Friday Update (on a Thursday!) – 2 April 2015

Whilst today is the last day of the Spring term I still wanted you to benefit from my weekly update.  This week I am focusing solely on the School Governance Amendment Regulations and publication of revised Statutory guidance on the Constitution of governing bodies. There is much to consider going forward and we will need to discuss the implications of the Amendment Regulations and Statutory Guidance during the summer term.

Following its targeted consultation, the Department for Education has now put in place new regulations which bring the arrangements for new governing bodies and shadow governing bodies into line with the 2012 constitution arrangements.  The amendment regulations come into force on 1 September 2015 and allow governing bodies to:

  • use Associate members (i.e. individuals on the governing body who are not actually governors) on panels set up to deal with staffing matters (e.g. Grievance or Disciplinary Hearings);
  • decide whether individual governors of a particular category could hold a term of office of less than four years, as determined by the appointing body at the time of appointment.

The Statutory Guidance indicates governing bodies should publish on their website information about their members. The information should as a minimum include for each governor:

  • their name;
  • their category of governor;
  • which body appoints them;
  • their term of office;
  • the names of any committees the governor serves on; and
  • details of any positions of responsibility such as chair or vice-chair of the governing body or a committee of the governing body.

Governing bodies should also publish this information for associate members, making clear whether they have voting rights on any of the committees they serve on.

From 1 September 2015, governing bodies must publish on their website their Register of Interests, as is already the case for Academies. The register should set out the relevant business interests of governors and details of any other educational establishments they govern. The register should also set out any relationships between governors and members of the school staff including spouses, partners and relatives.

Finally, governing bodies should make it clear in their Code of Conduct that this information will be published on their governors and, where applicable, their associate members. Any governor failing to reveal information to enable the governing body to fulfil their responsibilities may be in breach of the code of conduct and as a result be bringing the governing body into disrepute. In such cases the governing body should consider suspending the governor.