The Governance Group, which includes the Cabinet Member and supporting officers from the Local Authority (LA), recommends and confirms the nominations of Local Authority Governors and agrees any changes of name to Instruments of Government. It is also responsible for the Local Authority Governor Removal Process as set out in the Governance Group Terms of Reference.
Nomination of Local Authority (LA) Governors
Local Authority Governors are nominated by the Local Authority but appointed by the governing board. The LA can nominate any eligible person as a Local Authority governor, but it is for each governing board to decide whether to appoint the LA nominee. It is important that the governing board considers whether the LA’s nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any eligibility criteria it has set. However, in practice the governing boards often put forward suggested nominees to the LA for its nomination prior to appointment by the governing board.
All nominations are submitted to the next meeting of the Governance Group for confirmation. Once the Group has met, decisions taken are published on the Governor Zone to ensure openness and transparency. Governor appointments will be confirmed to the Chair of the Governing Board.
Local Authority Governors, once appointed, fulfil their duties as any other governor would do. Just as a parent governor does not represent the views of all parents at a school, but is a representative parent, so the Local Authority Governor does not represent the views of the LA, but is a representative of the wider community. The LA does not mandate its appointees with the role of promoting the LA’s views.
There is no limit to the number of governing boards a person can join, but it should be borne in mind that to be an effective governor there is a time commitment in terms of duties. Governing boards hold at least 3 full governing board meetings a year, with many having 6 a year. In addition, there are likely to be committee meetings to attend, as well as other functions to support the school.
Members’ Role in the Appointment Process for Authority Governors
The School Governance team monitors Local Authority Governor vacancies and in the absence of a governing board suggestion for the nomination writes to local members for the area served by the school to seek nominations by the governing board.
- Local member(s) have one month to nominate a governor, or to state reasons why the appointment should be deferred, before nominations from any other members are considered.
- If no response is received from the local member(s) within one month from the date of notification, it is open to other members to make nominations.
- There is a general presumption that nominees of local member(s) (if any) shall take precedence over nominees from other members, unless, in any particular instance, a strong case is made to the contrary.
The Local Member should also discuss any Authority Governors nominations with the Chairman of the Governing board concerned prior to confirmation of that nomination.
There is a nomination form to be completed for any such nominees and this should be returned to School Governance, who will take this forward with the chair of the governing board. Nominees should be people who have the skills and experience to be an effective governor or the capacity and willingness to develop them. The form asks nominees to declare any interests they have that could conflict with taking on the role of Local Authority Governor.
Buckinghamshire’s Governor Recruitment Strategy is underpinned by a commitment to ensure that prospective governors have the skills to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school as well as to promote community cohesion and equality. Furthermore it aims to ensure that school governors reflect the diversity of Buckinghamshire’s communities and are sensitive to the needs of the various communities their school may serve.
Prospective governors are required to complete a disclosure form declaring they are not subject to any disqualifications as set out in the School Governance Regulations 2012. Once appointed, governors will need to undergo an Enhanced DBS check and the school will advise on this process.
Governors of LA Maintained Schools, acting solely in that capacity, require an Enhanced DBS check but this does NOT include a Children’s Barred List check. A governor may need to have an Enhanced DBS check that includes a Barred List check if they have other non-governor responsibilities at a school.
N.B. A person is disqualified from being appointed as a Local Authority Governor if they are eligible to be a Staff Governor of that school.
GOVERNOR CONSULTATIVE BOARD
The Governor Consultative Board is a group of representative governors, headteachers and officers from the Local Authority and Diocesan officers which meets to develop a shared strategic view of the key challenges facing school governance and to support the development of policies and initiatives which meet the needs of governors in Buckinghamshire.
OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE
There are three parent governor representatives on the Overview & Scrutiny Commissioning Committee (formerly Overview & Scrutiny Committee for Children's Services). They represent parent governors on the Overview and Scrutiny Commissioning Committee, both in their response to items under discussion and in bringing forward items for discussion which are of particular concern to parent governors and can be contacted via email.
The Overview & Scrutiny Commissioning Committee has a statutory role to ensure that the Council carries out its responsibilities properly. It scrutinises the work of the County Council by regularly checking new decisions and ensuring that they are fair, practical and made in the public interest. The Committee also reviews existing policies, procedures and practices and can suggest improvements where necessary.