Hampshire Governor Services

Guidelines for the election of parent governors

Contents

The appropriate authority

Who can stand as and vote for parent governors

Summary of disqualification regulations

Seeking nominations

Closing date for applications

Number of applications received

Appointment of parent governors

The ballot

Voting

The count

After the election

The start date

Unsuccessful candidates

Quick Link to School Governor Application Form

Appendix A - Schedule 1 of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007

Appendix B - definition of parent (4 pages)

Appendix C - Disqualification and Eligability Regulations

Appendix Di & Dii -Standard letters to parents advising of a vacancy (2 pages)

Appendix E - ballot paper (2 pages)

Appendix F - candidates' invitation to the count

Appendix G - letter notifying election result to candidates

The appropriate authority

Hampshire County Council is the appropriate authority with regard to the election arrangements for parent governors in Community, Community Special and Voluntary Controlled schools.

In these schools, the County Council has delegated the responsibility for ensuring that an election takes place for parent governors to the headteacher. The elections must be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines and para 4 and  Schedule 1 of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007  (Appendix A)

Where the governing body is the appropriate authority, the governors may wish to take account of these guidelines.

In Voluntary Aided, Foundation and Foundation Special schools, the appropriate authority is the governing body. The governing body will need to abide by the regulations and may also wish to take account of these guidelines.

Who can stand as and vote for parent governors?

The definition of a parent in the Education Acts includes:

  • all natural parents whether they are married or not

  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person and

  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person.

Further guidance on the definitions of parent, parental responsibility and care of a child or young person can be found in Appendix B The DCSF is currently reviewing this guidance but in the meantime schools should seek advice if they are unsure of the status of any individual.

Parent governors generally serve for four years unless the governing body has registered a variation to this in their instrument.

Summary of Disqualification Regulations

People may not be school governors if they:

  • are a pupil at the school or under 18

  • are detained under the Mental Health Act

  • were disqualified as a foundation, LEA, community, partnership or sponsor governor at the same school in the last 12 months for non-attendance

  • are currently subject to bankruptcy arrangements or disqualification orders or undertakings relating to insolvency or running a company

  • have been removed from office as a trustee, or from being concerned in the management of any charitable body

  • are included on any list of people whose employment with children is prohibited or restricted

  • have received a prison sentence of more than three months within the last five years, of more than two and a half years within the last twenty years, or of five years or more at any time

  • have been convicted of causing a nuisance or disturbance on educational premises and sentenced to a fine in the last five years

  • refuse a request to make an application for a CRB check.

If there is any concern that someone may be affected by these regulations it is important to refer to the full text (Appendix C) and seek advice from Governor Services. It is a criminal offence for someone to serve as a governor if they are disqualified.

The main regulations (para 4(2)) also say that someone cannot be elected or appointed as a parent governor if they are an elected member of the local authority or paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive twelve month period.

Seeking nominations

As soon as a resignation is received from a parent governor, or at the beginning of the term in which a parent governor's term of office expires, the headteacher should send a letter to parents inviting applications for the post. The standard letter (Appendix Di) covers the information which must be sent to all those believed to have parental responsibility for children at the school.

Where pupils have more than one person with parental responsibility who are living at different addresses, a letter should be sent to each address.

A copy of these notes must be displayed on the school notice board and drawn to the attention of parents in the letter.

Where a vacancy arises at short notice, the letter should be sent as soon as possible. Where this situation arises near the end of the summer term, this process may be delayed until the beginning of the next term. It is important that all those interested in standing as governors should be asked to complete the Hampshire County Council School Governor Application Form. This will ensure that all potential governors are aware of the disqualification regulations and that the necessary information is collected to enable the successful applicant to undergo the governor vetting process.

Closing date for applications

The closing date for applications should be ten school working days from the date on which letters are distributed. The actual closing date and time should be clearly stated in the letter.

Number of applications received

If the number of applications is equal to, or less than the number of vacancies to be filled, a ballot need not be held. The applicant(s) is/are automatically elected. The headteacher shall notify the successful candidate(s), within three school working days. The headteacher should complete information box 8 on the application form including the verification of identity. The completed form should be passed to the clerk to governors for forwarding to Hampshire Governor Services at the local office. The County Council will carry out the required vetting check.

If there are more applications than there are vacancies, the headteacher shall arrange for a secret ballot to be held.

