School governors: qualification criteria and vetting process

In the interest of safeguarding children it will be necessary for your application to undergo a vetting process. Criminal records may be disclosed because being a governor is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Exemption Act.

The following text summarises the qualification and disqualification regulations. Please seek advice if you think you may be affected.

A governor must be aged 18 or over at the time of their election or appointment.

A registered pupil of the school cannot be a governor.

A person cannot hold more than one governorship at the same school.

A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor or associate member if they:

  • have failed to attend meetings for six months
  • are bankrupt
  • are subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under companies legislation or an order concerning insolvency
  • have been removed from the office of trustee for a charity on grounds of misconduct or mismanagement or from being concerned in the management or control of any body
  • are included in the list of those considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children
  • are subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 142 of Education Act 2002
  • are disqualified from working with children or from registration for child minding or providing day care
  • have received a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months (without the option of a fine) in the five years before becoming a governor or since becoming a governor
  • have received a prison sentence of 2.5 years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor
  • have at any time received a prison sentence of five years or more
  • have been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the five years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor
  • refuse to make an application for a criminal records certificate
  • a parent of a child of or under compulsory school age with special educational needs for which the school is approved
  • or if that is not possible a parent with experience of educating a child with special education needs

In addition:

A person is disqualified from appointment as a local authority governor if they are eligible to be a staff governor of the school.

A person is disqualified from election or appointment as a parent governor if they are an elected member of the LA or if they work at the school for more than 500 hours in any year.

In addition a person may not be appointed as a parent governor unless they are:

  • a parent of a registered pupil at the school,
  • or if that is not possible a parent of a former pupil of the school
  • or if that is not possible a parent of a child of or under compulsory school age

At special schools the criteria are the same as the first 2 above, then:

  • a parent of a child of or under compulsory school age with special educational needs for which the school is approved
  • or if that is not possible a parent with experience of educating a child with special education needs

A person may not be a partnership governor if they are:

  • a parent of a registered child at the school
  • eligible to be a staff governor at the school
  • an elected member or employee of the local authority