Now the holidays are over

8th September 2000 at 01:00
Jane Martin's monthly look at the issues governors will be facing this term

IT'S the start of a busy autumn for governing bodies, with another set of regulations to note. So get the constitutional and administrative business in order.

Chair and vice-chair elections

Regulations state that the names of governors willing to stand should have been provided in advance and listed on the agenda. Only if no names are listed can further names be taken at the meeting.

Election is by secret ballot and a quorum of one-third of members is needed. Neither the chair nor vice-chair can be someone who is employed in the school. (School Government Regulations 1999 No. 29).

Appointment of clerk

You might have done this at the turn of the financial year if you were buying in a service. Remember that the clerk cannot be a governor or the headteacher.

Electionappointment of new governors

Elections need to be held for parent, teacher and staff governors.

A quorum of two-thirds of non-co-opted governors is required to appoint new co-opted members. This can be a close call so full attendance is important.

Some governing bodis also have additional co-opted governors from minor authorities, sponsors or the education action zone forum. Local authority governor vacancies should be filled by the LEA - check out their published criteria for selection and appointments procedures. The headteacher is, of course, an ex-officio governor unless he or she chooses not to be.

Remember that governors should not vote in connection with their own appointment to or removal from a governing body office, and should withdraw when the matter is under discussion. (Schedule 6 School Government Regulations 1999)

Penalty for non-attendance

Ensure that all new governors are aware of the automatic six-month disqualification rule for non-attendance. A full list of other disqualifications is in chapter two of the Department for Education and Employment's Governors' Guide to the Law.

The School Government Amendment Regulations 2000 - effective September 1 - tidies up the 1999 Regulations. Full details can be viewed on the DFEE website (

A And then there were two ...

the school where 10 of the 12 teachers quit after an OFSTED report. Friday, 12

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