The guidance has specifically been updated to cover the new power that means from 1 September 2017 maintained school governing bodies have the power to remove elected parent and staff governors in the same way as they can remove co-opted governors – that is, by majority decision of the governing body.
The changes haven’t stopped there. Any person removed as an elected governor from the governing body during their term of office will be disqualified from serving or continuing to serve as a school governor for five years from the date of their removal – not just at the school they have been removed from, but any school. The statutory guidance emphasises that the power to remove an elected governor should only be used in exceptional circumstances, providing some examples which could warrant removal. It also states that governing bodies are expected to provide an appeals procedure to enable any removed governor to test the reasonableness of the governing body’s decision to remove them and advises that an independent panel conducts the appeal.
We would reiterate the need for the additional powers to remove elected governors to be used only in exceptional circumstances. It is important that governors are not removed for asking challenging questions and that boards contain a diverse range of viewpoints.
Clerks to governing bodies, in particular, should ensure they are familiar with the guidance document and regulations.