School effectiveness

School Governance Constitution Regulations 2012

The 2012 constitution regulations came into force in September 2014. It requires all governing bodies to be constituted under the 2012 constitution regulations.

A copy of these regulations can be found on this link:

School Governance (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.

The Department for Education (DfE) has revised its statutory guidance (October 2016) on the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools.

The statutory guidance can be found on this link:

The constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools (GOV.UK)

Key updates include:

  • Disclosure and barring service checks
  • Supplying information to the secretary of state about those involved in governance
  • Clarified information on governors’ access to training
  • Clarified information on parent governors.

The guidance emphasises the role of the governing board in addressing both the training and development needs of individual governors.

If governors are going to carry out these serious and demanding responsibilities effectively then they need to be trained.

Governing boards should set an expectation that, throughout their term of office, governors must have regard to their own professional development. The guidance also references NGA’s skills audit as a tool that can be used for both recruitment and training.

The DfE also seek to clarify that parent governors have a valuable perspective to offer and are a good source of knowledge about the school. However, parental engagement is a separate activity for which the whole governing board is responsible.

Additional guidance on governing body membership/composition can be found in the Ealing governors toolkit

For futher advice and guidance (Ealing maintained schools) please contact governors@ealing.gov.uk

Instrument of government for schools

Ealing has developed some guidance templates as part of the governor toolkit

The Instrument of Government (IoG) is the document that records the name of the school and the constitution of its governing body.

The governing board drafts the instrument and submits it to its LA.

The LA must check if the draft instrument complies with statutory requirements, including the relevant guiding principles for the constitution of governing bodies. If the instrument complies, the LA will make the instrument.

The governing board and LA can review and change the instrument at any time.

More information can be found on the DfE website:

School Governance Constitution Regulations 2012: Instrument of government (DfE website)

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Last updated: 15 Mar 2017