NAHT has been campaigning for the ability for schools to remove governors where there are serious or repeated conduct issues. This finally met with some success, back in March when, regulations were laid to enable governing bodies of maintained schools to remove elected governors in such circumstances.
These powers come into force from 1 September 2017 and will have a significant impact on supporting effective governance in schools. The powers already existed in academies under funding agreements.
The Department for Education (DfE) has set out clear expectations on the use of the powers in the newly updated statutory guidance; 'constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools,' which it released on 29 August 2017.
In it, the DfE outlines that the five year disqualification term for removal reflects the expectation that the power to remove an elected governor will only be used in exceptional and serious circumstances.
Examples which could give rise to removal include:
- there have been repeated grounds for suspension;
- the actions of the governor are significantly detrimental to the effective operation of the governing body;
- a governor displays repeated and serious incompetence;
- and/or there has been serious misconduct.
The guidance also outlines the procedure for removal, including the expectation that the governing board has an appeals process.
- The statutory instrument and explanatory note are available here.
- The statutory guidance can be found here.
As part of the update the DfE has also included additional material on the governance database.