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Abbey Foregate

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Are there different categories of governor?

Yes, there are a number of different categories of governor, and governing bodies are made up of as few as seven from some or most of these categories depending on the type of school.

The different categories of governor are:

  • parent governors who have a child in school at the time of their election, and are elected by the parents with children at the school. If there are insufficient nominations from parents to fill the vacancies, the governing body has to appoint parents
  • staff governors who are members of staff at the school and are elected by their colleagues. This category includes the headteacher (who serves in an ex-officio capacity), teaching and non-teaching staff. Unlike parent governors, when a member of staff leaves the school he/she must also leave the governing body
  • co-opted governors are appointed on to the governing body by the other members because they come from a specialist group, such as the business community or because they possess a particular skill which can contribute to the effective governance and success of the school
  • foundation governors who are appointed by the school's founding body, which in most cases is the Church. This category of governor is only found in aided and controlled schools
  • authority governors who are nominated by the local councillor and appointed by the governing body
  • sponsor governors who are appointed by the governors (if the governing body decided to include this category in their constitution) and are people who give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind, or who provide services to the school
  • partnership governors are members of the community served by the school appointed by the governing body. They are only found on foundation schools without a church link
  • associate members are not actually governors but can be appointed to serve on committees and attend meetings of the full governing body. They do not have the right to vote at meetings of the full governing body.

Headteachers can choose whether or not to be a governor at their school.

* On 1 September 2012 new constitution regulations came into force which allow more freedom for those governing bodies which have introduced a new instrument of government since September 2012. By September 2015 all maintained school governing bodies will re-constitute under these regulations. These freedoms allow a minimum of seven governors and no maximum. The only required categories are headteacher, one staff governor, at least two parent governors and one local authority governor. Voluntary schools continue to have foundation governors, with the number on aided governing bodies outnumbering the others by two, and controlled schools must have at least two. Governing bodies can include as many co-opted governors as they wish. Further details can be found via the attached link. 


Governor Support
01743 254361
Shropshire Council
Children and Young People's Services
Abbey Foregate
Last updated: 08 March 2016 Print this page

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