Chapter 1. Introduction Page 1 Chapter 2. Constitution of Governing Bodies Page 3
Chapter 3. Governing Body Powers, Duties and Page 11
Chapter 4. Support and Training for Governors Page 25
Chapter 5. Governing Body Federation and Page 29
Chapter 6. The Early Years Foundation Stage and the Page 43
Chapter 7. Children with Special Educational Needs and Page 59
Other Vulnerable Children
Chapter 8. The School Budget Page 73
Chapter 9. School Premises and Capital Investment Page 79
Chapter 10. Staffing Page 85
Chapter 11. School Improvement Partners and School Page 107
Chapter 12. Admissions Page 109
Chapter 13. Behaviour and Attendance Page 121
Chapter 14. Inspection Page 135
Chapter 15. Schools Causing Concern Page 141
Chapter 16. Health, Safety and Welfare Page 149
Chapter 17. Equal Opportunities and School Governors Page 163
Chapter 18. Organisational Changes to the School Page 175
Chapter 19. Trust Schools Page 181
Chapter 20. Parent Councils Page 187
Chapter 21. Control and Community Use of School Page 191
Chapter 22. Extended Schools Page 195
Chapter 23. Charging for School Activities Page 199
Chapter 24. School Companies Page 203
Chapter 25. Providing Information Page 205
Annex 1. Glossary Page 221
Annex 2. Policies and Other Documents that Page 237
Governing Bodies are Required to
Have by Law
Index Page 241
0 January 2010 ? Crown copyright. First edition of 2010.
The purpose of the Guide
1. This is the thirteenth edition of A Guide to the Law for School Governors, and the fifth to
be issued in CD-ROM format.
2. All school governors need to know what their legal responsibilities are and how these fit in
with the responsibilities of the headteacher, the Local Authority (LA) and the Secretary of
State for Children, Schools and Families. This Guide explains what the law says and how
it affects governors. It should be read alongside the Law and Guidance sections listed at
the end of each chapter, and any information on governance provided by the LA. In this
edition, information can be found on:
； community schools, including community special schools and maintained nursery
； foundation schools, including foundation special schools and Trust schools;
； voluntary aided schools;
； voluntary controlled schools.
3. It must be stressed that this Guide cannot replace the law, and it is not possible to offer a
full explanation of the law. If specific problems arise, governing bodies may want to seek
advice from their LA or obtain their own legal advice.
4. This Guide has been revised to incorporate the changes that were current at 1 January
2010, but it may also refer to regulations that will be introduced at a later date.
5. At first sight, the range of responsibilities described in the Guide may seem daunting.
However, governors do not need to be experts to tackle them. Help and advice is
available from various sources in addition to this Guide. The headteacher of your school
and officers of the LA can provide professional advice and support, while the clerk to your
governing body will also be able to help. Governors can develop their own knowledge
through training schemes and other materials available locally and nationally.
Using the Guide
6. The main text refers to community schools (including community special and maintained
nursery schools) and is mostly generic for all other categories. Where paragraphs or
information refer only and specifically to other categories of school, they are flagged in the
； VA: voluntary aided
； VC: voluntary controlled
； F: foundation, including foundation special.
Where the breakdown of information is more complex, the differences will be explained in
the text without the use of flags.
7. Throughout the Guide, the term Local Authority (LA) is used instead of Local Education
Authority (LEA) to describe the councils listed in Section 12 of the Education Act 1996,
which have responsibility for providing education to pupils of school age in their areas
(county councils where there is a two-tier system of government, otherwise unitary
authorities). Where terms are referred to that are defined in legislation, for example “LEA
governor”, the term Local Education Authority (LEA) is still used.
8. All references in the Guide to “the headteacher” include the acting headteacher at any
time when the school does not have a permanent headteacher, or when an acting
headteacher has been appointed in the absence of the headteacher.
9. At the end of each chapter of the Guide there is a reference section listing where
1 January 2010 ? Crown copyright. First edition of 2010.
governors‟ rights and duties are set out in legislation. Acts and regulations referred to can
be ordered from bookshops, accessed on the GovernorNet website at
www.governornet.co.uk, the Office of Public Sector Information website at
www.opsi.gov.uk or the Stationery Office‟s publications website at www.tso.co.uk
10. At the end of the Guide you will find a brief glossary and a list of all written policy
statements that governing bodies should have.
Obtaining copies of the Guide and other documents
11. Copies of all the circulars mentioned in the Guide have been sent to your school. It is also
possible to obtain copies of these and other Department for Children, Schools and
Families (DCSF) publications from: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottingham NG16 0DJ (tel: 0845
602 2260, fax: 0845 603 3360, minicom: 0845 605 5560, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). All
Departmental publications are free unless a price is shown.
12. As changes are frequently introduced, and it is important that governors have current
guidance, we will issue a new CD-ROM version of the Guide twice yearly. We will also
maintain an up-to-date Guide on the GovernorNet website (www.governornet.co.uk).
13. The DCSF believes that each member of a governing body needs to have his or her own
copy of the Guide. Please contact the DCSF Publications Centre (see paragraph 11,
above) to order extra copies.
Other resources for governors
14. Up-to-date information on all aspects of school governance is available on GovernorNet – the
DCSF website for governors. It includes numerous sources of reference, legislation and a
discussion board where governors can share information and experiences. GovernorNet can be
accessed at www.governornet.co.uk. Free professional and confidential advice and assistance is
also provided by GovernorLine at www.governorline.info (tel: 08000 722 181).
For more information and details of other organisations offering training, support and guidance to
governors, see the entry at the end of chapter 4 of this Guide (Support and training for
15. Other useful websites include TeacherNet (www.teachernet.gov.uk) and the DCSF
website (www.dcsf.gov.uk). It is not possible to list every website on which governors can
access information. However, the Department is working towards