Each state school Governing Body has within its composition one or more places reserved for teacher governors.

The Unions have concluded, with the local authority, an agreement relating to the election of teacher governors in maintained schools. This document sets out the eligiblity of teachers to nominate and stand for the position of teacher governor and how such an election should be conducted.

This agreement, entitled "Electing Teacher Governors" (a copy follows), is contained within the Conditions of Service manual which should be available for examination and can't be altered by the school.

By and large teacher governors enjoy the same rights and have the same duties as other governors. The Articles and Instruments lay these down, and each governor must be given a copy, in addition to one of each being available for examination within the school.

The Articles of Government lay down the powers and duties of the Governing Body. They are by and large standard but some schools do have their own individual articles.

The Instruments of Government lay down the framework for the exercise of duties and powers set out in the articles. These along with the Authority's "Scheme for Local Management of Schools" and "School Governors: A Guide to the Law", published by the DfEE, are required reading for any governor and should be given to a teacher governor.

Rights of Teacher Governors

The rights of teacher governors are, in most cases, exactly the same as the rights of any other governor except that most instruments contain the following clause :-

"No governor who is employed at the school .......shall be eligible for appointment as Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the Governing Body or as Chairperson of a meeting".

This is the only clause limiting the rights of teacher governors that does not apply to all governors.

Declaration of Interest

The most common limitation of powers is contained within the declaration of an interest by a governor. This should appear as an agenda item very early in each meeting of the Governing Body or its Sub-Committees. The item is used to give all governors the opportunity to declare that they have the possibility of a financial interest.

All governors are required to declare such a pecuniary interest where they could benefit from a decision that the Governing Body took. Detailed advice is contained within the D.E.S. guidance.

Basically a teacher governor should declare an interest if any one or more of the following apply to him/her or a relative (or spouse/partner) living with him/her:-

  1. appointment to a post
  2. pay or performance appraisal
  3. retirement

Having declared an interest the teacher governor should leave the meeting for that item and should not take part in the discussion or vote.

There is nothing within the Education (school Government) Regulations 1999 that would preclude a teacher governor from being a member of a staffing/appointments committee providing that such appointments did not contravene the above.

The other declaration of interest that may apply to a teacher governor is when they or a relative etc. are either a partner in a business or run a business that may bid for a contract that is being discussed by the governing body.

The onus rests with a governor to declare an interest and not with any other person to seek to persuade a governor that they should have declared an interest.

Should any member governor have any doubt the union office would be pleased to advise.

Agendas, Papers and Information

Teacher governors are entitled to all information on the basis that any other governor receives such information. The requirement for secrecy only covers matters relating to contract specifications and privileged information regarding appointment, discipline or dismissal. The union would seek to support the rights of teacher governors to be fully responsible to their electoral constituency.



The Headteacher is the designated Returning Officer, though it is possible for a member of the teaching staff to take on that role for the teacher governor elections if the majority of staff eligible to vote agree.

The following arrangements remain unchanged since their agreement with teacher representatives on the OJC and original publication in 1986. They should be followed when electing teacher governors for the new governing bodies early in the Autumn Term and whenever there is a subsequent teacher governor vacancy.

  1. The Returning Officer
    1. The Headteacher will initiate the election procedure on behalf of the Authority.
    2. He/she will take no part in the nomination or election of Teacher Governors.
    3. Where the majority of teaching staff eligible to vote agree, a member of the teaching staff may act as Returning Officer, but that teacher will not be eligible to stand for election. The role of Returning Officer will not inhibit the teacher's eligibility to vote.
    4. Where the majority of teaching staff eligible to vote Agree, it will be possible for more than one person to share the responsibilities of the Returning Officer, provided these staff are named.
  2. Eligibility to Stand for Election
    1. Any teacher employed at the school on permanent contract may be nominated for election irrespective of whether the contract they hold is for part-time or full-time working.
  3. Eligibility to Nominate and Vote
    1. Any teacher employed in the school on permanent contract will be eligible to make nominations and vote irrespective of whether their contract is for full or part-time working.
    2. Any teacher employed in school on a temporary contract for one full term or more is eligible to nominate a candidate and vote irrespective of whether such contract is a full or part-time one.
    3. Wherever possible the Returning Officer should make arrangements to ensure staff absent from school are fully able to make a nomination and vote in the election. Such arrangements should as far as possible enable staff absent on sick leave, secondment or maternity leave to vote by postal ballot.
  4. Nominations
    1. The Returning Officer will make nomination forms available and will give at least three working days notice of the date by which nominations are to be received by him or her together with information about the election procedures and the eligibility of teachers to take part. Each eligible teacher should receive these details in writing with a copy displayed prominently on the staffroom noticeboard.
    2. Any nomination should be made in writing and be signed by both the proposer and nominee. Forms should be returned to the Returning Officer by the date he or she has prescribed.
  5. Election
    1. In the event of an election being necessary the Returning Officer will issue one ballot slip to each teacher eligible to vote. Information printed on the ballot slip should specify the date of the election for which at least three working days notice should be given.
    2. The Returning Officer shall make arrangements for a sealed ballot box to be placed in the school staffroom throughout the appointed day. Staff eligible to vote will place ballot slips directly in this box and reasonable precautions should be taken to ensure the secrecy of voting is preserved.
    3. The count must be made immediately on collection of the ballot box by the Returning Officer at the appointed time. This will normally be at the close of school. All candidates should be invited to be present when the count is made. Any member of the teaching staff may attend it they wish.
    4. Ballot slips will be counted by the Returning Officer and made available for verification by the candidates. They will, however, be retained by the Returning Officer in a secure place for a period of at least one month after the date of the count.
    5. In the event of a tie a new election will be necessary and the Returning Officer should repeat the whole process outlined above. In cases of multiple election, any tie for 2nd or 3rd place will not inhibit the position of any clearly elected 1st place candidate so that subsequent re-election will only involve the tied candidates.
    6. The Returning Officer will notify each eligible teacher in writing of the name of the elected candidate and a copy of this notice will also be displayed on the staffroom noticeboard. The Returning Officer will also inform the Authority and the Clerk to Governors.

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