Hampshire Governor Services

Guidelines for the election of staff governors

Contents

The appropriate authority

Who can stand as and vote for staff governors?

Seeking nominations

Closing date for nominations

Number of applications received

Voting

The count

After the election

The start date

Unsuccessful candidates

Quick Link to School Governor Application Form

Appendix A - The Education (School Government) (England) Regulations 2007 Part 2, Para 5 and Schedule 2

Appendix B - letter advising vacancy and asking for nominations

Appendix C - Qualifications and disqualifications

Appendix D - ballot paper (2 pages)

Appendix E - candidates invitation to count

Appendix F - letter notifying results to candidate

The appropriate authority

Hampshire County Council is the appropriate authority with regard to the election arrangements for staff 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 staff governors to the headteacher. Elections must be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines Regulation 5 and Schedule 2 of the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007 (Appendix A).

In Voluntary Aided, foundation adn 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.

In Voluntary Aided, Foundation and Foundation Special schools, the appropriate authority is the governing body.

Who can stand as and vote for staff governors?

Both teaching and other staff employed at the school are eligible for staff governorship.(see Appendix A for the relevant extract from the regulations) This includes both full and part-time staff and the list will include: administrative staff, classroom assistants, lunch-time supervisors, caretakers, catering staff and grounds persons employed directly by the school. It does not include contracting firms, but will include any named persons who are regularly or solely employed at the school by the contractor. Schools should maintain an up to date register of those eligible. All paid staff are also entitled to vote for any of the candidates. At least one staff governor must be a teacher unless no teacher stands for election. If a governing body has three or more staff governor places, at least one staff governor must be a non-teaching member of staff, unless no such person stands for election. Staff governors serve for a period of four years unless the governing body has registered a variation to this in its instrument or they cease to be employed by the school.

The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office and counts as a member of the staff category. If the headteacher decides not to be a governor they must inform the clerk of that decision. It is recommended that this is done before circulation of the agenda of the governing body's first meeting following the headteacher's appointment. The headteacher's place remains reserved for them and cannot be taken by anyone else.

Seeking applications

As soon as a resignation is received from a staff governor, or at the beginning of the term in which a staff governor's term of office expires, the headteacher shall send a letter inviting applications for the post (Appendix B) to each member of staff as above. Where necessary these should be sent to home addresses. Note that both teaching and non-teaching staff can apply to take up any vacant post other than that reserved for the headteacher. All applicants should be asked to complete the School Governor application form which can be printed off from the Governor Services website (www.hants.gov.uk/education/governors). This will ensure that all potential governors are aware of the current disqualification regulations (see Appendix C) and that we are able to collect the information necessary for our database. Sections 3 and 4 of the form should be used as the election statement if this is required.

The existence of these guidelines should be drawn to the attention of staff in the letter notifying them of the vacancy and a copy made available on request.

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 no applications are received by the deadline, the headteacher will need to repeat the process as early as possible.

If the number of applications is equal to or less than the number of vacancies to be filled, a ballot need not be held. Applicants are assumed to be elected unopposed. This applies even where a staff governorship was previously occupied by a teacher and a non-teaching member of staff is the only applicant and where a governorship was previously occupied by a non-teaching member of staff and a teacher is the only applicant. The headteacher shall notify the candidate that she/he has been successful, within three school working days. At the same time she/he shall complete section 8 of the School Governor application form and pass it to the Clerk of Governors for forwarding to Hampshire Governor Services at the local office All staff eligible to vote shall be notified of the result within ten school working days.

   If there are more applicants than vacancies one of the following will apply.

  • If there are no teaching staff on the governing body (apart from the Headteacher), the vacancy should be filled by a member of the teaching staff if one applies. If there is more than one member of teaching staff applying for the post a ballot should be held to decide which of the teachers are elected. If there are no applications from teaching staff, a non-teaching staff applicant would be considered elected unopposed or a ballot would need to be held if there was more than one non-teaching applicant.

  • If there is already one member of the teaching staff (other than the headteacher) in post on the governing body and no non-teaching staff, the vacancy should be filled by a member of the non-teaching staff if one applies. If there is more than one member of non-teaching staff applying for the post a ballot should be held.. If there are no applications from non-teaching staff, a teaching staff applicant would be considered elected unopposed or a ballot would need to be held if there was more than one teaching staff applicant.

