Parent governors

Parents, including carers, of pupils are eligible to stand for election as governors. Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body may appoint parents.

Staff governors

The headteacher is a staff governor by virtue of their office. Other staff, both teaching and support, may become governors as long as they are paid (volunteers do not qualify). Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Any election that is contested must be held by ballot.

Authority governors

LAs are encouraged to appoint high-calibre governors to schools that need the most support and to appoint candidates irrespective of any political affiliation or preference. Authorities may appoint minor authority representatives, e.g. district and parish councillors, as authority governors.

Community governors

Community governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. They can be individuals who

  • live or work in the community served by the school
  • are committed to the good governance and success of the school even though they do not work or live close to it.

The definition of community governor is wide. People from a business or professional background and minor authority representatives can be appointed as community governors.

Foundation and partnership governors

Foundation governors are appointed by the school's founding body, church or other organisation named in the school's instrument of government. If the school has a religious character, the foundation governors must preserve and develop this. They must also ensure compliance with the trust deed, if there is one. If a foundation school has no foundation or equivalent body, the foundation governors are replaced by partnership governors appointed by the governing body after a nomination process.

Sponsor governors

Sponsor governors are appointed by the governing body. They may be individuals who

  • give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind
  • provide services to the school.

If the governing body wants to appoint sponsor governors it must seek nominations from the sponsor(s). The governing body can appoint a maximum of two persons as sponsor governors.