Types of governor and size of governing body
The attached Constitution of Governing Bodies - Statutory Guidance document, also found in the Policies section of this website, describes on pages 11-14 the different categories of governor, how they are appointed or elected, and who is eligible for each role. Whilst academies have a greater freedom to determine the constitution of their governing body, pages 14-15 also sets out many governors in each category maintained schools should have.
What governors do
This link from the NGA website (see the Useful Links section of this website) sets out in greater detail the role of the governor:
What does a governor do? (docx, 73kb)
If you would like to become a governor in a Southwark school, please visit the Governors for Schools website as we take all of our applications through this organisation.
If you are a practising Catholic and would like to be a Foundation governor at a Catholic school in Southwark, please visit the Diocese website.
Becoming a School Governor in Southwark
Who can become a governor?
Under the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 a governor
• Must be aged 18 or over at the time of his/her election or appointment
• Cannot be a registered pupil at the school.
• Cannot hold more than one governor post at the same school at the same time.
You do not have to be an education expert and schools look for governors with all sorts of skills. There are some exceptions that may not allow you to be a governor:
The exceptions are if you have had certain criminal convictions or disqualifications, are disqualified from working with children or become bankrupt.
It is also a requirement that governors should be checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Once you become a governor you can be removed from the governing body if you fail to attend governing body meetings, without the consent of the governing body for a period of six months.
Who is disqualified from being a governor?
Governors or prospective governors must notify the clerk to the governing body if any of the grounds for disqualification apply.
- Registered pupils cannot be governors.
- A governor must be aged 18 or over at the time of election or appointment.
- A person cannot hold more than one governor post at the same school at the same time.
Particular categories of governor
A person cannot be 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 (at the time of election or appointment).
A person cannot be a local authority governor if they are eligible to be a staff governor.
A person cannot be a partnership governor if they are:
- a parent of a registered pupil at the school
- eligible to be a staff governor at the school
- an elected member of the local authority or
- employed by the local authority in connection with its education functions.
Failure to attend meetings
A person is disqualified from being a governor of a particular school if they have failed to attend the meetings of the governing body of that school for a continuous period of six months, beginning with the date of the first meeting they failed to attend, without the consent of the governing body.
This does not apply to the headteacher or to foundation governors appointed by virtue of their office.
A foundation, local authority, co-opted or partnership governor at the school who is disqualified for failing to attend meetings is only disqualified from being a governor of any category at the school during the twelve month period starting on the date on which they were disqualified.
A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor of a school if:
- their estate has been sequestrated and the sequestration has not been discharged, annulled or reduced; or
- they are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order, an interim bankruptcy restrictions order, a debt relief restrictions order or an interim debt relief restrictions order.
Disqualification of charity trustees
A person is disqualified from holding, or from continuing to hold, office as a governor of a school if they have:
- Been removed from the office of trustee for a charity by an order made by the Charity Commission or Commissioners or the High Court on the grounds of misconduct or mismanagement
- Been removed, under section 34 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, from being concerned in the management or control of any body.
Persons whose employment is prohibited or restricted
A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a school at any time when they are:
- Included in the list of teachers or workers considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people
- Barred from any regulated activity relating to children
- Disqualified from working with children or from registering for childminding or providing day care
- Disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State.
A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor if they have:
- Been sentenced to three months or more in prison (without the option of a fine) in the five years before becoming a governor or since becoming a governor
- Received a prison sentence of two years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor
- At any time received a prison sentence of five years or more
- Been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the five years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor.
Refusal to make an application for a Disclosure and Barring Service check
A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor if they refuse a request by the clerk to the governing body to make an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a DBS certificate.
You can speak to Southwark governor services in confidence for advice on disqualifications.