responsibility for the conduct of parent and staff governor elections in individual schools is delegated to the headteacher, as returning officer.

Elections are conducted in accordance with the procedures agreed by the local authority and are set out in the documents below.

Parent governor elections during COVID and a Tier 5 national lockdown

Whilst there is no updated DfE advice, the NGA advice is that they recognise that most schools and GBs will now not be able to hold or complete governor /trustee elections. They advocate a pragmatic approach to the timing of elections and for the time being continuing to function with vacancies where necessary and practical.

Unfortunately legislation does not allow for any electronic elections - the same as general elections.

Where appropriate, nominations can be carried out. If there are more candidates than places, parents could be advised elections would be held as soon as practical and safe. If the exact required number of nominations or less were received, then there is no requirement for an election.

As soon as it is safe to do so elections can be held - subject to risk assessment.

For other ways of securing parental voice on the GB during lockdown please contact us to discuss at governors@ealing.gov.uk

This guidance should also be read for staff governor elections.

For academy trusts, the terms of office of elected parent local governors on local governing boards and elected parent trustees will be determined by the articles of association. Trustees will need to make pragmatic decisions as to whether terms can be extended under the particular terms of their articles of association (usually the case for parent local governors), or whether the trust can continue to function with less governors or trustees if necessary. If carrying out elections, we recommend the above guidance is followed.

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Election of parent governors (word)
Information on numbers, eligibility, procedures in event of a vacancy, counting votes, definition of parent and who can be a parent governor and who cannot. Also includes parent governor nomination form.

Election of staff governors (word)
Information on numbers, eligibility to vote, general procedures in case of a vacancy, who can and who cannot be a governor and the election itself. Also includes staff governor nomination form.

Chair and vice chair

The governing board must elect a chair and a vice-chair.

There are no regulations prescribing the election process as it is believed that governing boards are best placed to decide how to organise this, but those standing for election should withdraw from the meeting when a vote is taken.

Governors who are paid to work at the school, for instance the headteacher and staff governors, cannot be elected as chair or vice-chair.

Election of chair and vice-chair (word)
Guidance on procedures around the election of chair and vice-chair.

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Last updated: 19 Jan 2021