Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Welcome | Login

Information on Governing Boards

Page last updated: 16/07/2018

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Information for Chairs of Governors - take a look at information regarding upcoming and previous termly conferences.

All maintained schools must be constituted under the 2012 Constitution Regulations. It is good practice for governing boards to regularly review their effectiveness, including the extent to which their size and structure is fit for purpose and their members have the necessary skills.

Section 20 of the Education Act 2002 requires all maintained schools to have an Instrument of Government. This is a legal document for Local Authority schools that records the constitution of the governing board and the term of office for each category of governor as well as the name of the school.

Reviewing an Instrument of Government

These are the important things to remember when reviewing the governing board constitution:

Minimum Requirements for all schools - the governing board must not be smaller than 7 members (there is no upper limit), and all governing boards of maintained schools must include the following:
  • Parent Governors - at least 2
  • Headteacher - unless the headteacher resigns as a governor
  • Staff Governor - one staff governor in addition to the headteacher
  • Local Authority Governor - one, and only one
Co-opted Governors - in addition, the governing board can appoint as many additional co-opted governors as they consider necessary - as long as staff governors, including the headteacher, do not exceed one-third of the total membership of the governing board. 

Additional Requirements for Foundation and Voluntary Schools - in addition to the above requirements, foundation and voluntary schools are required to have partnership or foundation governors - nominated by the appropriate religious body where the school has a religious character:
  • Foundation and Foundation Special Schools with no foundation - at least two (but no more than one quarter of the total) partnership governors
  • Foundation or Foundation Special Schools with a foundation - at least two (but no more than 45% of the total) foundation governors
  • Qualifying Foundation Schools - overall control of the governing body, majority of up to 2 foundation governors over all other categories of governor
  • Voluntary Controlled Schools - at least two (but no more than a quarter of the total) foundation governors
  • Voluntary Aided Schools - overall control of the governing body, majority of 2 foundation governors over all other categories of governor
Associate Members 

The governing board can appoint associate members, because of the specific expertise and experience they bring, to serve on one ore more committees - but these are not governors and are not recorded on the Instrument of Government. They may attend full governing board meetings, but cannot have a vote in governing board decisions. However, they may be given a vote on decisions made by committees to which they are appointed.​

Schools Considering Reconstitution of the Governing Board

Schools Considering Reconstitution of the Governing Board should take a look at the following guidance:

​LA Governors:

Interested in Becoming an LA Governor:
Anyone interested in becoming an LA Governor should take a look at the current vacancies which are listed on the Essex County Council website. If there is a vacancy which takes your interest, then please complete the Self-Nomination and Self-Declaration form, returning them to​

​Resigning as an LA Governor:

​If you are currently in post as an LA Governor, however you wish to resign early or not continue in post once your term of office has ended, then please inform the Schools Communications Team via email:​

Alternatively, the Governing Body can inform the team via the same method. 

Re-Appointment of LA Governor

​Some LA Governors may wish to continue in post when their term of office ends. To do so, please complete the following forms and return them to

Headteacher Support

It is very important that schools establish well planned, effective procedures and systems for handover to a new headteacher.  This toolkit is offered to school governors as an example of good practice to ensure the smooth transition from one headteacher to another. 

The governing body's role in managing a smooth transition is crucial.  The aim of this toolkit ​is to ensure that the new headteacher rapidly learns about the key documents (including financial accounts), policies and procedures of their new school and has all the necessary information required in order to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.