School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007 – the “Constitution Regulations”.
Guidance to the Constitution Regulations can be found:
• Guide to the law for school governors – on CD ROM. Provided free to all school governors.
• on GovernorNet
1. Excerpt from Guide to the Law for school governors, chapter 2 – January 2010 edition:
9. Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship. Staff governors are elected by the school staff and must be paid to work at the school – volunteers are ineligible. Any election that is contested must be held by ballot.
10. At least one staff governor (in addition to the headteacher – see paragraph 11 below) must be a teacher, but if no teacher stands for election, a member of the support staff can be elected to take that place. If a governing body has three or more staff governor places, at least one staff governor must be a member of the support staff, but if no member of the support staff stands for election, a teacher can be elected to take that place.
11. The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office and counts in the member of the staff category. If the headteacher decides not to be a governor, he or she must inform the clerk of that decision in writing. The headteacher’s place remains reserved for him or her and cannot be taken by anyone else.
12. School staff that are eligible for election as staff governors (i.e. who are paid to work at the school) are not eligible to serve as Local Education Authority (LEA) governors or community governors at their school. If they are paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive 12-month period they are not eligible for election or appointment as parent governors. However, staff can vote in parent governor elections if they are parents. They can also be governors at other schools. Their employment status will not affect their qualification for governorships in these categories at another school.
2. Excerpt from GovernorNet (Background Article)
Staff governor – (Regulation 3 and Schedule 2 of the Constitution Regs)
• Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible to stand for election for staff governorship (school volunteers are not eligible).
• Staff eligible to be staff governors are not eligible to be Community or LEA governors, nor Parent governors if they work for more than 500 hours per year at the school. However, staff can vote in parent governor elections if they are parents and can be governors at other schools – their employment status will not affect their qualification for governorships in these categories at another school
• Upon ceasing to work at the school, the staff governor is disqualified from holding this post.
• The headteacher is a governor unless he or she chooses to resign from the governing body, in which case they must inform the clerk of that decision in writing – their position must be held in reserve and cannot be filled by another member of staff.
• Any election which is contested must be held by ballot.
The number of Staff governors depends on the Instrument of Government:
Community, Foundation, Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools – at least two places, but no more than one-third, including the head teacher – In cases where there are two staff governor positions, the second must be filled by a teacher unless no teachers stand for election in which case a member of the support staff may be elected. In cases where there are three staff governor positions, the third must be filled by a member of the support staff unless nobody stands for election in which case it may be filled by a teacher.
ROLE OF A STAFF GOVERNOR
In addition to their generic role as a school governor, staff governors are representatives of all staff (teaching and non-teaching) at the college.
Elected governors are ‘representatives’ NOT ‘delegates’. The difference is that they:
• listen to the views of those they represent,
• convey them to the governing body
• and report back (omitting matters graded as confidential or anything damaging or disrespectful of colleagues),
BUT are not required to act/vote in accordance with those views if they do not agree with them.