Appoint a staff governor

Community, community special and voluntary controlled schools

Hampshire County Council is the appropriate authority for arranging and appointing staff governors. The County Council has delegated the responsibility of ensuring an election takes place to fill a staff governor vacancy to the headteacher.

When electing headteachers must follow:

Voluntary aided, foundation and foundation special schools

The appropriate authority for arranging and appointing staff governors is the governing body. The governing body must follow the regulations. They may also wish to take these guidelines into account.

Who can stand and vote for staff governor

A staff governor can be anyone employed by the governing body or the local authority. They must be under a contract of employment to work at the school at the time of the election. All those employed in the same capacity have a right to a vote if there is a need for a ballot.

The headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office. If the headteacher decides not to be a governor they must inform the clerk of their decision. The clerk should then inform the governing body accordingly. The headteacher's place remains reserved for them and can't be taken by anyone else.

Disqualification criteria

A summary of the disqualification criteria that apply to school governors are listed in Annex A, section C of The constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools statutory guidance.

Seeking applications

The headteacher should send a letter to eligible staff inviting applications for the role of staff governor:

  • as soon as a staff governor resigns or
  • at the beginning of the term in which the staff governor's term of office expires

See Appendix A for a example letter inviting applications.

All applicants must complete a school governor application form. This will make sure all potential candidates are aware of the current disqualification criteria.

There is also space on the form for candidates to supply their reasons for applying, and the experience and personal skills they can bring to the role. Use this information for their election statement that goes out with the ballot paper; if this part of the process is required.

The closing date for applications should be ten school working days from the date the invite for applications is sent out. The actual closing date and time should be clearly stated on the invite.

Processing applications

If no applications are received by the deadline, the headteacher will need to repeat the process as early as possible.

If there is only one application received there is no need to hold a ballot. The applicant is assumed to have been elected unopposed.

The headteacher should notify the successful candidate as soon as possible after the closing date. They should then complete the relevant section on the School Governor application form to confirm they have elected the candidate. The headteacher should then pass it to the clerk to update their records and the Governor Services membership database.

The headteacher should inform all staff eligible to vote and governors of the result within ten school working days.

If there are more applicants than vacancies then there has to be a ballot.

Voting

The headteacher should arrange for ballot papers to be distributed to all those eligible to vote. Ten school working days should be allowed for voting to enable any part-time staff to return their forms.

See Appendix B for an example letter to send to eligible voters.

Ballot papers must be kept unopened and secure until the count.

Candidates have the right to attend the count. They must be advised of the venue, date and time of the count at the same time as the ballot papers are sent out.

See Appendix C for an example letter to send to candidates about the count.

Counting the ballot papers

The school should open the ballot box on the next working day after the closing date ballot papers have been returned. The count should be undertaken by the headteacher, or their nominee.

If there is a tie in the numbers of votes cast, the first step should be to recount the votes. If the votes are still equal for two or more candidates, the outcome should be determined by the relevant candidates drawing lots.

After the election

The headteacher should inform any candidates who were not at the count as soon as possible. They should thank unsuccessful candidates for putting themselves forward for the role.

See Appendix D and Appendix E for an example letter to send to candidates informing them of the result.

The headteacher should then complete the relevant section on the School Governor application form to confirm they have elected the candidate. They should then pass it to the clerk to update their records and the Governor Services membership database. All staff eligible to vote and governors should be notified of the result within ten school working days.

Ballot papers should be kept securely by the headteacher for six months in case the result of the election is challenged.

Candidate's start date

The successful candidate will start the day after the present staff governor finishes.

Where the post is already vacant the start date is the date of the count. If an election did not take place the start date is the day after the closing date for applications.