School governors

Becoming a school governor

There are some important restrictions on who can become a school governor.

A governor cannot be under the age of 18 at the time of his or her election or appointment and cannot be a registered pupil at the school. A person cannot hold more than one governorship at the same school. 

A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor or associate member if he or she:

  • fails to attend the governing body meetings – without the consent of the governing body for a continuous period of six months, beginning with the date of the first meeting missed (not applicable to ex officio governors)
  • is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim order, debt relief restrictions order, an interim debt relief restrictions order or their estate has been sequestrated and the sequestration has not been discharged, annulled or reduced
  • is subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, a disqualification order under Part 2 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, a disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or an order made under section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under county court administration order)
  • has been removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity by the Charity Commission or Commissioners or High Court on grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement, or under section 34 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 from being concerned in the management or control of any body
  • has been removed from office as an elected governor within the last 5 years
  • is included in the list of teachers or workers considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people
  • is barred from any regulated activity relating to children
  • is subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • is disqualified from working with children or from registering for child-minding or providing day care
  • is disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State
  • subject to certain exceptions for overseas offences that do not correlate with a UK offence, has been sentenced to three months or more in prison (without the option of a fine) in the five years ending with the date preceding the date of appointment/election as a governor or since becoming a governor
  • subject to certain exceptions for overseas offences that do not correlate with a UK offence, has received a prison sentence of two and a half years or more in the 20 years ending with the date preceding the date of appointment/election as a governor
  • subject to certain exceptions for overseas offences that do not correlate with a UK offence, has at any time received a prison sentence of five years or more
  • has been convicted and fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school or educational premises during the five years ending with the date immediately preceding appointment/election or since appointment or election as a governor
  • refuses a request by the clerk to make an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service for a criminal records certificate.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please contact the Governor Support Office on 0300 300 6598.

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