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
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.