  • If both teaching staff and non-teaching staff are already represented on the governing body, and one person from either teaching or non-teaching staff applies for a staff governor vacancy, that person would be elected unopposed. If there is more than one applicant for the vacancy a ballot should be held.

  • All members of staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are entitled to vote in any ballot. The same method as that used for parent governor elections should be followed.

Voting

The headteacher shall arrange for ballot papers to be distributed to all those eligible to vote (Appendix D). Ten school working days should be allowed for voting to enable any part-time staff to return their forms.

Ballot papers must be kept unopened and secure until the count. Candidates have the right to attend the count as for parent elections, and must be advised of the venue, date and time of the count at the same time as the ballot papers are sent out (Appendix E).

The Count

The ballot box shall be opened on the next 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 (Appendix F). The headteacher should complete information box 8 on the application form and then pass it to the clerk to the governors for forwarding to Hampshire Governor Services at the local education office. Governors and all staff eligible to vote shall be notified of the result within ten school working days.

Ballot papers should be kept securely by the headteacher for six months in case the result of the election is challenged.

The start date

The successful candidate will take up their governorship on the day after the end of the term of office of the present incumbent. 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.

Unsuccessful candidates

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

Should they wish to proceed further, Hampshire Governor Services will be pleased to receive their application.

Appendix A

School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007

Part 2, para 5

Staff governors

5.—(1) In these Regulations “staff governor” means—

(a) the head teacher, who is a staff governor by virtue of his office unless he resigns the position in accordance with regulation 23(1);

(b) a person who is elected in accordance with Schedule 2 as a governor by persons who are paid to work at the school and is himself a person so working at the time when he is elected.

(2) At least one staff governor (in addition to the head teacher) must be a school teacher(a) unless no school teacher stands for election.

(3) Where the school’s instrument of government(b) specifies that there shall be three or more staff governors, at least one staff governor must be a person who is not a school teacher, unless no such person stands for election.

(4) Upon ceasing to work at the school, a staff governor of a school is to be disqualified from continuing to hold office as such a governor.

(a) Within the meaning of section 122 of EA 2002

(b) Within the meaning of section 20 of EA 2002

Schedule 2

Election of staff governors

    1. In this Schedule "appropriate authority" has the same meaning as in Schedule 1.

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

    3. Subject to paragraphs 4 and 5, the appropriate authority must make all the necessary arrangements for the election of staff governors.

    4. The power conferred by paragraph 3 -

   (a) includes the power to make provision as to qualifying dates, but

   (b) 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.

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

Appendix B

Dear

Staff Governor Vacancy

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

........................... school has always aimed for a partnership with parents, school staff, and members of the local community. 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.

We feel sure that there are staff members, whether they are full-time or part time, non-teaching or teaching staff, who will want to contribute to the development of the school by becoming members of the governing body.

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 ......................................

If there are more applications than vacancies, we will hold an election. The voting paper will be sent to you at school or to your home address if you are part-time.

The guidelines which contain full details about the election procedure, can be seen on the governor services website (www3.hants.gov.uk/education/governors) or obtained in paper form from the school office.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher/Chairman of Governors

Appendix C

SCHEDULE 6 of 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 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, 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.

Appendix D

Ballot Paper - Election of Staff Governor

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

Please vote by placing an X against the candidate of your choice.

Papers recording more than the one vote 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 "Staff Governor Elections" and with the name of the voting member of staff. 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, and the closing date for receipt.

CANDIDATES

 
  
  

Candidates Election Statements

All voting forms must be returned to the school by

...........................................................................................................

Appendix E

Dear

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

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

As there is more than one application, there will be an election. Your election statement will be included with those of the other candidates on the reverse of the voting papers which will go to all staff.

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 phone me, or the school administration 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 F

Dear

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

I am pleased to inform you of the result of our election for staff governor.

Elected: Name of candidate

We would like to thank those who put their names forward and we are sorry that we were unable to accept all the applicants as governors at this time. Details of the actual number of votes cast can be obtained on request from the school office.

There may be vacancies in other schools in the area, and 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