Regulations for school governance procedures

An explanatory note to the School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations 2003 says that they “deal with the procedures to be adopted by governing bodies of all maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools) in England from 1st September 2003, whether or not the governing body has yet adopted a new constitution under the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2003 SI 2003/ 348.

Part 1 provides for the Regulations to come into force on 1st September 2003 and contains interpretation provisions and provision for service of notices.

Part 2 deals with the appointment and removal of officers of the governing body, and their functions. Regulation 6 deals with delegation of functions to the chair or vice-chair in cases of urgency. Under regulation 8 the governing body is required to appoint a clerk to the governing body, and has the power to remove the clerk from office at any time. Regulation 9 sets out the functions of the clerk to the governing body.

Part 3 provides for meetings and proceedings of the governing body. This part includes provisions for access to meetings, convening meetings, quorum, minutes and their publication. Decisions on all matters are to be made by majority of governors voting.

Regulation 14 and the Schedule deal with conflicts of interest and the circumstances in which governors and others who are otherwise entitled to attend meetings of the governing body or its committees must withdraw and not vote. The general principle is that where there is a conflict between the interests of such a person and the interests of the governing body, or where the principles of natural justice require a fair hearing and there is any reasonable doubt about that person’s ability to act impartially, he should withdraw from the meeting and not vote.

Regulation 15 sets out the circumstances in which a governor may be suspended from meetings for up to 6 months. Regulations 16 to 18 relate to delegation of governing body functions.

Part 4 deals with the establishment and proceedings of committees of governing bodies, including clerking arrangements, convening meetings, quorum, voting and publication of minutes. Committees exercising delegated functions relating to the appointment, conduct and discipline, capability, suspension or dismissal of individual school staff are excluded from this Part of the Regulations. Schedules 16 & 17 of the 1998 Act will continue to apply to the exercise of these functions until new Regulations are made under sections 35 & 36 of the 2002 Act.

Regulation 22 deals with the appointment of associate members to committees.