Governance Regulations to be updated and rationalised

3 Jan

The Department for Education (DfE) issued draft governance regulations published in late December 2014.   Stakeholders are invited to respond to the Advisory Group on Governance (AGOG) at on the consultation document  by no later than 19 February 2015.  The aim is to rationale and tidy up the many changes that were brought about by recent legislative initiatives and are mainly of a technical nature.

For instance, the proposed regulations will, when enacted, ensure that rules about shadow governing bodies and the transition from Interim Executive Board (IEBs) to full-blown governing bodies are brought into line with the 2012 Constitution Regulations.

The detail is as follows.

(1) Temporary governing bodies, established during a time of school reorganisation or in the run-up to opening a new school, will no longer have provision for appointing community governors.

(2) Regulation 13 of the School Governance (Constitution)(England) Regulations 2007 will be removed no longer requiring the governing body of a community school, or maintained nursery school or community special school to have

(a)   one third or more parent governors;

(b)   at least two but no more than a third of staff governors;

(c)   one fifth or more community governors; and

(d)   one fifth local authority governors.

(3) Members of the temporary shadow governing bodies will be required to appoint governors on the basis of skills which contribute to effective governance and make the schools successful.

(4) The role and procedures for shadow, temporary governing bodies and governing bodies per se with joint working arrangements will be brought into line with the procedural arrangements set out in the Rules, Procedures and Allowance Regulations 2013 for mainstream governing bodies by aligning various regulations and procedures so that they provide for governing bodies to work in collaboration with joint committees.

(5) To ensure that governors are more “visible” and promote transparency and probity, the regulations will require every school to publish the names of its governors on the website along with their categories, terms of office and any committees on which they serve and maintain and publish the governors’ register of interests.

(6) To give the appointing bodies more flexibility and choice, the government proposes regulations that give individual governors within every category different terms of office extending from one to four years.   Currently, such flexibility exists between the categories and not in them.   For instance, a governing body may appoint parent governors for two years (as sometimes happens in nursery schools) but the other governors for four.  However, the draft regulations propose that within any category – say parent governors – one parent may be appointed for one year and another for two or more years.  The proposal – if promulgated – will apply only to newly appointed governors and not existing ones who will continue with their current terms of office.

(7) The draft regulations propose amending the School Staff Regulations to state that staffing functions may be delegated to one or more governors working together with an associate member.   Also, where the governing body establishes a joint committee with another governing body, associate members may be appointed to such a committee with similar responsibilities.

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