Guide to the Law for School Governors Word - 1

By Diane Thompson,2014-11-11 21:34
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Guide to the Law for School Governors Word - 1


    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

    National Curriculum

    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

    schools (MNS);

     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

    margin as:

     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, the Office of Public Sector Information website at or the Stationery Office‟s publications website at

    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: 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 (

    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 Free professional and confidential advice and assistance is

    also provided by GovernorLine at (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 ( and the DCSF

    website ( It is not possible to list every website on which governors can

    access information. However, the Department is working towards