Appointment of parent governors

If after seeking applications from parents of current pupils, vacancies for parent governors still remain, the governing body can appoint people to the posts in line with paras9-11 of Schedule 1 (Appendix A).

All potential appointed parent governors must be shown the disqualification regulations and asked to complete an application form. Applications should be considered at a full governing body meeting as an item of the agenda. At least half of current governing body members i.e. excluding vacancies (rounded up to the nearest whole number) must be present. The school information in box 8 on the application form should be completed and the form returned to Hampshire Governor Services at your local education office once the identity of the applicant has been verified.. The County Council will then carry out vetting checks.

If there are still parent vacancies after the governing body has considered any candidates for appointment, the headteacher will need to go back to the parents to request applications using for instance the alternative standard letter (Appendix Dii).

The ballot

The headteacher shall issue ballot papers (Appendix E) to all eligible parents as soon as possible after the closing date for the receipt of applications. The election statement will consist of sections 3 and 4 from the application form. Ten school working days should be allowed between the ballot papers being sent out and the last date for their return. The return deadline date and time should be clearly stated on the ballot papers.

The election should be held by secret ballot. Ballot papers themselves should not be signed or the voter identified in any way. They should be printed on paper of a distinctive colour.

We recommend the use of the following procedure:

Double Envelope System:

1 Two envelopes are sent with each ballot paper

2 The voter seals his/her ballot paper in an unmarked envelope

3 The unmarked envelope is sealed in an outer envelope on which the voter has clearly written his/her name.

4 The double envelope is returned to the school

5 On receipt of the ballot papers, the presiding/returning officer checks the name on the outer envelope against the list of those entitled to vote and ticks off the relevant name.

6 The outer envelope is removed and the inner envelope placed in the ballot box for counting at the appointed time.

Voting

Where parents have more than one child in a school, and bearing in mind that voting is to be on the basis of one vote per parent per vacancy, some system will need to be devised to ensure that no parent receives more than one ballot paper.

The headteacher should arrange to get ballot papers to and from parents by pupil post where possible. Where a pupil does not live with a person who has parental responsibility, or they are absent from school when the ballot papers are issued they will need to be posted or otherwise delivered to the parents.

If a ballot paper is returned and it is not possible to confirm it is from a person entitled to vote it should be treated as void.

Ballot papers must be kept unopened and secure until the count.

Candidates have the right to attend the count, and must be advised of the venue, date and time of the count (see letter in Appendix F) at the same time as the ballot papers are sent out.

The count

The ballot box shall be opened on the next school working day after the closing date for the return of ballot papers, as notified to the candidates.

The presiding or returning officer shall be the headteacher, or his/her nominee, who will conduct the count.

If there is a tie in the numbers of votes cast, the first step should be to recount the votes. If the votes are still equal for two or more candidates, the presiding officer shall arrange for those candidates to draw lots or toss a coin.

After the election

The headteacher shall notify the result to any candidate not at the count within three school working days (see letter in Appendix G). The Headteacher should complete information box 7 on the application form including the verification of identity. The completed form should be passed to the Clerk to Governors for forwarding to Hampshire Governor Services at the local education office. All parents shall be notified of the result. An entry in the next school newsletter or other standard communication will be sufficient. Governors and all members of staff should also be notified.

On receipt of the completed Application Form the County Council will carry out vetting checks.

The start date

The successful candidate(s) will take up the governorship(s) on the day after the end of the term of office of the present incumbent(s). Where the relevant governorship is already vacant the start date is the date of the count or the day after the closing date for applications when an election has not been necessary. Where parent governors are appointed by the governing body the start date is the date of the meeting at which the appointment was made.

Unsuccessful candidates

Any unsuccessful candidates should be thanked for their interest and encouraged to consider vacancies at other schools.

Should they wish to proceed further with becoming a governor in another school, Hampshire Governor Services will be pleased to receive their application.

Appendix A

SCHEDULE 1 of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007

Election and appointment of parent governors

1. Subject to paragraphs 2 and 3, in this Schedule “appropriate authority” means—

(a) in relation to a community school, a community special school, a maintained nursery school or a voluntary controlled school, the local education authority; and

(b) in relation to a voluntary aided school, foundation school or foundation special school, the governing body.

2. Where a local education authority is the appropriate authority in relation to a school, that authority may delegate to the head teacher of the school any of their functions under this Schedule.

