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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

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

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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