Last updated: 27 June 2023

Next review: 3 May 2024

Who is disqualified from being a governor?

Governors or prospective governors must notify the clerk to the governing body if any of the grounds for disqualification apply.

General

  • Registered pupils cannot be governors.
  • A governor must be aged 18 or over at the time of election or appointment.
  • A person cannot hold more than one governor post at the same school at the same time.

Particular categories of governor

  • A person cannot be a parent governor if they are an elected member of the local authority or paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any consecutive twelve-month period (at the time of election or appointment).
  • A person cannot be a local authority governor if they are eligible to be a staff governor.

A person cannot be a partnership governor if they are:

  • a parent of a registered pupil at the school
  • eligible to be a staff governor at the school
  • an elected member of the local authority or
  • employed by the local authority in connection with its education functions.

Failure to attend meetings

A person is disqualified from being a governor of a particular school if they have failed to attend the meetings of the governing body of that school for a continuous period of six months. This begins on the date of the first meeting they failed to attend, without the consent of the governing body.

This does not apply to the headteacher or to foundation governors appointed by virtue of their office.

A foundation, local authority, co-opted, or partnership governor at the school who is disqualified for failing to attend meetings is only disqualified from being a governor of any category at the school during the twelve month period. This starts on the date on which they were disqualified.

Bankruptcy

A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor of a school if:

  • their estate has been sequestrated and the sequestration has not been discharged, annulled or reduced
  • they are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order, an interim bankruptcy restrictions order, a debt relief restrictions order, or an interim debt relief restrictions order.

Disqualification of charity trustees

A person is disqualified from holding, or from continuing to hold, office as a governor of a school if they have:

  • Been removed from the office of trustee for a charity by an order made by the Charity Commission or Commissioners or the High Court on the grounds of misconduct or mismanagement
  • Been removed, under section 34 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, from being concerned with the management or control of any body.
  • Persons whose employment is prohibited or restricted

A person is disqualified from holding or from continuing to hold office as a governor of a school at any time when they are:

  • Included in the list of teachers or workers considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people
  • Barred from any regulated activity relating to children
  • Disqualified from working with children or from registering for childminding or providing day care
  • Disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State.

Criminal convictions

A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor if they have:

  • Been sentenced to three months or more in prison (without the option of a fine). This is within┬áthe five years before becoming a governor or since becoming a governor
  • Received a prison sentence of two years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor
  • At any time received a prison sentence of five years or more
  • Been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises during the five years prior to or since appointment or election as a governor.
  • Refusal to make an application for a Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Refused a request by the clerk to the governing body to make an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a DBS certificate.

You can speak to Governor Services in confidence for advice on disqualifications.