3. The local education authority may be the appropriate authority in relation to a school within paragraph 1(b) if the governing body and the local education authority so agree.

4. Subject to paragraphs 5 to 8 the appropriate authority must make all the necessary arrangements for the election of parent governors.

5. The power conferred by paragraph 4 does not include power to impose any requirements as to the minimum number of votes required to be cast for a candidate to be elected.

6. Any election which is contested must be held by ballot.

7.—(1) The arrangements made under paragraph 4 must provide for every person who is entitled to vote to have an opportunity to do so by post.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), “post” includes delivery by hand.

(3) The arrangements made under paragraph 4 may provide for every person who is entitled to vote to have an opportunity to do so by electronic means.

8. Where a vacancy for a parent governor arises, the appropriate authority must take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that every person who is known to them to be a parent of a registered pupil at the school, and where the school is a maintained nursery school, a parent of a child for whom educational or other provision is made on the premises of the school (including any such provision made by the governing body under section 27 of EA 2002), is—

(a) informed of the vacancy and that it is required to be filled by election;

(b) informed that he is entitled to stand as a candidate and vote in the election; and

(c) given the opportunity to do so.

9. The number of parent governors required must be made up by parent governors appointed by the governing body, if one or more vacancies for parent governors arises and either—

(a) the number of parents standing for election is less than the number of vacancies;

(b) at least 50 per cent of the registered pupils at the school are boarders and it would, in the opinion of the appropriate authority, be impractical for there to be an election of parent governors; or

(c) in the case of a school which is a community special or foundation special school established in a hospital, it would, in the opinion of the appropriate authority, be impractical for there to be an election of parent governors.

10.—(1) Except where paragraph 11 applies, the governing body must appoint as a parent

governor—

(a) a parent of a registered pupil at the school;

(b) a parent of a former registered pupil at the school; or

(c) a parent of a child under or of compulsory school age.

(2) The governing body may only appoint a person referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(b) or (c) if it is not reasonably practicable to appoint a person referred to in the sub-paragraph which immediately precedes it.

11.—(1) Where the school is a community special school or a foundation special school, the governing body must appoint—

(a) a parent of a registered pupil at the school;

(b) a parent of a former registered pupil at the school;

(c) a parent of a child under or of compulsory school age with special educational needs for which the school is approved; or

(d) a parent with experience of educating a child with special educational needs.

(2) The governing body may only appoint a person referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(b), (c) or (d) if it is not reasonably practicable to appoint a person referred to in the sub-paragraph which immediately precedes it.

Appendix B

Taken from DfES Guidance - Home and Community

Schools, "Parents" and "Parental Responsibility"

Overview

This guidance explains to schools who is a parent for the purposes of education legislation; provides a brief description of court orders which settle areas of dispute about a child's care or upbringing and which can limit an individual's parental responsibility; and sets out some general principles to guide schools as to who they must involve in issues about a child's education and who they must keep informed about school matters.

Action

Schools to apply this guidance when dealing with non-resident parents who wish to be involved in their children's education.

Further information

Ms Grainne McQuillan

Parents and Performance Division

Department for Education & Employment

Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

Tel: 020 7925 5503

Fax: 020 7925 5179

Email: grainne.mcquillan@dfes.gsi.gov.uk

Additional copies from DfEE publications centre

Tel: 0845 60 222 60

Fax: 0845 60 333 60

Contents

Introduction

Definition of "parent"

Parental responsibility

Care of a child

Court orders and parental responsibility

What schools should do

General principle

Administration

Provision of information to parents

Obtaining parental consent

Conclusion

Introduction

1. Schools are required by law to have a wide range of dealings with pupils' parents. The question "Who are a pupil's parents?" is, however, not always as straightforward as it sounds. In addition, schools can often find themselves caught up in disputes between a number of adults who each claim to have parental responsibility for a particular child.

2. This note:

explains who is a parent for the purposes of education legislation;

provides a brief description of court orders which settle areas of dispute about a child's care or upbringing and which can limit an individual's parental responsibility; and

sets out some general principles to guide schools as to who they must involve in issues about a child's education and who they must keep informed about school matters.

3. This is intended as helpful guidance for schools but should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law.

Definition of "Parent"

4. Section 576 of the Education Act 1996 defines "parent" to include:

  • all natural parents, whether they are married or not; and

  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person; and

  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person.

