Slump in turnout for elections to powerful committees that oversee schools system

The proportion of academies voting to appoint members of the regional headteacher boards ranged from 19 per cent to 38 per cent

Martin George

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Less than a third of academies voted in elections for the powerful committees that help to oversee the schools system, Tes can reveal.

In September, the Department for Education held ballots for four places on each of the headteacher boards (HTBs) that cover eight regions across England.

The HTBs have become increasingly influential since they were introduced in 2014. They advise and challenge the regional schools commissioners, who make decisions about the futures of academies, free schools and maintained schools.

All academies that were open on 1 June were eligible to vote, but a response to a Tes freedom of information request shows that only 28 per cent actually cast a ballot.

This represents a slump from the turnout of “almost 40 per cent” in 2014.

Maximising votes

In six regions, less than a third of academies voted, with turnout ranging from 19 per cent in North-West London and South-Central England to 38 per cent in the North of England. The reduced turnout came amid a fall in the number of candidates standing for election, concerns about the transparency of HTBs and the fact that the vast majority of schools affected by HTB discussions were not allowed to vote.

The Department for Education dismissed suggestions that the falling turnout showed a lack of confidence in the HTB system, pointing out that there had been a big increase in the number of academies since 2014.

A DfE spokesperson said: “Almost 2,000 school leaders voted in these elections – that’s nearly 300 more than 2014. This is only the second time we have run these elections and, while voter turnout is comparable with similar positions in other professions, we will continue to work with school leaders to maximise the number of votes in future.”

The full results of the elections in each region are shown below.

East Midlands and the Humber

Name Votes  
Peter Bell  57 Elected 
Paul Stone  56 Elected 
Roisin Paul  48 Elected 
Anne Martin  38 Elected 
Inderjit Sandhu  32  
Andrew Truby  32  
Carolyn Robson  31  
Sian Hampton  30  
Cathy Taylor  30  
Adam Cooper  27  
Lee Hessey  23  
Ged Fitzpatrick  21  
Pauline Hagen OBE  21  
Adrian O'Malley  12  
Chris Mulqueen  10  

Turnout: 21.34 per cent

East of England and North-East London

Name Votes  
Caroline Derbyshire  74 Elected 
Brian Conway  52 Elected 
Karen Kerridge  50 Elected 
Nardeep Sharma  49 Elected 
Helena Marsh  48  
Rebecca Newman  42  
Susannah Connell  40  
Joseph Figg  37  
Rich Green  36  
Rachel Macfarlane  34  
Iain Michael Erskine  33  
Shahina Ahmad  32  
Tom Canning  32  
Diane Rochford  31  
Justin James  29  
Angela Tempany  29  
Jodh Dhesi  25  
Simon Gilbert-Barnham  23  
Jonathan Taylor  23  
Andrew Berry  11  

Turnout: 32.35 per cent

Lancashire and West Yorkshire

Name Votes  
Karen Bramwell  56 Elected 
Julie Bradley  49 Elected 
Royston Halford  44 Elected 
Duncan Jacques  43 Elected 
David Horn  41  
Jo Morgan  39  
Michael Gosling  34  
Pauline Hagen OBE  28  
Tuesday Humby  28  
Louise Smith  26  
David Watson  25  
Richard Ballantine  24  
Jane Chambers  23  
Jon Wright  23  
Deborah Mason  19  
Michael Tonge  19  
Farhat Choudry  16  

Turnout: 31.28 per cent

North of England

Name Votes  
Zoe Carr  71 Elected 
Nick Hurn  65 Elected 
Chris Clarke  64 Elected 
Lesley Powell  62 Elected 
Debi Bailey  48  
Dean Judson  30  

Turnout: 38.33 per cent

North-West London and South-Central England

Name Votes  
Sarah Bennett  49 Elected 
Tom Rees  45 Elected 
Claire Robins  45 Elected 
Dame Sue Bourne DBE  41 Elected 
Michelle Willett  40  
Teresa Tunnadine CBE  35  
Jamie Clarke  32  
Gill Labrum  26  
Andrew Markham  26  
Andy Squires  24  
Frances Manning  23  
Terry Molloy  21  
Vicky Parsey  14  
Nikki Lamond  8  

Turnout: 19.21 per cent

South-East England and South London

Name Votes  
Jon Chaloner  71 Elected 
Paula Farrow  68 Elected 
Sir Andrew Carter OBE  62 Elected 
Justin Smith  51 Elected 
Annemarie Whittle  48  
David Boyle  47  
Graham Chisnell  47  
Beverley Gardner  43  
Lee Mason-Ellis  39  
Rebecca Stacey  34  
Alex Russell  32  
Marie Sweetlove  30  
David Harris  22  
Llyn Codling  21  
Alex Clark  17  
Declan Jones  8  

Turnout: 26.6 per cent

South-West England

Name Votes  
Sally Apps  68 Elected 
Steve Savory  67 Elected 
Paul Jones  50 Elected 
Suzanne Flack  47 Elected 
Jan Woodhouse  46  
Robert Gasson  45  
Barbara Daykin  40  
Clare Crowle  38  
Simon Spry  36  
Ian Cload  35  
Lynn Atkinson  34  
Paul Rushforth  34  
Neil Blundell  32  
Liz West  31  
Antus Phillips  30  
George Croxford  29  
Will Morgan  25  
Martin Brook  23  
Catherine Hughes  22  
Siobhan Meredith  22  
Jo Perry  21  
Gary Chown  20  
Jonathan Bishop  19  
David Sammels  14  
Catriona Mangham  12  

Turnout: 33.7 per cent

West Midlands

Name Votes  
Dame Mo Brennan  72 Elected 
Mike Donoghue  53 Elected 
Margaret Yates  43 Elected 
Sinead Smith  34 Elected 
Nicola Clay  32  
Darren Turner  32  
Rebecca Cox  30  
Jo Morgan  29  
Steve Docking  28  
Kevin Simpson  27  
Christopher Brislen  26  
Catherine Lewis  26  
Hazel Pulley  25  
Elizabeth Threlkeld  24  
Geraint Roberts  23  
Michael Barratt  22  
Jane Edgerton  22  
Richard Redgate  22  
Martin Murphy  19  
Dan Thomas  17  
Stephen Dunster  15  
David Coaché  9  

Turnout: 28.51 per cent

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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