How are the chair and vice chair of governors elected?

The governing board must elect a chair and a vice-chair from among their number. There are no specific regulations about the actual conduct of the elections but they should comply with the principals of fair and democratic elections.

Please ask your clerk to the governors if you need more advice on this. Other important points that governing boards (GB) need to adhere to are:

  1. Prior to the election of the chair and vice-chair, the governing board must determine the date on which the term of office of the chair and vice-chair will end.
  2. A governor who is employed at the school as a teacher or as any other member of the school's staff is not eligible to be chair or vice-chair of the governing board of that school.
  3. The chair or vice-chair may at any time resign their office by giving notice in writing to the clerk to the governing board.
  4. The chair or vice-chair ceases to hold office if:
    • they cease to be a member of the governing board
    • they become employed at the school as a teacher or as another member of the school's staff
    • they are removed from office by the governing board (in accordance with regulation 9 of The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013)
    • or replaced by a chair nominated by the Secretary of State under their powers (section 67 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006).

Where a vacancy arises in the office of the chair or vice chair, the governing board must elect one of their number to fill that vacancy at their next meeting.

Where the chair is absent from any meeting or there is at the time a vacancy in the office of the chair, the vice chair is to act as chair for all purposes. If the vice chair is not in attendance the governors in attendance at the meeting should vote in a chair for the meeting (governors employed by the school cannot take the chair).

More help like this can be found in the DFE Governors Handbook or The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances)(England) Regulations 2013.

This page was last updated on 22 February 2023

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