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School governors

Eligibility to become a governor

  • All governors must be over 18-years-old at the time of election
  • All governors need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate.
  • All governors are expected to adhere to the seven principles of public life.

Who cannot be a governor

  • You cannot become a governor if you are a registered pupil
  • You cannot hold more than one governor post at the same school at the same time

Rules for certain governor roles

Parent governor role

You cannot become a parent governor if you are:

  • An elected member of the local authority
  • Paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive 12-month period at the time of election
Local authority governor role

You cannot become a local authority governor if you are eligible to be a staff governor at the school.

Partnership governor role

You cannot become a partnership governor if you 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
  • Employed by the local authority in connection with its education functions

Rules due to a governor's failings or actions

You cannot be a governor if you have not attended the governing body meetings for a continuous period of six months. This does not apply to the headteacher, or to foundation governors appointed by virtue of their office. If you do not attend meetings, you are disqualified for 12 months from the day of disqualification.

You cannot be a governor, or continue to be a governor if you:

  • Are the subject of any bankruptcy restrictions orders, debt relief restrictions orders, or you have had your estate confiscated
  • Are subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking:
    • Under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
    • A disqualification order under the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 2002
    • A disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002
    • An order made under section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under county court administration order
  • Have been removed as a trustee of a charity. Either by an order made by the Charity Commission or the High Court on grounds of misconduct or mismanagement, or under section 34 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Have been removed from office as an elected governor within the last five years
  • Are considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people
  • Have been banned from any regulated activity relating to children
  • Are banned from working in schools under section 142 of the Education Act 2002, or section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • Are disqualified from working with children, for registering for child minding or providing day care
  • Are disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State
  • Have been sentenced to three months or more in prison (without the option of a fine) in the five years before the date of appointment as a governor
  • Have received a prison sentence of two and a half years or more in the 20 years before the date of appointment as a governor
  • Have at any time been given a prison sentence of five years or more
  • Have been convicted and fined for causing a disturbance on school or educational premises in the five years before or since appointment/election as a governor
  • Refuse a request by the clerk to make an application to the DBS for a criminal records certificate

You must tell the clerk to the governing body if you are disqualified for one or more of these reasons.

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