Parental Responsibility

5. Having parental responsibility means assuming all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has by law. People other than a child's natural parents can acquire parental responsibility through:

  • being granted a residence order;

  • being appointed a guardian;

  • being named in an emergency protection order (although parental responsibility in such a case is limited to taking reasonable steps to safeguard or promote the child's welfare); or

  • adopting a child.

6. In addition, a local authority can acquire parental responsibility if it is named in the care order for a child, although any person who is a parent or guardian retains parental responsibility and may exercise it providing their actions are not incompatible with the care order. While the care order is in force, the local authority can refuse contact with the parent and does not have to seek parental consent. Children can also be "accommodated", whereby there is a joint arrangement between the parents and the local authority that the latter will look after the child. This does not, however, involve a court order and the parents can withdraw from the arrangement if they choose to do so.

7. The parental responsibility of one party does not stop simply because another person is also given it. So, in some cases several people may be regarded, for the purposes of education law, as being the "parent" of a child.

Care of a Child

8. Having care of a child or young person means that a person who the childlives with and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law.

Court Orders and Parental Responsibility

9. Court orders under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 (often called section 8 orders) settle areas of dispute about a child's care or upbringing, and can limit an individual's parental responsibility. There are two types of order which are concerned with particular issues and which still allow everyone with parental responsibility to participate in all other major decisions about a child's education:

  • A prohibited steps order imposes a specific restriction on the exercise of responsibility. This means that no step specified by the court which a parent could take in meeting his/her parental responsibility, can be taken without the consent of the court. Examples would be one parent taking the child abroad for an extended period or preventing the child from attending a form of religious worship against the wishes of the other parent.

  • A specific issue order is an order giving directions for the purpose of determining a specific question which has arisen, or may arise, in connection with any aspect of parental responsibility. An example would be an order allowing one parent to agree to a pupil changing school against the wishes of the other parent.

10. Other types of order, which do not relate to particular issues, are:

  • A residence order, which says where and with whom a child should live, and gives the holder parental responsibility for the child (if he or she does not already have it).

  • A contact order, which instructs the person with whom the child is living to allow another person to visit the child, have the child to visit or stay with him or her, or have contact by letter or telephone.

11. Where a court is satisfied that it serves the child's welfare to do so, it can make a care order which gives parental responsibility to a local authority. In such circumstances, the local authority has a duty to consult the parents about (for example) which school the child should attend, as they continue to share parental responsibility; but it is for the local authority to decide what is in the child's best interests.

`Parental responsibility is defined in the Children Act 1989. If the parents of a child were not married to each other when the child was born, the mother automatically has parental responsibility but the father does not, even if he is named on the birth certificate. He can, however, subsequently acquire parental responsibility by various legal means.

What Schools Should Do

General Principle

12. Everyone who is a parent, as defined above, has a right to participate in decisions about a child's education; even though, for day to day purposes, the school's main contact is likely to be a parent with whom the child lives on school days. School and LEA staff must treat all parents equally, unless there is a court order limiting an individual's exercise of parental responsibility. Individuals who have parental responsibility for, or care of, a child have the same rights as natural parents, for example:

  • to receive information from the school (e.g. copies of the governors' annual report, pupil reports and attendance records);

  • to participate in activities (e.g. vote in elections for parent governors);

  • to be asked to give consent (e.g. to the child taking part in extra-curricular activities);

  • to be told about meetings involving the child (e.g. a governors' meeting on the child's exclusion).

Administration

13. It follows from this that head teachers should ask parents or guardians the names and addresses of all parents when they register a pupil. These details, where known, must be included in the admission register. They should also be included in manuscript or computerised pupil records (which need to be kept up to date) and be available to the pupil's teachers. The information should be forwarded to any school to which the pupil moves.

14. Details of court orders should also be noted in a pupil's record. Such information will be necessary when decisions need to be made about who can give parental permission for a school visit, or be contacted if the child is ill, as well as what to do in more difficult situations - for example, if a parent, rather than a foster-parent, comes to collect a child in local authority care from school.

15. Problems can arise following the break down of a marriage in relation to the surname by which a child is known. A mother with whom a child resides following divorce may ask the school to change the child's name in its records, perhaps to her maiden name. The basic legal position, however, is that she is not allowed to change the child's surname without the consent of the father or of anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child. In such circumstances, a school should be cautious about making such a change in its records unless there is evidence - independent of the parent seeking to make the change - that consent has been given. The clearest evidence would, of course, be something in writing from the 'other parent' giving consent to the change.

