5th February 2016
ELECTION OF PARENT GOVERNORS
I am writing to let you know that there is to be an election of Parent Governors. The governing body, when it is complete, are made up of 12 Governors of which 2 are elected by the parents. There is currently 1 parent governor place to be filled.
The term “parent” includes anyone who has custody of a child registered at the school, as well as “natural” parents. Parents can stand for election and vote in secret in the election, if a ballot is needed.
As well as parents, the governing body is made up of a governor nominated by the Local Authority (the County Council), school staff, the headteacher and governors appointed by the rest of the governing body (co-opted governors). In voluntary controlled and aided schools there are also foundation governors.
Parent Governors have a four* year term of office and continue to serve even if their child(ren) leaves the school during this period.
What Do Governors Do?
The governors’ work affects most aspects of the school’s work.
Once appointed or elected, all governors must operate in the best interest of pupils, not as representatives to lobby on behalf of their constituency. Their task is to govern the school. This means focusing on the core functions of providing strategic leadership, holding the headteacher to account and making sure the school’s money is well spent. This is a demanding task for which all governors need to have, or develop, relevant and appropriate skills.
The governors, together as a body, have a range of legal responsibilities, so being a governor is an important commitment and new governors should be willing to attend training to help them learn what is entailed.
We are looking for governors to fill the following skills gaps as identified by the Governing Body:
(skills relating to data analysis and/or buildings and maintenance have been identified ).
Do Parent Governors have Special Responsibilities?
No. Parent Governors do not have “extra” duties. All governors are equally responsible and discharge their responsibilities as a body, not individually. The Parent Governors speak as parents: they can’t speak for all parents.
*school to amend before sending out if a less number of years is stipulated in the Instrument of Government.
Are there any restrictions which could disqualify parents from becoming Parent Governors?
Yes, but they are unlikely to apply to most parents considering becoming a parent governor. The restrictions are contained in the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012, regulation 16 and subsequent amendment Regulations. A copy of these will be attached to the application pack. Parents putting themselves forward for election will be required to sign this form and return it with a nomination form. If any of the restrictions apply you should not proceed with your nomination as a governor. Also, you are disqualified from election or appointment as a parent governor if you are an elected member of the local authority (-or if you are paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any twelve month period commencing on 1 August and finishing on 31 July).
Governors are subject to enhanced DBS checks and the elected parent will be provided, by the school with the requisite form to complete and take to the headteacher along with proof of identity (as detailed in the list of Valid Identity Documents). The headteacher will then pass the completed form to the DBS Unit at County Hall for checking and forwarding to the DBS, Liverpool. The term of office of the successful candidate (s) will only commence once a clear enhanced DBS Disclosure has been received by the school. It is recommended that you discuss this with me if you have any concerns over issues which may be highlighted by the Enhanced DBS as they may not exclude you from acting as a Parent Governor.
How are Parent Governors Elected?
Parent Governors must be people (aged at least 18) who have a child(ren) at the school when they are elected. Nomination forms are available from the school office. Each form must be signed by the candidate. Candidates can also make a short statement about themselves - a simple form for this purpose will be provided with nomination forms. Return these along with the Declaration form to me as quickly as possible.
If more nominations are received than there are places to fill, there will be a secret ballot and I will send to each parent, ballot forms (1 per parent) and envelopes for their return. The form explains how votes may be cast.
If the number of nominations received is the same as the number of places to be filled, then those people will be declared elected. If there are fewer, those nominated will be declared elected and it will be for the governing body to fill any remaining vacancy by appointing a parent governor.
The rules for the election are written down in Procedures set by the Local Authority, and these can be inspected at the school.
Result of the Election
The names of those elected will be displayed at the school for at least seven days and will be included in the next edition of the school prospectus or placed on the school website.
Anyone having any query about the election is invited to contact the school.
Headteacher and Returning Officer
THE CLOSING DATE FOR NOMINATION IS …FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2016