Categories of Governor

Parent Governors

Parent governors should be a parent of a registered pupil at the time of the election.  They are normally elected by the parents of the registered pupils of the school.  From 1 April 2004 parents of any of the children for whom any service is provided at maintained nursery schools are eligible to be parent governors.  A parent who is an elected member of Cornwall Council or who works at the school for 500 hours or more in a year cannot stand for election but can vote. Such governors are representatives of the parent body and not delegates. This means that they cannot be directed by the parent body to act in a certain way but they should represent the views of the parents.  Parent governors may stay in office for the remainder of their term of office even if their child has left the school.  Should an election fail to fill all parent governor vacancies the Governing Board may appoint a parent governor.  With these appointments, the governors cannot appoint an elected member of the Local Authority or a person who works at the school for 500 hours or more in a year.

An LA Governor is expected to represent the LA and its policies on the Governing Board.  When appointing LA governors, the LA is expected to appoint a person who will help the school improve and will support the school's ethos and mission.  The nomination of LA governors is delegated to the school. Staff who work at the school cannot become LA governors.

The Headteacher is a member of the Governing Board by virtue of their office.

The Headteacher may at any time resign as a governor, and withdraw their resignation, in both cases by notifying the clerk in writing.

Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the Governing Board or the Local Authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors. Staff governors are elected by the school staff.  They cease to hold office when they cease to work at the school. It is important that prospective staff governors understand the nature of the role of a governor – and specifically that their role will not be to represent staff, nor to stand alongside the Headteacher in being held to account by the Governing Board, but to operate as part of the Governing Board to provide strategic leadership and to hold the Headteacher to account.

As with elected parent governors, staff governors cannot be removed from office. Clear expectations of role and conduct should therefore be communicated and agreed upfront.

If no candidates are forthcoming, the position on the Governing Board remains vacant and an election should be held as soon as an eligible candidate is identified

These governors are appointed by the Governing Board. Co-opted governors are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Board, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. Staff members can become co-opted governors, however, staff cannot outweigh the whole Governing Board by more than one third of the total.

Foundation governors are either appointed or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold. Where appointed, appointments are made by the person entitled under the instrument of government (usually the school’s founding body, church or other organisation).  Some of these governors are ex-officio. Foundation governors may be removed by those who appointed them.

This category of governor only applies to foundation schools.  Nominations for this category come from the local community from people committed to the good governance and success of the school. No person employed at the school, no pupil of the school and no elected member of the LA may become a partnership governor.

Associate members are appointed by the Governing Board to serve on one or more Governing Board committees and attend full Governing Board meetings. They are not governors but bring expertise and experience which can add to that provided by the governor membership.

The definition of associate member is wide and pupils, school staff and people who want to contribute specifically on issues related to their area of expertise (finance, for example) can be appointed as associate members.