Provision of information to parents

16. In cases where the school does not know the whereabouts of a parent with whom the pupil does not live - referred to here as a 'non-resident' parent - it should make the resident parent aware that the non-resident parent is entitled to be involved in the child's education; and request that information is passed on to the non-resident parent. If, in extreme cases, the resident parent refuses to share information with the non-resident parent and also refuses to provide contact details so that the school can deal directly with the non-resident parent, the school can do nothing more. It would clearly be unreasonable to expect schools to expend resources searching for non-resident parents. However, if the non-resident parent subsequently contacts the school and requests access to information, the school should provide it to that parent direct - after taking reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the individual is, in fact, the child's parent.

Obtaining parental consent

17. Schools may be uncertain about the lengths to which they should go to seek parental consent in relation to extra-curricular activities, school trips, and the like. Unless either the decision is likely to have a long term and significant impact on the child or the non-resident parent has informed the school that he wishes to be approached for consent in all such cases, there should be no difficulty with the school seeking consent just from the resident parent.

18. In cases where the school considers it necessary to seek consent from both parents, it is possible that one gives consent and the other withholds it. This puts the school in a difficult situation, as the last thing it will want is to be placed in a position where it has to arbitrate between parents who are at odds with each other; but, nevertheless, a decision must be made.

The safer decision would be to take the view that parental consent has not been given to the child undertaking the activity in question. Such an approach safeguards the position of the school, ensuring that it is not exposed to any potential civil liability if (for example) the child is injured while on the school trip.

19. If challenged in such a case by the parent who was happy to give consent, the school should explain that, because the other parent has explicitly asked to be consulted separately, it is obliged to treat the views of both parents equally. It is not taking sides but needs to protect itself against possible legal action. The school might want to suggest that the parent seeks independent legal advice about obtaining a court order setting out exactly what decisions each parent can make in respect of the child.

20. Schools are also uncertain sometimes about the position where a child has an accident and consent may be needed for emergency medical treatment. The Children Act provision that people who do not have parental responsibility but nonetheless have care of a child may "do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare" applies in such cases. It would clearly be reasonable for the school to take a child who needs to have a wound stitched up to hospital, but the parents - including any non-resident parent who has asked to be kept informed of events involving the child - should be informed as soon as possible. If, however, any decision needs to be made about alternative types of treatment, the hospital will need to discuss options with the parents. Schools will clearly not want to take responsibility for making decisions in relation to elective surgery - and it is very unlikely that hospitals would want them to do so.

Conclusion

21. The welfare of the particular child will be the paramount consideration for schools. Situations will arise from time to time, however, where a parent's action or proposed action conflicts with the school's ability to act in the best interests of the child. In such cases, school staff should try to resolve the problem with that parent but should avoid becoming involved in any conflict.

Appendix C

Disqualification and Eligability; Extracts from the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007

Qualifications and disqualifications

General

1.—(1) A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a school at any time when he is a registered pupil at the school.

(2) No person is qualified to be a governor unless he is aged 18 or over at the date of his election or appointment.

(3) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to an associate member appointed under regulation 11.

2. No person may at any time hold the office of more than one governor of the same school.

3. Save as otherwise provided in these Regulations, the fact that a person is qualified to be elected or appointed as a governor of a particular category at a school does not disqualify him from election or appointment or from continuing as a governor of any other category at that school.

Mental disorder

4. A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a school at any time when he is detained under the Mental Health Act 1983(a).

Failure to attend meetings

5.—(1) This paragraph applies to any governor who is not a governor by virtue of his office. (2) A governor, who, without the consent of the governing body, has failed to attend their meetings for a continuous period of six months beginning with the date of the first such meeting he failed to attend, is, on the expiry of that period, disqualified from continuing to hold office as a governor of that school.

(3) A foundation governor (other than an ex officio foundation governor), LEA governor, community governor, partnership governor or sponsor governor who has been disqualified as a governor of a school under sub-paragraph (2) is not qualified for election, nomination or appointment as a governor of any category at that school during the twelve months immediately following his disqualification under sub-paragraph (2).

Bankruptcy

6. A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor of a school

if—

(a) his estate has been sequestrated and the sequestration has not been discharged, annulled

or reduced; or

(b) he is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim order.

