School Governor Qualification Criteria

  • A governor must be aged 18 or over at the time of their election or appointment.
  • A registered pupil of the school cannot be a governor.
  • A person cannot hold more than one governorship at the same school.
  • In the interest of safeguarding children, it will be necessary for any application to become a school governor to undergo a vetting process. Criminal records may be disclosed because being a governor is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Exemption Act.

Schedule 4 of The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 sets out the disqualification criteria for maintained school governors.

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

  • have failed to attend meetings for six months.
  • are bankrupt.
  • are subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under companies’ legislation or an order concerning insolvency.
  • have been removed from the office of trustee for a charity on grounds of misconduct or mismanagement or from being concerned in the management or control of any body.
  • are included in the list of those considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children.
  • are subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 142 of Education Act 2002.
  • are subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008.
  • are disqualified from working with children or from registration for child minding or providing day care.
  • have received a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months (without the option of a fine) in the five years before becoming a governor or since becoming a governor.
  • have received a prison sentence of 2.5 years or more in the 20 years before becoming a governor.
  • have at any time received a prison sentence of five years or more.
  • have 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.
  • refuse to make an application for a criminal record certificate.

For academies, the Department for Education model articles of association set out the disqualification criteria for trustees and members of local governing bodies (articles 68-80).

Page last reviewed: 26 October 2023