Re- Constitution of Maintained Schools Governing Bodies

Re- Constitution of Maintained Schools Governing Bodies

The constitution of maintained schools governing bodies is outlined  in The Constitution Of Governing Bodies Of Maintained Schools: Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and local authorities in England.

Section 20 of the Education Act 2002 requires all maintained schools to have an instrument of government which determines the constitution of the governing body and other matters relating to the school. Part 5 of the 2012 Constitution Regulations makes provision regarding the contents and form of the instrument and the procedure for making and reviewing it.  Every governor should have had sight of it, if not a copy of the document.

All Governing Bodies had to reconstitute by September 2015 by law, so your instrument of government should be relatively up to date, but it is good practice to review this annually.  Any changes to the instrument have to be:

  • proposed as an agenda item at a full governing body meeting,
  • agreed as a proposed amendment to a draft instrument at that meeting
  • a draft instrument prepared and sent to, and agreed by the Local Authority and the Diocese (if relevant)
  • approved at a full governing body meeting (not the same one where the initial proposal was made.

Your clerk will be able to support you with this process. 

The instrument of Government only outlines the role of governors.  Some schools will choose to have associate members to address specific needs that a governing body may have.  Associate members are appointed by the governing body to serve on one or more governing body committees. They may also attend full governing body meetings.

They are not governors and therefore do not have a vote in governing body decisions but may be given a vote on decisions made by committees to which they are appointed.

Associate members should be appointed because of the specific expertise and experience they can contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. Subject to the disqualifications set out in the 2012 Constitution Regulations, the governing body may appoint a pupil, school staff member, or any other person as an associate member so that they can contribute their specific expertise. This can help to address specific gaps identified in the skills of governing body members, and/or help the governing body respond to particular challenges that they may be facing.

When appointing staff members as an associate member Governing Bodies should ensure that there is no conflict of interest between the job role of the staff member in school and the purpose for which they are appointed as associate members.

Cheshire West and Chester schools please contact for advice and support on re-constitution.