Disqualification of company directors

7. A person is disqualified from holding, or from continuing to hold, office as a governor of a school at any time when he is subject to—

(a) a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986(b);

(b) a disqualification order under Part 2 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989(c);

(c) a disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002(d); or

(d) an order made under section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986(e) (failure to pay

under county court administration order).

Disqualification of charity trustees

8. A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a

school if—

(a) he has been removed from the office of trustee for a charity by an order made by the Charity Commissioners or the High Court on the grounds of any misconduct or

mismanagement in the administration of the charity for which he was responsible or to which he was privy, or to which he contributed or which he facilitated by his conduct; or

(b) he has been removed, under section 34 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005(a) (Powers of Court of Session), from being concerned in the management or control of any body.

Persons whose employment is prohibited or restricted

9. A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a

school at any time when he is—

(a) included in the list kept under section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1999(b) (list of those considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children);

(b) subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 142 of EA 2002 (or any other disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in such a direction);

(c) disqualified from working with children under sections 28, 29 or 29A of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000(c);

(d) disqualified from registration under Part 10A of the Children Act 1989(d) for child minding or providing day care; or

(e) disqualified from registration under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006(e).

Criminal convictions

10.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (6) below, a person is disqualified from holding, or continuing to hold, office as a governor of a school where any of sub-paragraphs (2) to (4) or (6) below apply to him.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies to a person if—

(a) within the period of five years ending with the date immediately preceding the date on mwhich his appointment or election as governor would otherwise have taken effect or, as

the case may be, on which he would otherwise have become a governor by virtue of his office, or

(b) since his appointment or election as governor or, as the case may be, since he became a governor by virtue of his office, he has been convicted, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, of any offence and has had passed on him a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months without the option of a fine.

(3) This sub-paragraph applies to a person if within the period of 20 years ending with the date immediately preceding the date on which his appointment or election as governor would otherwise have taken effect or, as the case may be, on which he would otherwise have become a governor by virtue of his office, he has been convicted as aforesaid of any offence and has had passed on him a sentence of imprisonment for a period of not less than two and a half years.

(4) This sub-paragraph applies to a person if he has at any time been convicted as aforesaid of any offence and he has had passed on him a sentence of imprisonment for a period of not less than five years.

(5) For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (2) to (4) above, any conviction by or before a court outside the United Kingdom of an offence which, if the facts giving rise to the offence had taken place in any part of the United Kingdom, would not have constituted an offence under the law in force in that part of the United Kingdom must be disregarded.

(6) This sub-paragraph applies to a person if—

(a) within the period of five years ending with the date immediately preceding the date on which his appointment or election as governor would otherwise have taken effect or, as the case may be, on which he would otherwise have become a governor by virtue of his office, or

(b) since his appointment or election as governor or, as the case may be, since he became a governor by virtue of his office, he has been convicted under section 547 of EA 1996(a) (nuisance or disturbance on school premises) or under section 85A of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992(b) (Nuisance or disturbance on educational premises) of an offence and has been sentenced to a fine.

Refusal to make an application for a criminal records certificate

11. A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor at any time when he refuses a request by the clerk to the governing body to make an application under section 113A of the Police Act 1997(c) for a criminal records certificate.

Notification to clerk

12. Where, by virtue of any of paragraphs 6 to 10—

(a) a person is disqualified from holding, or from continuing to hold, office as a governor of a school; and

(b) he is, or is proposed to become, a governor,he must give notice of that fact to the clerk to the governing body.

Para 4 (2)

(2) A person is disqualified from election or appointment as a parent governor of a school if he

is—

(a) an elected member of the local education authority; or

(b) paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive twelve month period.

Appendix Di

Mr/Mrs A Parent

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

Parent Governor Vacancies

We have a vacancy for a parent governor which we need to fill as soon as possible............................ school has always aimed for a partnership with parents which undoubtedly brings great benefits to the children. One of the most significant ways you can help in promoting this aim is to volunteer to be a parent governor. The governing body's main tasks are to support the school, ensure that pupils receive high quality education and plan for future development and improvement.

Parent governors are welcomed as valued members of the team and play a vital role in ensuring the governing body is aware of the views of parents and the local community.

We feel sure that there are parents prepared to take on this important role and give their time and commitment to helping us to continue to improve the school's performance.

If you feel you are such a person please contact the school office for an application form which will need to be completed and returned to the school by 12.00 noon on ..........................

The guidelines giving full details about how vacancies are filled, can be seen on the school notice board. You might also like to look at the information for prospective governors on the Hampshire County Council website www.hants.gov.uk/education/governors/governors-govrecruit.htm This section also contains a short, handy E Learning module you could view.

Please note that for the protection of children all governor appointments are subject to a vetting process and identity check.

If there are more applications than vacancies, we will hold an election and you will be sent a voting paper. You may return the ballot paper either via your child or by post.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher/Chairman of Governors

Appendix Dii

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

Parent Governor Vacancies

We have a vacancy for a parent governor which we need to fill as soon as possible.

We know parents are interested in the education of their children and keen to see that the school provides a challenging education for all the pupils who come here.

We have been disappointed in the past that we have failed to secure sufficient applications from parents to fill our parent vacancies on the governing body. We think this is because many of you have believed there would be others coming forward who are better equipped for the job. We need enthusiasm and a willingness to work as a member of the team far more than any specific knowledge or expertise! Please do not leave it to others.

The governing body of a school is responsible for ensuring that pupils receive high quality education and that the conduct of the school reflects this aim. The governors work as a team with the headteacher in the whole strategic planning and management of the school. Their responsibilities include consideration and agreement of the aims and policies of the school, discussion and approval of the targets for improvement, appointment of staff, setting and monitoring the budget, monitoring the performance of the school and reporting to the parents and community on how they have accomplished their tasks. Governors are the link between the school and the community and representatives of all those with an interest in the well-being and reputation of the school are needed. Parents are very important in keeping the governing body aware of the views of parents and the local community. They are a vital part of our team.

There is first class advice and support available to you and training for your new role at no cost to you.

The chairman of the governing body is happy to talk to you if you are interested in being nominated and/or want further information. You might also like to look at the information for prospective governors on the Hampshire County Council website www.hants.gov.uk/education/governors Please note that for the protection of children all governor appointments are subject to a vetting process and identity check.

If you are prepared to put your name forward, please ask at the school office for an application form which will need to be completed and returned to the school by 12.00 noon on ....................

If there are more nominations than vacancies, we will hold an election and you will be sent a voting paper. You may return the ballot paper either via your child or by post.

The guidelines giving full details about how vacancies are filled, can be seen on the school notice board.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher/Chairman of Governor

Appendix E

Ballot Paper - Election of Parent Governor

Number of vacancies to be filled (word) ......................................

at ........................................................................................ School

1 Each parent must vote on a separate form

2 Each parent is entitled to a number of votes equal to the number of vacancies e.g. one vacancy one vote; three vacancies three votes but only one vote can be used per candidate.

3 Please vote in ink by placing an X against the candidate(s) of your choice

Papers recording more than the required votes or marked in any other way will be invalid.

The voting paper should be sealed in an unmarked envelope which should then be sealed in an outer envelope marked "Parent Governor Elections" and with the name of the voting parent. Once the name has been checked against the list of those eligible to vote, the outer envelope will be discarded and the inner envelope placed in the ballot box.

Please see candidates' election statements on the reverse of this form.

CANDIDATES

All voting forms must be returned to the school by ...............

Candidates Election Statements

Appendix F

Dear

Re: Election of Parent Governor at .................................... School

Thank you for your application to become a parent governor at our school.

As there are more applications than vacancies, there will be an election. Your election statement, consisting of sections 3 and 4 (Reasons for applying and Experience and skills) from your application form, will be included with those of the other candidates on the reverse of the voting paper which will go to all parents..

The count will be held at the school on ............... at ................. am/pm, and you are entitled to attend this count. If you wish to attend, I would be obliged if you would tell me, or the school administrative officer. If you do not attend, I will inform you in writing of the result within three school working days.

If you have any queries about the election process I shall be glad to answer them.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher

Appendix G

Dear

Re: Election of Parent Governor(s) at ......................................... School

I am pleased to inform you of the result of our election for parent governor(s).

Elected: Name(s) of candidate(s)

We would like to thank those who put their names forward and we are sorry that there were insufficient places for all those interested this time. Details of the actual number of votes cast can be obtained on request from the school office.

If you were unsuccessful and would like to be considered as a school governor elsewhere, I know Hampshire Governor Services will be pleased to hear from you. Please contact the school for the Hampshire Governor Services local office address if you would like more details.

Thank you once again for your interest.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher